Student or Learner
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!
Thanks for the answer!
Is it wrong to say "I dont have a lot of money" ?
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.
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"?
**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.
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!
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).