When learning a new language, we tend to use the same tried-and-true 'memorized words to express ourselves' formula. However, utilizing synonyms for your most frequent words and phrases is a great way to appear more fluent. As you advance in your English studies, try using different ways to say the same thing so that your speaking sounds varied and interesting. For example, instead of always saying ‘I am going to’, try changing it by saying ‘I plan to’ or ‘I’m about to’.
‘Many’ is a word that you probably use often. After all, it is quite common to express that there is ‘a large amount’ of something. Next time you need to express the idea of ‘many’, consider using one of the casual phrases on this list to sound like a native English speaker.
1. A Lot Of
This is probably the most common casual way to say ‘many’. This phrase is appropriate to use in any situation; from business settings to chatting with friends. Many native English speakers misspell this word as ‘alot’, but in fact, it is two separate words. A ‘lot’ is a large piece of land (like a parking lot for example), so if there is a lot of something, then there is a very large amount! Some examples are:
- There is always traffic at 5 pm because a lot of people are leaving work.
- I like a lot of different types of music.
2. A Bunch Of
‘A bunch of’ is almost as popular as ‘a lot of’. It is slightly more informal, but it is still appropriate to use in any situation. A ‘bunch’ means a group of things, so ‘a bunch of’ implies that there are more than one or two. Some examples include:
- A bunch of people are going to the movies after class. You should come!
- When I want to lose weight I just eat a bunch of vegetables.
‘Hella’ is the ultimate Californian slang! If you hear someone say ‘hella’, there is a very good chance that they are from the ‘Sunshine State’. The phrase is a lazy way to pronounce ‘hell of’; and because ‘hell’ is an impolite word, you should only use this phrase with friends. Saying ‘hella’ will give the impression that you have a chilled out and relaxed personality. For example:
- There are hella beaches in California, and I want to visit them all!
Note: In California, hella can also mean ‘very’. For example:
- The beaches in California are hella nice.
'Mad' is the ultimate New York slang! Using ‘mad’ will give the impression that you are cool and tough. Many hip-hop rappers use this term, so you should only use it with friends in casual settings. For example:
- My uncle's house is huge! It has mad rooms.
Note: Mad can also mean very. For example:
- My uncle’s house is mad big
5. Loads Of
This is a great way to spice up your English. ‘Loads of’ is informal, so it should only be used with friends. A ‘load’ is an amount that can be carried at one time, so it implies more than just a few. Here are some examples:
- There are loads of different movies about climbing Mount Everest.
- I can’t come to the party because I have loads of homework.
6. Oodles Of
This phrase is very cute, and is usually used by women and children, or in reference to something young or small. Saying ‘oodles of’ will give the impression that you are friendly and cheerful. This phrase is not as popular as it once was, but you may still hear it around. For example:
- My friend’s dog just had oodles of puppies and I want to adopt one.
- Good night sweetheart…. Oodles of kisses
7. A Boatload Of
Similar to ‘loads of’, this phrase is informal and should only be used in casual company. It implies an amount even larger than a regular load, in other words, you would need a boat to hold this large amount! You can use this phrase when you want to express that there are dozens or even hundreds of individual things. Some examples are:
- I love this ice cream shop because they have a boatload of different flavours.
- We can arrive at the cinema late. They show a boatload of previews first.
8. Scores Of
Most Americans only know the original definition of the word ‘score’ from President Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg Address in 1863 which began ‘Four score and seven years ago…’ A score originally meant exactly twenty, so with a bit of maths, you can figure out that ‘four score and seven years’ actually means eighty seven years. Although it originally meant twenty, these days it simply implies ‘many’. You can use this phrase in any setting, casual or formal. If you use this phrase you will sound smart and cultured. For example:
- I have read scores of books about the French Revolution.
- Scores of people wait in line when a new iPhone is released.
I hope this short list will help you vary your speech and sound more like a native American English speaker! Give these phrases a try next time you need to express the idea of ‘many’ and your speech will sound much more natural and local. Good luck and have fun!