I got this question recently and the Get English Tips community member was saying they heard that 'many' and 'much' we use in a negative sense. They were just wanting confirmation this was the case.
This is one of these native English speaker habits I guess you'd call it, that we native speakers have without thinking or without much thought.
And it's very true!
Native English speakers will generally use 'a lot of' and 'lots of' in a positive sense with English language and use 'many' and 'much' in a negative sense.
I don't think it's a strict grammar rule as at times it can be interchangeable, but generally that is the case.
Let's have a look at a couple of examples. we can say the following and it sounds very natural.
I've got lots of friends
I've got a lot of money
I wish both of these were true! haha but seriously, these are very natural sentences for me as a native speaker
Compare these to the following:
I've got many friends
I've got much money
Remember the English grammar rule. that 'many' we use with . countable nouns and 'much' is used with uncountable nouns.
The first one 'I've got many friends' doesn't sound good. It sounds like you are trying to prove to me You are popular.
It's like it comes from a conversation:
'You don't have many friends' and the reply would be, "Yes, I do, l have many friends"
the other one
"l've got much money"
just doesn't sound normal for me as a native English speaker
So for positive sentences it's generally. better to use lots of. and a lot of'
On the reverse side if it's a negative sentence, 'many' and 'much' will usually be better to Use'
I don't have many friends
I don't have much money.
this will -imply a negative or will stress the negative and give a greater feeling of the negative.
I don't have a lot of money will imply you have some and still can do whatever it is.
I don't have a lot of friends but I have some and it's ok.
'Many' and 'much' just give a negative feeling in your English sentences whilst 'lots of' and 'a lot' of will imply a more positive feeling.
But as always there is no rule to follow and there are other alternatives
We can use 'so' plus 'many' and 'much. and this gives it great stress in a positive sentence. Look at these examples.
I have so many friends
I have so much money.
both imply it's very positive to the point that it's exciting and almost too much.
l've got so much money and I don't know what to do with it all.
I've got so many friends and I'm really popular.
So Here we have it. Really hope that's useful and you can use it to improve your English skills.
Bye for now.