A Lot of / a Lot / Lots 许多
Dear Sir or Madam, could you please tell me the difference between ‘a lot of’ and ‘a lot’? Thanks very much.
This week's question from Violet is about the phrase 许多。What’s the difference between 'a lot of' and 'a lot'?
Yang Li and William Kremer explain that although the basic meaning of both phrases are the same, the grammar and usage are slightly different.
Look at the following dialogue to see how they are used:
Li:Hi Sarah! Do you fancy going for a coffee today? Sarah 想一起喝杯咖啡吗？
Sarah:Oh, I'd love to but I don't really havea lot of time today because I'm going on holiday on Monday and desperately need to pack this afternoon. 想到是想，不过今天我没有多少时间，因为我周一去度假，下午得赶紧准备行李。
Li: No problem! But do you really have a lotto pack? 没关系，不过你有很多东西要打包吗？
Sarah: Yes, lots! I have a young baby and need to take a lot of things with me. 是很多东西！我有个婴儿，需要带很多东西。
Li: Ah, it sounds as though you have a lot on your plate today. Hope the packing goes well. Have a lovely holiday! 听上去你手里的活儿可不少，好好准备，祝你假期愉快。
Sarah: Thank you!谢了。
Notice there is a noun following the phrase 'a lot of'. 只要使用 a lot of, 那么在of的后面一定要跟名词或代词，否则句子不完整。
With 'a lot' and 'lots' you don't need to have a noun or pronoun. 在以上三个句子中 a lot 和 lots 后面不需要名词或代词，因为其本身就是名词，意思是许多东西，许多事情。
We hope that the above examples help give you a better idea of how these phrases are used but as always, our advice is to read as widely as possible to improve your sense of when to use them appropriately.
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slightly different 稍有不同
to pack 打包；准备行装
to have a lot on one’s place手里的事太多