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I am confused about these two sentences:

  1. That's a bit of a difficult answer to give in a few words.

  2. That's a lot of a difficult answer to give in a few words.

Which sentence is the correct one?

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closed as off-topic by MετάEd, tchrist, p.s.w.g, choster, Kris Jul 8 '13 at 6:38

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3 Answers

A bit.

I've just never seen a lot used like this--it would mean something a bit strange.

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You can use both a bit of a and a lot of a if you mean a small part of and a large part of something:

She ate a bit of a cookie.

She ate a lot of a cookie.

However, a bit of a can also mean quite a, or rather a, as in the following.

We are in a bit of a mess. = We are in quite a mess.

That is a bit of a difficult answer. = That is quite a difficult answer.

Unfortunately, we cannot use a lot of a in a similar way to mean very:

*We are in a lot of a mess.

*That is a lot of a difficult answer.

It has to be something like:

We are in a big mess.

That is a very difficult answer.

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First one indicates that the answer is slightly difficult to express in few words. Second one implies that the answer is too tough to express in few words. Both imply different meaning.However,in general first one is most common to use in our daily life.

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Yes second one seems inappropriate to use –  Satyam Jul 5 '13 at 6:52
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