Words That Confuse: Many, Much, Less, A few of, Few, A lot

Words That ConfuseImagem


Many/Much Few/Less Few / A few /
A few of / Few of the A Lot

Many is used with a noun that names things that we can count: count nouns.

Much is used to describe things that we do not count: noncount nouns.

Many (count/plural) Much (noncount/singular)
Many manuscripts are Much talk is
Many vehicles are Much controversy is
Many authors are Much criticism is

Some nouns can be either count or noncount, depending on their use:

Many of the troubles disappeared when he outlined his points.
Much of the trouble with his proposal was the lack of focus and of logical development of points.



Few is used in the same way as many, with count nouns.
Less is used just as much, with noncount nouns.

Few (count/plural) Less (noncount/singular)

Few rivers are Less water is
Few students are Less money is
Few laws are Less crime is

Again, the context of the sentence will change the meaning at times:

Example Meaning
Food Few foods are as rich as ice cream. Countable meaning
Health-conscious people eat less food that is deep-fried. Noncountable meaning
Crime Few crimes are committed at high noon. Countable meaning
Having a good police force will result in less crime. Noncountable meaning


Few / A few / A few of the / Few of the

These words follow idiomatic patterns, but the connotation changes.

A few and a few of the focus on the number of students, implying that some students did something (positive meaning). Few and few of the focus on the low percentage of students who did something (negative meaning).

A few students chose the take-home test.

A few of the students want to be lawyers.

Few students approve of the decision.

Few of the students decided to transfer.


A lot
The words a lot must be written as two words. The phrase has the same meaning as both many and much and can be interchanged with either one.

A lot is followed by of when the meaning is general or by of the when the meaning is specific:

Example Meaning


A lot of people have done research on discrimination practices among employers. General meaning

A lot of the people at the meeting disagree with the market strategy presented. Specific meaning


A lot of money is spent on the battle against AIDS. General meaning

The committee used a lot of the money surveying the population. Specific meaning

Sometimes, a lot can also end a sentence, but it is considered an informal expression:


I hope it helps

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1 resposta
Donay Mendonça 22 106 1.6k
Hello Oséias,

Thank you for your tips!

All the best!