so / very / a lot

Use a lot of before nouns to mean a large quantity or a high number. “A lot of’ can be used with both countable and uncountable nouns.

  • There were a lot of students in the classroom.
  • I drank a lot of water during the marathon.

    Use verb + a lot to mean “very much” or “frequently”:

    I like this singer a lot. or I like this singer very much.

    She travels a lot for work. or She travels frequently for work.

    “A lot” is always two words, never one word!

  • I studied alot for the English test.
  • I studied a lot for the English test.

    Use so and very before adjectives. We can use the structure so + adjective + that to add extra information, usually a result or consequence:

  • Last night I was very tired.

    Last night I was so tired that I almost fell asleep while driving.

  • This book is very interesting.

    This book is so interesting that I stayed up until 3 AM reading it!

  • She plays the piano very well.

    She plays the piano so well that people often ask if she’s a professional.

    Common Error: Don’t use “a lot” with adjectives:

  • Last night I was a lot tired.

    In informal spoken English, it’s common to use “really” instead of “very”:

  • Last night I was really tired.
  • This book is really interesting.
  • She plays the piano really well.

    Also, in informal spoken English some people use “so” without adding extra information, particularly when making an exclamation:

  • Your dog is so cute!
  • It’s so windy today!
  • That test was so hard!