A lot of, lots of: difference and how to use
|A lot of, lots of: rules|
A lot of and lots of = 'a large number or amount'.
We use a lot of or lots of with both countable and uncountable nouns.
|A lot of vs. much, many|
A lot of, much and many have a similar meaning, but we often use them differently.
We use a lot of mostly in positive sentences.
In negatives and questions we prefer much and many:
We sometimes use a lot of and lots of in negative sentences instead of much and many. And we use them in a question when we think the answer will be "yes":
Single or plural verb?
If the noun is countable, we use a plural verb (are, have, etc):
- There are a lot of cars in the world.
- Lots of new houses were built last year.
If the noun is uncountable, we use a singular verb (is, has, etc):
- There is a lot of noise.
- There was a lot of food.
Where to use
A lot of and lots of are common in spoken English and sound quite informal.
Lots of is slightly more informal than a lot of.
In more formal spoken and written English, we often use many, much, plenty, a large number of and a large amount of.