Posted by: Idioma Extra | January 5, 2011

Thursday Tidbit

“Much” or “A lot of”

Sometimes there is some confusion about when to use “much” or “a lot of.” Many English learners use them interchangeably. In some cases, you can use them interchangeably, but in other cases, you cannot. Here is an explanation of when to use each.

A lot of

“A lot of” is followed by either count or non-count nouns and can also be used in either positive or negative sentences. Here are some examples:

There are a lot of people in the market.

You can see a lot of cars on the highway.

The teacher doesn’t like to give a lot of homework.


“Much” however is only followed by non-count nouns. It is also only used in negative sentences, never in positive sentences. Here are some examples:

He doesn’t have much reason to complain.

I couldn’t spend much time with my children because of work.

He has much money in his bank account. (Wrong. In this case you would use “a lot of”)

Check Yourself

Underline the correct word to be used in each sentence. In some cases, both are correct.

1. I have (a lot of / much) respect for him.

2. I don’t have (much / a lot of) time to finish the project.

3. (A lot of / much) people are aware of that rumor.

4. He doesn’t have (much / a lot of) friends.

5. There aren’t (a lot of / much) traffic in the afternoon.

6.  We had (much / a lot of) fun at the party.

7. The teacher gave us (much / a lot of) homework for the weekend.

8. There are (a lot of / much) exciting things happening this weekend.

9. We didn’t see (much / a lot of) interesting news on TV.

10. She lost (much / a lot of) weight during the therapy.


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