We use much for uncountable nouns:
Did you buy much food?
We haven’t got much luggage.
How much money do you want?
A: Have you got any money?
B: I’ve got some, but not much.
A: How many photographs did you take?
A lot of or many or much?
In an informal style, we use much and many
mostly in questions and negative clauses.
He's got lots of men friends, but he doesn't know many women.
It is more natural than:
He's got many men friends, ...
Note - lots of is slightly more informal than a lot of
The word many is used with plural nouns and verbs,
especially in negative sentences or in more formal English.
Also used in questions.
So, we normally only use many and much as determiners
in affirmative (positive) sentences when we are using formal English,
which means mainly in writing.
Note again - there is an exception (there always is in English).
We use many and much in positive sentences after so, as and too.
Michael Swan "much and many" -
A lot of is used for all types of noun:
| We bought a lot of food.
||We bought a lot of books. |
|Paula hasn’t got a lot of free time.
||Did they ask you a lot of questions? |
Note that we say:
A lot of people speak English ( not ‘speaks’)
We use much in questions and negative sentences, but not usually in positive sentences.
Do you drink much coffee / a lot of coffee?
I don’t drink much coffee / a lot of coffee.
I drink a lot of coffee. (NOT "I drink much coffee".)
Do you drink much coffee?
Yes, a lot. (NOT much)
We use many and a lot of in all types of sentences.
Have you got many friends / a lot of friends?
We haven’t got many friends / a lot of friends.
We’ve got many friends / a lot of friends.
You can use much and a lot without a noun:
My tutor spoke to me, but she didn’t say much.
Do you watch TV much? No, not much. ( = not often)
We like films, so we go to the cinema a lot. (Not ‘... go to the cinema much’ )
I don't like him very much.