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You've been a lot of help.

You've been of a lot of help.

Can we omit the of here? I read in Practical English Usage that in some cases we can omit the "of", is this one of those cases?

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  • You are conflating two different structures. See the (valid) answer by Khan and the (valid) comment by standgon in response thereto. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Oct 23 '17 at 19:15
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Yes, but that's because it shouldn't be there at all. You've been a lot of help is the way that English speakers would say this sentence, and the other one is improper.

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Both the sentences are grammatical, but it's far more common and idiomatic to drop the said of.

You have been (of) no help to me (Merriam Webster).

Be of great help to somebody (Longman).

When you say "You have been of great help", you can also say ""You have been of a lot of help". Nevertheless, the phrase great help is more common than the phrase a lot of help.

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  • "You've been of a lot of help" is not grammatical. "You've been of help" is a different structure. – stangdon Oct 23 '17 at 18:32

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