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  1. #1
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    Default much, many, a lot of

    Hi all!

    I am a little bit confused with using "much", "many" and "a lot of" :-/

    The rule says that we use "much" with uncountable, "many" with countable and "a lot of" with both. But I can't even think of a sentence in which i would used "much" or "many" - i would always use "a lot of". (for ex. i have a lot of milk in the fridge, i have a lot of work to do, i have a lot of friends, i read a lot of books). - it sounds for me better than "i read many books". Which variant would you suggest to use? Is it ok if I use "a lot of all the time"?

    And there is one more question - our teacher told us that we cant say "much work" or "much petrol" in spite of it is uncountable. i just cant understand why it is so?

    I would be very grateful if you would help me!

  2. #2
    TP09 is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: much, many, a lot of

    Quote Originally Posted by trila View Post
    Hi all!

    I am a little bit confused with using "much", "many" and "a lot of" :-/

    The rule says that we use "much" with uncountable, "many" with countable and "a lot of" with both. But I can't even think of a sentence in which i would used "much" or "many" - i would always use "a lot of". (for ex. i have a lot of milk in the fridge, i have a lot of work to do, i have a lot of friends, i read a lot of books). - it sounds for me better than "i read many books". Which variant would you suggest to use? Is it ok if I use "a lot of all the time"?

    And there is one more question - our teacher told us that we cant say "much work" or "much petrol" in spite of it is uncountable. i just cant understand why it is so?

    I would be very grateful if you would help me!
    **Not a teacher**

    One uses 'much' in negative sentences, such as:

    "I don't have much money, could you lend me some?"

    In other cases one uses 'a lot of':

    "I have a lot of money, as I have just won the lottery."

  3. #3
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    Default Re: much, many, a lot of

    Thanks for the answer!

    Is it wrong to say "I dont have a lot of money" ?

  4. #4
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: much, many, a lot of

    Quote Originally Posted by trila View Post
    Hi all!

    I am a little bit confused with using "much", "many" and "a lot of" :-/

    The rule says that we use "much" with uncountable, "many" with countable and "a lot of" with both. But I can't even think of a sentence in which i would used "much" or "many" - i would always use "a lot of". (for ex. i have a lot of milk in the fridge, i have a lot of work to do, i have a lot of friends, i read a lot of books). - it sounds for me better than "i read many books". Which variant would you suggest to use? Is it ok if I use "a lot of all the time"?

    And there is one more question - our teacher told us that we cant say "much work" or "much petrol" in spite of it is uncountable. i just cant understand why it is so?

    I would be very grateful if you would help me!
    If you have a lot friends, you have many friends.
    Many people would prefer "many" to "a lot of".

    Yes, you can say "much work/petrol".
    As well as for negative sentences, you also use them in questions:
    Is there much work around here for the police?

    A: Do you have much petrol left?
    B: No, I don't much petrol left. OR Yes, I have some/a bit/one gallon left.
    BUT NOT: Yes, I have much left.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: much, many, a lot of

    As I understand, I can use "much work/petrol" only in negative sentences and questions, but not in positive, is it right?

    And in the sentence "B: No, I don't much petrol left." - did you mean "No, I don't HAVE much petrol left." or it is possible to skip "have"?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: much, many, a lot of

    **Neither a teacher nor a native speaker.**

    Personally, I prefer to use much in combination with adjectives (comparative).
    My new car is much faster than my old one.
    I feel much better, I think my cold is finally over.
    You're much smarter than I am.


    In these sentences you could use a lot (not sure if "a lot of" is ok, though), but I dislike it.

    I think you're right that you could use "a lot of" in such sentences:
    My mother has a lot of friends. - I would use many
    I don't have a lot of work to do. -
    I would use much
    We will not need a lot of water. -
    I would use much

    "A lot of" is too general/global in my opinion.

    But:
    Since I've had my new car, I drive a lot. - much would be wrong.
    I have much to do. - as far as I know, this is correct!

    Cheers!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: much, many, a lot of

    There is also a slight difference in inference between "much" and "a lot of" in the negative.

    "I don't have a lot of money" could mean "I'm not a millionaire" (a million is a lot of money!)

    "I don't have much money" would automatically be understood to mean that you only have a little money (you are quite poor).

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    Default Re: much, many, a lot of

    Quote Originally Posted by trila View Post
    As I understand, I can use "much work/petrol" only in negative sentences and questions, but not in positive, is it right?
    Not exactly. You can use "much" in the positive, but it's not common.
    I have much work to do.
    It is more commonly used with other modifiers:
    She is so much trouble! = She is a lot of trouble.
    Thank you very much.


    And in the sentence "B: No, I don't much petrol left." - did you mean "No, I don't HAVE much petrol left." or it is possible to skip "have"?
    Sorry, that was just a typo.
    R.

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