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Which is correct grammar,

  • Farming consists a lot of manual work.
  • Farming consists of a lot of manual work.

Also, is is ok to write 'a lot of' instead of 'lot of'?

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As it looks now, this seems like proofreading. Is it possible for you to pinpoint what you think is wrong? I have a hunch you mean "consists of" vs. just "consists", but if you could edit I think it would help. (Also, please ask one question per post) –  simchona Aug 1 '12 at 1:29
    
No, do not omit "a" from "a lot". –  GEdgar Aug 1 '12 at 1:36
    
@simchona I'll take care from next time not to put two questions in one post. I'll edit the question to make it less confusing but I was not concerned with 'consists of'. –  Dilawar Aug 1 '12 at 2:24
    
Consists takes of; Comprises doesn't take of. Personally I'd probably use "involves" here: "Farming involves a lot of manual work." –  Andrew Leach Aug 1 '12 at 8:35
    
In its current form, the question is not a good fit for this site. You might wish to support our proposed sister site for English language learners. Thank you. –  RegDwigнt Aug 1 '12 at 8:46
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closed as off topic by RegDwigнt Aug 1 '12 at 8:46

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2 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Farming consists of a lot of manual work.

“Farming consists of manual work. How much manual work? A lot.”

This is the better option, and is something a native speaker would say.

Farming consists a lot of manual work.

“Farming consists of manual work. How much does it consist of manual work? A lot.”

This is slightly awkward, but still correct. It has a slightly different meaning, however: that farming consists mostly of manual work (but there are other kinds of work too).

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"A lot" is commonly used in informal speech with the meaning "often".

I eat at that restaurant a lot.

I think about food a lot.

I think of you a lot.

I beat eggs with that beater a lot.

The phrase is often placed at the end of the sentence.

Placing the phrase directly after a verb may also work.

I think a lot about food.

For certain verbs or prepositional phrases, it may result in coupling which will confuse the sentence's meaning.

I eat a lot at that restaurant. (emphasis on the amount of food or frequency of eating is unclear)

I think a lot of you. (emphasis on my high opinion of you or the frequency of thinking is unclear)

In other cases, it may result in a sentence for which the meaning would not be instantly decipherable by native English speakers.

I beat a lot eggs with that beater. (does not instantly convey the same meaning as "I beat eggs with that beater a lot.")

Regarding the OP's question:

  • If the intended emphasis is on the amount of manual labor, the second sentence should be used.

  • If the intended emphasis is on the frequency of which farming consists of manual labor, and sentence clarity is not a priority, the first sentence should be used.

  • If the intended emphasis is on the frequency of which farming consists of manual labor, and sentence clarity is a priority, a new sentence should be considered.

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