1. He arrived a whole lot sooner than we expected.
What is the meaning of this sentence?
What does the phrase 'a whole lot' mean? and
how should it be used in sentences?
The phrase "a whole lot" is the same as "a lot", only more emphatic.
I feel a lot better.
I feel a whole lot better.
So if he arrived a lot sooner than expected it might be, say, twenty minutes before he was expected.
If he arrived a whole lot sooner than expected it might be an hour before.
These times are just examples. The actual length of time that represents "a lot" or "a whole lot" depends on the context and the person who says it.