In this lesson and video we're looking at a lot of and lots of.

These two common expressions, a lot of and lots of, mean the same thing, and are used before nouns to mean ‘a large number or amount of'.

I've got a lot of shopping/ I've got lots of shopping.
There are lots of people. There are a lot of people.

He always eats a lot of food. / He always eats lots of food.

In this lesson, we'll look at some common spelling mistakes and do a quick test to see what you know, then we'll go over the spelling, usage and pronunciation.

Watch the video below and/or read on.

 

Which is correct?
a. I had a lots of fun yesterday.
b. I had alot of fun yesterday
c. I had a lot of fun yesterday


Did you choose c? I had a lot of fun yesterday.
3 separate words - a lot of

What about these sentences?
a. There were lots of people at the party
b. There were alots of people at the party
c. There were a lots of people at the party

Did you choose a? a. There were lots of people at the party.
2 separate words - 'lots of'

First, we'll look at 'a lot of'. A lot of is three individual words.

Let's look at the pronunciation and how it can confuse people with the spelling of it.

1. We have the stressed 'a lot of'
2. or unstressed "a lotuv" - the t joins the o to make "tuv" "a lotuv"
3. or even more unstressed "a lotta"

1. We had a lot of fun. 2. We had "a lotuv" fun. 3. We had "a lotta" fun.
1. It's a lot of money. 2. It's "a lotuv" money, 3. "It's "a lotta" money. Or even more unstressed in some dialects like Liverpool "a lora" money.

It doesn't matter how you pronounce it - all dialects and how we say a lot of is valid and right but there's only one way to spell it - a lot of.

Let's look at lots of. It's two words "lots of" and is more informal, conversational.

The pronunciation is like "a lot of" with various unstressed forms.
1. We have the stressed "lots of"
2. Unstressed - the s joins the o "lotsuv"
3. or even more unstressed "lotsa"

So remember it doesn't matter how you say it but make sure you write it as lots of

 

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Which sentences are correct?

1. Lots of people loved the show.

2. There were alot of actors in the cast.

3. They took a lotta abuse from the crowd.

4. There's been a lot of rain this year.

5. There seems to be quite a lots of new shops opening.

6. Sit here - there's lots of room.

 

Answers.

Correct sentences - 1, 4, 6. Why are the others wrong?

1. Lots of people loved the show.

4. There's been a lot of rain this year.

6. Sit here - there's lots of room.

A quick note about a lot of and lots of from the Oxford dictionary: A lot of and lots of are very common in speech and writing but they still have an informal feel and are generally not considered acceptable for formal, business, academic English, where alternatives such as many or a large number, a great deal of are used instead

Thanks for reading this.

Keep passionate about your spelling and writing.

Joanne