3

He turned back to Harry. "You'll soon find out some wizarding families are much better than others, Potter. You don't want to go making friends with the wrong sort.
(Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone)

"Unless you get out now," said Harry, more bravely than he felt, because Crabbe and Goyle were a lot bigger than him or Ron.
(Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone)

Between the two – much, a lot – which is the bigger in its intensity?

  • 5
    Neither, really. The distinction is rather one of register than of degree: The first speaker (Malfoy?) employs a somewhat less colloquial term, suggesting a difference of class and upbringing and a more distant relationship. – StoneyB Apr 30 '13 at 12:20
5

A lot is used with adjectives and adverbs to mean much. You could use a lot or much, and the meaning would be the same.
The difference is that a lot is still seen as informal, while much, a great deal of, or a large amount of are allowed in formal writing. (See the grammar notes at the bottom of this page.)

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