Site Feedback

Resolved questions
What's the difference between:

much and alot
is this a rule for their usage?

For learning: English
Base language: English
Category: Language

Share:

1 comment

    Please enter between 2 and 2000 characters.

     

    Answers

    Sort by:

    Best Answer - Chosen by the Asker
    Much and A Lot of are two expressions that should be used with difference. The word ‘much’ is often used in questions and negative sentences as in the sentences:
    1. How much money do you spend on food every month?
    2. Did you have much trouble with your customers?
    3. There is not much milk left in the house.
    In the first two sentences you can see that the word ‘much’ is used in questions. In the last sentence the word ‘much’ is used in the negative sense or in the negative sentence. The third sentence would mean ‘there is very little milk left in the house. It only means that the milk left in the house is not sufficient for the members of the family to drink. Hence it is used in a negative sense.
    In the first two sentences you can see that the word ‘much’ is used with uncountable nouns. In other words you can say that the word ‘much’ is used with uncountable nouns such as ‘money’ and ‘trouble’ respectively.
    On the other hand the expression ‘a lot of’ is used in the case of both countable and uncountable nouns as in the sentences
    1. A lot of money was spent on his education.
    2. A lot of books on philosophy were seen in his shelf.
    In the first sentence the expression ‘a lot of’ is used with an uncountable noun ‘money’ whereas in the second sentence the expression ‘a lot of’ is used with a countable noun, namely ‘books’. This is an important difference between the two expressions ‘much’ and ‘a lot of’.
    Hence it is understood that the expression ‘a lot of’ is used in affirmative sentences. Both the sentences given above for that matter are affirmative sentences.

    Taken word for word from:
    Read more: http://www.differencebetween.com/difference-between-much-and-vs-a-lot-of/#ixzz2JUY3mKSA

     

    There is indeed some conflict between what prescriptive grammars tell us and what you'll actually encounter in text and speech concerning the 'correct' use of the quantity determiners 'much' and 'a lot of'. Logically, if we loosely define 'much' as meaning 'a lot of' (when used with non-count nouns), then there's no reason why they shouldn't be freely interchangeable, at least grammatically speaking. Generally, though, it's often just a matter of style, 'much' being perceived as the more elegant of the two, especially in negative clauses.

    It's interesting, though, to contrast positive sentences (where 'a lot of' often sounds better) with negatives (where it usually doesn't). For example, compare the positive "We had much rain last night" with "We had a lot of rain last night" which strikes me as much better. But in the negative equivalents "We didn't have much rain last night" sounds (arguably) slightly better than "We didn't have a lot of rain last night".

    But it's not a hard and fast rule with negatives. For example, the informal "I don't want a lot of cheek from you" sounds much better to me than "I don't want much cheek from you".

    To summarize the other answers briefly:

    much = noncount nouns only; questions and negatives; usually sounds weird in affirmative statements and is rarely used in them

    a lot = two words (a lot NOT alot); count or noncount nouns; fine in affirmative, negative, and questions


    Submit your answer


    Please enter between 2 and 2000 characters.

    If you copy this answer from another italki answer page, please state the URL of where you got your answer from.