When should you use alot vs. a lot vs. allot? What does each of these mean?
The word “lot” can be a noun, pronoun, verb, or adverb, depending on how you use it in a sentence. Not only that, the phrase “a lot” is very common, but if you ask some people to write it down, the problem starts. People can use the words “a lot”, “allot” and “alot” interchangeably not knowing which one to use in different scenarios. This problem is more evident in written content.
What Does “A Lot” Mean?
The phrase “a lot” forms from the article “a” and the noun “lot”, which means a considerable amount or quantity of something. You can use it as an adverb to mean “frequently” or “by a great deal.” For instance, you can say “His new car is a lot nicer than his previous one.” To show frequency, you can say “He goes to the gym a lot during the holidays.”
You can also use “a lot” as a noun to mean a huge amount or a large quantity of something. For instance, you can say “There were a lot of students in the dining hall.” As a noun, “a lot” can signify a huge amount of both tangible items (say oranges) and intangible things (such as time or fun).
You can place more emphasis on the amount by modifying “lot” with another word. For instance, you can separate “lot” from the article “a” using the word “whole.” As in, “They got a whole lot of money from the deal.”
Better still, you can use the words “lots”, which is the plural form of the word “lot” in place of “a lot.” When you use the word “lots,” you do not have to introduce it with the article “a.” Here, you will say “There were lots of students in the dining hall.”
A lot can also mean a group, portion, or set of people or items. For instance, “It is a lot of police officers working the case.”
Examples of “A Lot” in a Sentence
- One requires a lot of time to learn calculus.
- A lot of adults are afraid of the future.
- People stayed indoors a lot in 2020.
- There are a lot of books in the school library.
- He goes to the market a lot during the rainy season.
The Difference Between “Alot” and “A Lot”
“Alot” is a misspelling of the words “a lot.” This happens when someone thinks that “a lot” is a single word. However, “a” is an indefinite article that cannot be a part of the noun “lot.” As such, the word “alot” is an error and one should never use it in a sentence.
A lot is the correct form of the word “alot.” It means a great deal or huge quantity of something or can also mean a group of people or items.
What Does “Allot” Mean
The word “allot” is a verb. It means to divide something into portions. For instance, someone can allot their estate among his children.
You can also use the word “allot” to mean dedicating or assigning something (such as money or time) for a set task. For instance, when creating a budget, you can allot half of the budget amount to recurrent bills. When creating a daily schedule, you can allot an hour to review your work every day.
The noun form of the word allot is “allotment.” An allotment is a share or a portion of something.
Examples of Allot in a Sentence
- You need to allot a few minutes every hour to walk around to avert sitting syndrome.
- We will allot each family member $50 to use at the amusement park this Sunday.
- He decided to allot a quarter of the budget for savings.
- I will allot the blame to myself for forgetting to take the medicine.
Allot vs A Lot: What’s the Difference?
Allot means to assign, divide out, allocate, set into portions, give a share, or set aside. You can allot intangible things, such as time and blame as well as tangible things, such as estates, money, and fruits.
A lot, on the other hand, means a huge amount, large number, big quantity, or a big deal. You can use it when you want to emphasize on the quantity of something tangible or intangible. It also means a group or portion or set of people or items.
When to Use Alot vs. A Lot vs. Allot?
You cannot use alot vs. a lot vs. allot interchangeably. Each of these words or phrase has its place as follows:
When to Use A Lot: You can use a lot when you need to signify a large amount of something or a group or portion of people or items. “A lot” only works as a noun or adverb.
When to Use Alot: The word alot is a misspelling of the words “a lot” and should not appear anywhere in your sentences. You can only use this word in reference to Alot, which is a town in India.
When to Use Allot: Use the word allot when talking about assigning, allocating, dividing, setting apart, devoting a portion, or giving a share of something to someone. The word only works as a verb form of the noun allotment.
“Alot vs. a lot vs. allot” are indistinguishable when someone speaks. The pronunciation of the three words is almost the same. This is especially true for the words “alot” and “a lot.”
However, when you set yourself to write, the confusion on which to use and where to use it comes in. To be safe, cancel out the word “alot” from your vocabulary and you only have “a lot” and “allot.”