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"A lot" is an adverb which is often translated as "mucho", and "so much" is a phrase which is often translated as "tanto". Learn more about the difference between "a lot" and "so much" below.
a lot(
uh
 
lat
)
An adverb is a word that describes a verb, an adjective, or other adverbs (e.g. to run quickly, very tired).
adverb
1. (frequently)
a. mucho
Since we live a block from the beach, we swim a lot.Como vivimos a una cuadra de la playa, nadamos mucho.
b. un montón
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g., skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
Both my wife and I are retired, so we travel a lot.Mi esposa y yo estamos los dos jubilados, así que viajamos un montón.
2. (significantly)
a. mucho
This restaurant is a lot better than the one we went to last night.Este restaurante es mucho mejor que al que fuimos anoche.
b. un montón
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g., skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
Janet has changed a lot since she started working. She's become more responsible.Janet ha cambiado un montón desde que empezó a trabajar. Se ha vuelto más responsable.
A pronoun is a word that stands in for a noun (e.g. she).
pronoun
3. (a significant number)
a. muchos
You can keep that pen. I have a lot.Puedes quedarte con ese bolígrafo. Tengo muchos.
b. muchas
How many people came to the party? - A lot.¿Cuántas personas vinieron a la fiesta? - Muchas.
c. un montón
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g., skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
I got a lot of presents for my birthday.Me hicieron un montón de regalos por mi cumpleaños.
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so much(
so
 
muhch
)
A phrase is a group of words commonly used together (e.g once upon a time).
phrase
1. (adverb)
a. tanto
"I'm tired from dancing so much," said the bride."Estoy cansada de bailar tanto", dijo la novia.
2. (adjective)
a. muchísimo
My mom cooked so much food for the party.Mi mamá cocinó muchísima comida para la fiesta.
b. tanto
The CEO was under so much pressure that he decided to resign.El director estaba bajo tanta presión que decidió renunciar.
3. (pronoun)
a. muchísimo
We ate so much at the buffet.Comimos muchísimo en el buffet.
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