The four expressions "many", "much", "a lot of" and "lots of" are widely used but often confused. Let's take a look at their differences and when to use which expression correctly.
How to use "many" in English
The word "many" is used with countable, plural nouns in questions and negative sentences.
- How many cookies do you want?
- How many cars are in the garage?
- There aren’t many women priests.
How to use "much" in English
"Much" is used with uncountable nouns to indicate a large quantity. It is mostly used in negative questions or sentences.
- How much is the ticket?
- She doesn’t visit him much anymore.
- I didn't have much wine.
How to use "a lot of" in English
A lot of means a large number of amount. It can be used for countable or uncountable nouns (negative, positive and question).
- They’ve got a lot of orange juice.
- There is a lot of money in his wallet.
- I have a lot of cats.
How to use "lots of" in English
"A lot of" and "lots of" have the same meaning and they can be used interchangably; "lots of" means a large amount. It can be used for countable or uncountable nouns (negative, positive and question).
- Lots of people went to the concert.
- There were lots of leaves on the ground.
- Dancing salsa is lots of fun.