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[i] I hope that you have a lot of fun at the flower festival.
[ii] I don't think I'll go again, but it was a lot of fun! (daum.net)

At first, I took it granted that a lot of fun’s both in [i] an [ii] have the same structure. But when this idea struck me that a lot of fun in [ii] seems to be adjective, I flipped over grammar books, looking for which says a lot of is a modifier for adjectives. But I have not found.
So I started to think [ii] has this structure and meaning:
‘it was a lot [= very] of fun [= fun]’ Can I get exact meaning of [ii]?

  • In one dictionary, under the noun "fun", it has this example: she's full of fun. – F.E. Aug 6 '14 at 7:14
  • In these examples, fun is a noun. A lot of fun is a noun phrase. What makes it seem like an adjective to you? – snailplane Aug 6 '14 at 8:28
  • @snailplane: maybe because in the sentence "I am good", good is an adjective, and not the noun (which would mean something completely different). I would say you can see the sentence It was fun as [subject][copula][adjective]. – oerkelens Aug 6 '14 at 8:48
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    @snailplane Now I got an idea why I was thinking ‘fun’ as adjective in the case. It’s from my own language that has no post-modifiers as in “A something that is amusing”. When I interpret ‘fun’ into my language, [A]’s sequence changes: amusing something. After this thought, I read ‘a lot of fun’ as ‘fantastic/amusing thing’, and this made me read ‘a lot of’ as a quantifier before the noun. – Listenever Aug 6 '14 at 10:34
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    It might help to compare the two senses of fun with joy: "It was a great joy," and "It was so joyful." – Damkerng T. Aug 6 '14 at 22:02
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The use of "of" here excludes the possibility of having an adjective following the expression. "A lot of" is used as a determiner referring to a quantity of something and a determiner does not modify an adjective directly.

It would be the same with words like some or any:

It was really some fun.
It wasn't any fun.
It was no fun at all.

"A lot" (without "of") could be used to express intensity in front of an adjective in comparisons :

He's a lot taller than his brother.

It is possible to use the word "fun" as an adjective instead of "funny" in sentences like:

He's fun to be with.
The party was fun.

Anything said about "a lot of" would stand for "a good deal of" as well.

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Well, if you rephrase it (don't actually use it that way) as 'big amount of the thing called "fun"', emphasis on "thing", it should become clear that it is a noun, no?

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