a lot (of something)

English learners often use the word "many" to describe a large number of something. But "many" is quite formal and more often used in writing than in speaking. (Although "not many" is very common in both.)

In spoken English, "a lot" is the normal phrase for expressing a large number or amount:

There were a lot of people there.

We've got a lot of homework tonight.

This phrase appears in these lessons: