What’s the Difference Between Much, Many, Little, and A Lot?

by , under Grammar

RULE:  “Many” is used with countable plural nouns like “children” and “students.” “Much,” on the other hand, can only be used with uncountable nouns like “money” or “homework.” “A lot” can be used with both.

    


   

Many

RULE: Use “many” with plurals.

INCORRECT: There were much people waiting in line.

CORRECT: There were many people waiting in line. 

    


   

Much

RULE: Use “much” with uncountable nouns. An uncountable noun has no correct plural form.

INCORRECT: Do you make many money at your job?.

CORRECT: Do you make much money at your job? 

   

RULE:  Sometimes the uncountable noun is left out of the sentence. You can do this when the meaning is clear.

There wasn’t much to do. 
There wasn’t much work to do. 

   


   

Little

RULE:  Like “much,” use “little” with uncountable nouns:

There wasn’t much milk in the fridge. The little milk that remained was sour.

     


  

A Lot

RULE: “Much” and “many” are used mainly in negatives and questions. In affirmative sentences, use “a lot of.”

INCORRECT: I have much homework.

CORRECT: I have a lot of homework.

INCORRECT: I need much coffee to wake up in the morning.

CORRECT: I need a lot of coffee to wake up in the morning. 

   


  

A Few

RULE: Use MANY and FEW with plurals.

There were many passengers on the bus. 
Luckily, only a few of the passengers were wearing backpacks.

  


  

 Practice Exercises

Image of a Much many few little grammar practice exercise on the Virtual Writing Tutor website
Much many few little grammar practice exercise

Find Much-Many-Little-Few Error Detection Exercise with Audio

Find Much-Many-Little-Few Error Correction Exercise

 

Check Your Writing for Errors 

Use the Virtual Writing Tutor grammar checker. It’s free and has a number of useful writing tools that you can use:

  • check grammar
  • check spelling
  • check vocabulary for cliches, power words, field related vocabulary, academic and conversational vocabulary, and check for target structures
  • check your paraphrases for plagiarism
  • create an outline for your essay
  • create a hypertext narrative
  • review your feedback
  • and play an error correction game with your own errors

   

Please follow and like us:
error