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Thread: a lot of

  1. #1
    Nightmare85's Avatar
    Nightmare85 is offline Senior Member
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    Default a lot of

    Hello guys,
    I'm currently thinking about these four sentences:
    1. There is a lot of problems.
    2. There are a lot of problems.
    3. There is lots of problems.
    4. There are lots of problems
    .

    I have the feeling that only sentence 1 and 4 are correct.
    Usually, I would have said that sentence 2 is fine, but "a lot" is singular, or not?

    Cheers!

  2. #2
    Jaskin is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: a lot of

    hi,

    Is "the" singular or plural ?

    Cheers

  3. #3
    Nightmare85's Avatar
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    Default Re: a lot of

    "The" can be both singular and plural.

    Hey, you hijacked my thread

    Cheers!

  4. #4
    Allen165 is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: a lot of

    NOT A TEACHER.

    I'm pretty sure that sentences 2 and 4 are correct. You will, however, very often hear people say, "There's a lot/lots of problems."

  5. #5
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Default Re: a lot of

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasmin165 View Post
    NOT A TEACHER.

    I'm pretty sure that sentences 2 and 4 are correct. You will, however, very often hear people say, "There's a lot/lots of problems."
    I agree. In spoken English, you will regularly hear "There's a lot of..." although you won't hear many people use the uncontracted form "There is a lot of..."

    "A lot of" here inherently suggests plural as it means "many".

    If it were singular, you would be able to say "There is a lot of child" which we all know you can't say. "There are a lot of children" = "There are many children".

    However, remember that this only works for countable nouns. If you're talking about something uncountable, then it's singular and means "much".

    There is a lot of sand.
    There is a lot of water.

  6. #6
    Nightmare85's Avatar
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    Default Re: a lot of

    Hello Jasmin,
    Yes, I'm aware of the fact that, "There's a lot/lots of problems." is often used.
    However, they use it because there're is (almost) impossible to pronounce.
    This means, saying there's doesn't necessarily mean there is, but there are

    Cheers!

  7. #7
    Jaskin is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: a lot of

    hi,
    Please note I'm not a teacher nor a native speaker,

    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare85 View Post
    "The" can be "take" both singular and plural.

    Hey, you hijacked my thread

    Cheers!
    No I didn't I just want you to ponder over your question " "a lot" is singular, or not"

    Cheers,

  8. #8
    ~Mav~ is offline Member
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    Default Re: a lot of

    Hi,

    You know I'm neither a teacher, nor a native English speaker.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare85 View Post
    1. There is a lot of problems.
    2. There are a lot of problems.
    3. There is lots of problems. definitely not
    4. There are lots of problems
    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare85 View Post
    but "a lot" is singular, or not?
    "a lot of" = "lots of" = many, a large number of, much of sg, etc. and we use them with uncountable (there is a lot of money / milk, etc.) and plural nouns.
    I hope it helps. :) (And I hope I didn't say bullcrap. )

    Tschüss

  9. #9
    corum is offline Banned
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    Default Re: a lot of

    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare85 View Post
    Hello guys,
    I'm currently thinking about these four sentences:
    1. There is a lot of problems.
    2. There are a lot of problems.
    3. There is lots of problems.
    4. There are lots of problems
    .

    I have the feeling that only sentence 1 and 4 are correct.
    Usually, I would have said that sentence 2 is fine, but "a lot" is singular, or not?

    Cheers!
    Nightmare, Hi!
    Can I ask you something? You probably know that the number of the verb agrees in grammatical concord with the number of the subject. This is a different kettle of fish from the "Two women is enough", where we take into account the notional value of "two women", which is singular in terms of quantity and which prompts "is". This notional consideration has no purpose in your sentence.

    Okay, let us push agreement aside for a while and focus on finding the subject in the sentence.
    But how? You know how! Do not be afraid. In questions ... yes! subject-verb (operator) inversion.

    There is a lot of problems.
    Is there a lot of problems?

    It is either 'there' is the subject or the subject-verb inversion does not always work in interrogatives. I opt for the for the former.

    We are still not out of the woods, Nightmare. Expletives! What are they? They are words which mean nothing but are needed to fill an obligatory space in a sentence. Obligatory means these spaces that expletives occupy can't ever fall vacant. What is the problem with expletives when we are talking about agreement? The problem is that expletives have no referents, that is, they do not refer to anything. In terms of meaning they are empty. If they are empty, how do we know whether they are singular or plural?

    a lot of versus lots of
    They can precede a singular non-count noun, plural nouns and pronouns.

    a lot of chocolate
    lots of chocolate
    a lot of people
    lots of people
    a lot of them
    Last edited by corum; 20-Jun-2010 at 17:55.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: a lot of

    Thanks, guys.

    Corum, so you say:
    There is a lot of problems.
    Is there a lot of problems?

    is correct?

    Others say it's not correct, and now we have different opinions again

    Cheers!

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