A LOT OF and MANY

HI, I DONT’ KNOW WHEN TO TUSE “ALOT OF” AND WHEN “MANY” IS THERE A DIFFERENCE?

I read that : “you may substitute a lot of for many. Many is slightly more formal, but the meaning is the same”


Hi Bytor,
I’m quoting from a textbook:
We use ‘many’ with countable and ‘much’ with uncountable nouns in negative statements and questions.
In positive statements, we use ‘a lot of’ or ‘lots of’ with both countable and uncountable nouns.
Note, however, that we always use ‘much/many’ in positive statements after: how, as, so, too and very.
Examples:
We don’t need many eggs.
How many tomatoes do we need?
Don’t add too much salt.
How much butter do we need?
I bought a lot of potatoes today.
Joshua used a lot of lemon juice.
Actually I have entered ‘not a lot of’ into Google and see that there are examples of a negative use of ‘a lot of’.
Regards

I suggest entering these terms in the “new term” area of the Vocabulary section to see them in use. Alleray’s rule is a useful reference however, I agree that " a lot of" can be used with negative statements. In fact I do not put a lot of faith in these rules. We are better off to get used to patterns in the language rather than relying on rules or logic.

But if you want a rule, try the rule of thumb that you should use “a lot”, a lot of the time and you will not make a lot of mistakes, unless you are comparing, in which case you might use " a lot" a lot less, or much more, or a lot more often or many fewer times depending on how you feel.

Confused? Save the terms and start noticing. It is most important that you understand. If you listen and read a lot, and notice these terms you will naturally get better at using them. Do not worry about it. Enjoy the language.