a lot of, lots of

When do we use a lot of and when lots of?

These phrases are mainly used in informal English – lots of sounds a bit more informal than a lot of. Both forms are used in singular and in plural sentences.

It is not the phrase a lot of or lots of which determines singular or plural, but the subject of the sentence (here water and computers).

1. Informal English

Singular

  • A lot of water is wasted.
  • Lots of water is wasted.

Plural

  • A lot of computers are needed at schools.
  • Lots of computers are needed at schools.

2. Formal English

In formal English we use plenty of or much and many instead of a lot of/lots of.

Singular

  • Plenty of water is wasted.
  • Much water is wasted.

Plural

  • Plenty of computers are needed at schools.
  • Many computers are needed at schools.