A lot

In this lesson, we're gonna learn about one of the most common words in English. Let's go.

How to Use "A lot" in English

'A lot' mainly functions as both a pronoun and an adverb. In this lesson, we will discuss how to learn and use it.

Functions of 'A lot'

'A lot' as a Pronoun

As stated above, 'a lot' can function as a pronoun. Below, we are going to learn about the kind of pronoun it is:

'A lot' as an Indefinite Pronoun

When 'a lot' is used as a pronoun, it goes under the title of 'indefinite pronouns'. It is a quantifier because it shows the amount or quantity of something, not definite, though. We use it when we want to indicate that we have so much of something. Check out the following examples for more clarification:

I'm sorry professor, but a lot has been on my mind lately.

A : What happened at the seminar?

B : Well, a lot happened honestly.

Position in a Sentence

Since 'a lot' is a pronoun here, it replaces nouns. So, it can function as both the subject and the object of the sentence. Check out the following examples:

I thought you said a lot was said during the argument.

Here, 'a lot' is the object of the verb.

A lot is on my mind right now and I can't seem to concentrate.

Here, 'a lot' is the subject of the sentence.


Note that when we use 'a lot of', it turns into a determiner and it precedes a noun. Compare:

They have a lot of problems on their hands right now.

As you can see, 'a lot of' has come before a noun here.

I though you said a lot was on your mind lately.

As you can see, 'a lot' is a pronoun here and there are no nouns after it.

'A lot' as an Adverb

As mentioned above, 'a lot' can also function as an adverb. Let us find out the kind of adverb it is:

'A lot' as an Adverb of Degree

Since 'a lot' shows the amount of something, it goes under the title of 'adverbs of degree'. We mainly use it to point out that we have so much of something. Below, we have provided examples for you. Look:

I heard she walks to the park a lot.

The Johnsons bake cookies a lot.

Position in a Sentence

As you are also familiar with, adverbs usually come after adjectives, verbs, and other adverbs to modify them. So, let us analyze some examples below:

I think Mike enjoys watching movies a lot.

He used to go shopping a lot, but he is mostly at home now.

Phrases with 'a lot'

We have a few phrases with 'a lot' in the English language. Below, we will learn all about them:

  • A lot of: This one is more informal than 'a lot'. We can use it before a plural noun. Look:

A lot of people gathered around the corner and complained.

I can see a lot of cats in the park.

  • Lots of: This one is the most informal one in comparison with the other two. However, it indicates a large amount of something. Look:

Lots of money was spent on this project.

The Jonathans saw lots of feathers on the floor.


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