Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The usage of 'a lot of'

In English, we can use 'a lot of' in front of countable or uncountable nouns. However, if countable nouns are involved, the subject is considered plural and should take a plural verb. On the other hand, if uncountable nouns go with 'a lot of', then the subject which is then singular should pair with a singular noun.

To make this clear to readers, let us look at the following sentences.
1 A lot of people were there to watch the magic show performed by a medicine seller.
[In this sentence, 'a lot of' is followed by people which is countable. Hence a plural verb, were (a verb-to-be to be exact)is used.]

2 A lot of rubbish was strewn all over the place.
[Here, 'a lot of' takes an uncountable noun and as a result, a singular verb 'was' is used.]

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