There are many cases in Japanese where a noun will appear as an adverb, particularly with words that are describing amounts. たくさん
, or 沢山（たくさん）
as it is regularly seen, is one of those words. たくさん
means ‘a lot’, or ‘many’ in Japanese, and can be used before a phrase, or directly before a noun, when separated via の
Eat a lot! (Eat to your heart’s content!)
On this island, there are a lot of cats. (Unrelated to the sentence, there is actually an island like this in Japan!)
may be used before a noun without also using の
. However, in this case, it will feel more like たくさん
is describing the whole phrase, rather than just the noun it is in front of. If you strongly want to highlight the noun, using の
would be best.
There are a lot of people gathering in front of that store. (Focuses on the store. I wonder why there are so many people in front of that store)
There are a lot of people gathering in front of that store. (Focuses on the people. The amount of people gathering up in front of that store is unbelievable)
In these examples, the only difference is that the sentence with の
feels like the speaker is putting extra focus on the people, rather than the gathering that is happening.