In our everyday life, we hear the phrases ‘a lot of, and ‘lots of’. These are two very common verbal English terms. We tend to use both terms quite often. What we do not notice is that we do not pay any heed to their differences.
We might think they are interchangeable but while we substitute them in certain sentences, it might sound wrong or unfit. This is the reason, application of words in sentences is very important.
These two phrases are quite similar and have a lot in common. However, they definitely have a fine line of difference, which is not to be ignored. Let us proceed with these phases and their uses. This shall eventually help us distinguish between the two.
- Both phrases are interchangeable and used to express a large quantity or amount.
- “A lot of” is more common in American English, while “lots of” is more prevalent in British English.
- Both phrases can be used with countable and uncountable nouns.
A Lot of vs Lots of
A lot of is used with singular countable nouns or non-countable nouns. For example, There is a lot of traffic on the highway. Lots of is used with plural countable nouns. E.g., There are lots of books on the shelf. Lots of can sometimes be used in place of a lot of with singular countable nouns.
‘A Lot of’ refers to a large quantity. The term ‘lot’ itself means a group of things or multiple things. Hence, when we say ‘A Lot of’, it means a singular group of something.
It is a less informal term as compared to ‘Lots of’. It is used commonly in English sentences and is a correct form of Grammar.
On the other hand, ‘Lots of’ refers to many in number. We already know the meaning of Lot. However, when we say ‘Lots of’, it changes the meaning.
The difference might be minute but it is important to know since it affects the grammatical syntax. The term ‘Lots of’ refers to a plural group of things. It is an informal phrase.
|Parameters of Difference||A Lot of||Lots of|
|Type||It is an informal phrase but not as informal as ‘Lots of’.||It is even more informal than ‘A Lot of’|
|Synonym||It is a synonym for the word ‘several’.||It is a synonym for the word ‘many’.|
|Group||It is used to refer to a singular group of things.||It is used to refer to a plural group of things.|
|Count||They are generally uncountable.||They are generally countable.|
|Example||I dedicated a lot of energy to this project.||There are a lot of candies in the refrigerator.|
What is A Lot of?
It is a very common term that we require in our daily sentences while speaking. It is used during verbal conversations quite frequently. A lot of something means several in number.
If we get into some depth, we can see it refers to a singular group. In other words, we can say, ‘of the same type.’ To be more specific, it refers to a specific group of something. Also, they can be grouped under something uncountable.
This might sound quite confusing when we put it in this way. However, if we take an example, it becomes easier. When we put the words in the sentence, we tend to acquire and understand the trend.
Let us take an example: “There is a lot of sunlight passing through the window.” In this sentence, we see, a huge amount of something is being discussed.
We are talking of the quantity. However, it is not quite countable. Also, it is talking about something particular. Hence, we can call it a singular group.
What are Lots of?
Just like ‘A lot of’, it is a very common term that we require in our daily sentences while speaking as well. However, it is much less formal than the former phrase.
The real difference does not lie in their meaning. Rather it lies in the sentences or situations where they are used.
Due to this reason, this particular phrase can not be used or applied anywhere and everywhere. Lots of something means many in number. Application of ‘Lots of’ in a sentence shall give us a clear idea above the above facts.
It refers to a plural group. To be more specific, it refers to a group of something with varieties. Also, they can be grouped under something countable.
Let us take an example: “There are lots of people standing in the queue.” Here, we can see that the objects are countable. Thus it is used while referring to a large number of objects.
Main Differences Between A Lot of and Lots of
- The main difference between A Lot of and Lots of is in their usage. ‘A Lot of’ is used in casual informal sentences. However, ‘Lots of’ is even more informal than ‘A Lot of’. Hence, it can not be used everywhere.
- The synonym for ‘A Lot of’ is several. On the other hand, the synonym for ‘Lots of’ is many.
- ‘A Lot of’ is used to refer to a singular group of things. ‘Lots of’ is used to refer to a plural group of things.
- ‘A Lot of’ is generally used for uncountable objects whereas, ‘Lots of’ is generally used for countable objects.
- Last but not the least example. (i) There is a lot of problem in my life right now. (ii) There are lots of birds flying in the sky.
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Emma Smith holds an MA degree in English from Irvine Valley College. She has been a Journalist since 2002, writing articles on the English language, Sports, and Law. Read more about me on her bio page.