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I'd like the opinion of the community on the status of lots when used in the following:

Your tutor will be an experienced teacher from whom you can learn lots.

Is lots here still a quantifier or does it become the noun/object?

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  • As you imply, it's a relict from the noun phrase 'lots of stuff / good stuff / facts / information ...'. As such, it's a part-(ex-quantifier), and it doesn't really make sense to try to rigorously define its POS. You could argue that it fills an obvious noun slot (learn facts [ about] ...) (but one doesn't learn/become familiar with 'lots' in the same sense one does with 'facts/words/names...') or that it modifies 'learn'. Some might label it an 'adverbial objective', distinguishing form and function (a noun used as [if it were] an adverb), but the form / function debate is unresolved.. Aug 19, 2016 at 11:04
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    Normally "lots" takes an of pp as complement as in "Lots of errors were made". "Lots" is a noun, not a determiner, so there is no question of there being any 'fusion' here of determiner and head. That being the case, I'd say this is probably a case of ellipsis, where the of complement of "lots" is ellipted. We understand it to mean something like "lots of things".
    – BillJ
    Aug 19, 2016 at 11:15
  • By comparison with (He) can learn a lot from (her), He can learn lots from her is virtually non-existent (and it doesn't sound at all good to me). Aug 19, 2016 at 12:58

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The word 'lots' in this sentence is, for me, a quantifier with the unspoken words 'of things' implied after it. Interestingly if the sentence had 'a lot' at the end instead of 'lots' the phrase 'a lot' would seem to be more formally correct and definitely to be a noun; however it would still imply 'of things' in the same way. The words 'lot' and 'lots' can be nouns in their own right but have a different meaning, think 'There are 20 lots in this auction' or 'The field has been divided into several lots'

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  • 'A lot would definitely seem to be a noun'? And in 'I like him a lot'? Aug 19, 2016 at 22:12

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