Difference Between “lot of” And “lots of” (With Table)

The English language is an enormous and enlarging language. There are daily new words, or phrases being added into the language. Amidst all of this, there are many phrases or words misconceived. One such pair of phrases, used inaccurately is “a lot of” and “ lots of”.

“lot of” vs “lots of”

The main difference between both the phrases is in the usage while conversing, even though the root meaning of both the phrases is the same. “a lot of” is a formal way of expressing while “lots of” is a bit un-formal way of addressing.
For example:- I have a lot of money to spend. And I have lots of money to spend.

“a lot of” is a quantifier, meaning a large amount of a thing. Even this is not accepted by standard English literates, still it can be used in formal English. The word, at times, also behaves as a noun and even adverb. When used as an adverb it is usually placed at end of sentences.

“lots of ” is also a quantifier, meaning a large amount of a thing or people. It is used with uncountable nouns, although in some cases can be used with countable nouns as well. It is an informal way and should be used in spoken English only. In written and standard English, the phrase is not acceptable.

Comparison Table Between “lot of” And “lots of”

Parameters of Comparison“lot of”“lots of”
MeaningThe phrase usually refers to a large amount of people or thing.The phrase refers to a large amount of people or a thing.
UsageThis is used in formal way of speech.It is used in informal way of speech.
NounThey can be used with both countable and uncountable nouns.They are mostly used with countable nouns.
Adverbs\adjectivesThey can be used as both adverbs and adjectives.It can be used as both adverbs and adjectives.
ExamplesLot of medicines are on the way.Lots of people came in the funeral.

What is “lot of” ?

“a lot of” is a quantifier in the English language. Quantifiers are words or phrases which talk about the quantity or amount of a thing or people. “Lot of ” is used to indicate something in a large amount. It can be brought into play with both countable and uncountable nouns.


Countable nouns are the types of a noun that can be counted numerically or can be written down in form of numbers.
For Example, People

Number of people can be counted and written down numerically. Hence, it’s a type of countable noun.
Uncountable nouns, on the other hand, are just the opposite of countable nouns, basically, the type of nouns, which can’t be counted numerically.
For Example, Love, Love is a feeling which can’t be counted numerically.


The phrase “lot of” can be used with both countable and uncountable nouns.
For example,
A lot of clothes are lying on the floor. (countable nouns)
I have a lot of hair fall. (uncountable nouns)

In some cases, where “lot” itself is used as a noun, the word has a different meaning. It describes a particular set, or batch, precisely, taking it all as a single unit.
for example,
This lot of notebooks is of tenth class.


In some cases,” a lot of” is also used as an adverb. In these cases, the phrase is placed at the end of a sentence and suggests a large degree or very much of a thing.
for example, I love sweets a lot.

What is “lots of “?

“Lots of” is also a quantifier, in the English Language. This word also indicates a large quantity of a particular things, but in an informal way. As considered by the standard English, lots of are not acceptable. It is more suited to spoken English, in a casual conversation.
For example, I sent him lots of love.


To emphasize something lots and lots of is used.
For example; The parents have lots and lots of love for their adopted son.
Here, to put emphasis, that is parents love their son in loads, lots and lots of comes into role.


For the most part,” lots of” is used with uncountable nouns but in some cases, it can be used with countable nouns.
For example, I sent the kid residing near my house lots of toffees.

Main differences between “lot of” and “lots of”

  1. . The root meaning of both the phrases “lot of” and “lots of” is the same,i.e., a large amount of a thing or people.
  2. The main difference lies in usage.Lots of is used in informal English, majorly in spoken English.Whereas “a lot of” is accepted in standard English
  3. They both are used as adjectives.Although difference lies in place of countable and uncountable nouns. “Lot of” can be used with both, on the other hand “lots of” is mostly used with uncountable nouns
  4. At times,” a lot” is also used as a noun. In such cases the word has a different meaning, that is to indicate a single unit.
  5. .”A lot” can also be used as adverbs, when used at end of sentences. In such instances, the word means a large degree of a thing.
  6. In some cases the word “lots and lots of” is also used to emphasize something.

Conclusion

To conclude, both the phrases give the same meaning the only difference is in the usage. Spoken English involves some uses of words that are not accepted in standard English, but they are not wrong.


According to English literates, both words are informal. In place of these phrases words like much, many, more are better to use. But, despite all that,” lots of” is a bit more informal.


It’s better to use “lots of” when speaking to someone close to you or in spoken English. Otherwise, “a lot of” can be used.

Both the words have a different meaning when used as adverbs and placed at last. Similarly, when used as nouns they have different meanings.

References

  1. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-70984-0_32
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0165011497002546