a lot of vs a great deal of

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Senior Member
I hear ... birds singing.

A. a little
B. much
C. a lot of
D. a great deal of

It seems to me that both C and D are correct here. If not, could you explain the answer with your reasoning?
  • DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    EMP is right: only (C) works as a correct answer here. :)

    (D) "a great deal of..." would have to be followed by an uncountable noun, not a plural.


    Senior Member
    British English
    I think that it is debatable whether "a lot of birds singing" is actually grammatical, but it's certainly idiomatic. In my school days it would have been red-inked, but it is now considered normal. And just a minor change can transform the answer, which is, perhaps, why baab thought D could be correct.

    I hear ... birds' singing.

    A. a little :tick:
    B. much :tick:
    C. a lot of :tick:
    D. a great deal of :tick:

    (Although I'm not suggesting that these grammatically correct sentences are all idiomatic English)


    Senior Member
    Thank you very much for thoughtful answers.
    Actually, I parsed 'singing' as a present participle in that sentence.
    birds singing = birds which are singing
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