Friday, February 21, 2014

Tricky Words (Part 6 of 8)

"Is it all right to use a lot? My spellchecker flags it every time and suggests much or many.

Instead of a yes or no answer, we need to consider how we use the term. A lot is the opposite of a little or a small number and is used as a noun. When used as a noun, it refers to something countable. A lot can also be an adverb and means to a large degree or extent (and always appears as two words.)

* Edith cheats a lot in math class. (adverb)

* Marti has a lot of money. (noun)

English continues to grow. The old rule about a lot as something countable is losing its power. In time, even the purists will probably say we can use the term as a noun without restriction.

English constantly changes. 
I stay aware of the changes.

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