Grammar 7 min read

Alot or A lot or Allot? Here's the Easiest way to get it Right

Main Alot or A Lot Takeaways:

  • A lot is correct and is often misspelled alot.
  • A lot is a word, but alot is not a word (unless you’re talking about a town in India).
  • A lot and allot are different words.
  • A lot refers to a large quantity of a given item.
  • Allot means to assign a portion of something to a person or set aside a share.

The alot or a lot or allot debate may be one of the most confusing issues in grammar. Two are real words, one is not.

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Is it A lot or Alot?

Alot is not a word. Instead, it’s a misspelling of the term a lot. While you might see alot in texts, emails, and other content, it’s a mistake. An easy way to remember the correct spelling is to associate what a lot means with the space between the word contains. For example, a lot means a large quantity of something, like room or space. You know alot is incorrect because there’s no room between the “a” and the “l.” On the other hand, you know that a lot is correct because there is a lot of space between the”a” and the “l.”

Correct spelling is a lot. A boy holding two placards. Placard on the left says A Lot with a check mark, while placard on the right shows the word Alot that's been crossed out.
“Alot” is a common misspelling of the phrase “a lot.”

[Incorrect]I can’t stand alot of talking while I’m trying to study[/incorrect].

[Correct]He always wears a lot of cologne when he does out on dates.[/correct]

The second way to remember the difference between a lot vs. alot is a bit more technical.

You can think about a lot and alot in terms of articles and nouns. For instance, alittle or abunch are in correct.

In the same way, combining a and lot into alot doesn’t work, either.

Bottom line: When it comes to using alot or a lot, only a lot is correct.

The Only Time Alot is Correct

Is alot a word? Only if you’re referring to a town in the Ratlam District of India.

Alot is a relatively small town with a population of just under 41,000.

What is the Meaning of A lot?

A lot means a large number, great deal, or big quantity of something. It can be an adverb or a pronoun. Use a lot whenever you want your reader to understand that you’re referring to a large quantity of something. That something could be a tangible object, like fruit. It could also be something intangible, like time.

It takes a lot of time to learn Japanese.
I love lime, so I squeeze a lot of it into my water.
A lot of people are afraid of snakes.
In October, a lot of people like to carve pumpkins and pick out scary costumes.
He bought a lot of cilantro at the store for Taco Tuesday.
It’s the rainy season, so we’ve been staying indoors a lot.
There are a lot of frogs in this world and not so many princes.
Librarians work around a lot of books.
A girl confused on whether to use a lot, alot, or allot.
Is it a lot, alot, or allot? Two of these words are correct, one is not. Can you guess the misspelled word?

What can I write Instead of A lot?

Usually, a lot is more appropriate for informal writing or speaking. Here are some alternatives you can use instead of a lot:

  • myriad
  • plethora
  • numerous
  • ample
  • many
  • several
  • a good deal (of)
  • a great deal (of)
  • a whole heap (of)
  • a large number (of)
  • an endless amount (of)
  • an abundance (of)
  • a copious amount (of)
  • an enomous amount (of)
  • a slew (of)
  • a surplus (of)
  • plenty (of)
  • a legion (of)
  • bunches (of)
  • heaps (of)
  • loads (of)
  • tons (of)
  • masses (of)

Is Thanks a lot Rude?

It can be. It all depends on the tone you use and your intention when you say it. On one hand, it can be an informal way of saying “thank you very much.” On the other hand, “thanks a lot” can also be a sarcastic remark in American English. To avoid sending the wrong message, we recommend going for the more formal (and neutral) “thank you very much.” A more informal alternative is “thanks a bunch.”

[Example] Sarcastic: I thought you were going to give me a ride home from the grocery store! I had to walk all the way back carrying everything. Thanks a lot for nothing![/example]

Sincere: Thanks a lot for dinner the other night, I really enjoyed it.[example]

What is the Difference Between lot and A lot?

The main difference between the two is lot is a noun and usually refers to a portion while a lot can be a pronoun or adverb and usually refers to quantity. For example, lot typically means a section or plot of land. Think of a parking lot. It can also refer to a specific group or set of people or things. Finally, lot can also refer to a person’s fate in life, and usually has a negative connotation. Conversely, a lot means a large number or quantity of something. What’s more, a lot may look like two words but its actually treated as a unit. On the hand, lot can function on its own and can be used with the articles other than “a.”

[Example]For a group: That’s a scary looking lot of Halloween costumes!

[Example]When referring to a portion of land: Stephanie’s dream is to buy that lot of land and build her dream house.[/example]

[Example]For a person’s fate: My uncle was never satisfied with his lot in life.[/example]

[Example]When referring to a quantity: I tend to eat a lot of fruit in the morning[/example]

But, where does allot come in?

“Allot” means to give or assign a portion of something to someone.

Define Allot: What Does Allot Mean?

Add an “l” to alot, and you get allot. It’s just one little letter, but that addition creates an entirely new meaning. Allot is a verb that means to give someone a share of an item or set aside part of a task.

  • A lot is the opposite of a little. Both have spaces, and both refer to quantities.
  • Allot takes all of something and divides into portions or shares.
Mary had two containers of ice cream left, one of which she allotted for sundaes.
Since I’m the one who forgot to lock the door, I allot some of the blame for the break-in to myself.

Use allot whenever you’re assigning part of a task or object to a specific person or group.

To keep things fair, I’ll allot one piece of chocolate to each of you.
You need to allot a few days for relaxation, so you don’t get burned out.
Amusement parks can be expensive, so I’ll allot each family member $20 to spend however they wish.
I have to allot some time for homework before I send the kids to bed.
He decided to allot a piece of the farm for use as grazing land.

Is it a Lot or Alot or Alot? You Tell us!

Alot or A Lot Question #1

The words “allot” and “a lot” are interchangeable in a sentence.
Correct! Oops! That's incorrect.

The answer is FALSE. “A lot” is used to quantify an item. On the other hand, “allot” means to assign a portion of something to a person or set aside a share.

A Lot vs. Alot Question #2

Which of these is NOT a word in the English language?
Correct! Oops! That's incorrect.

The answer is ALOT. “Alot” is a common misspelling of a lot.

Alot vs A Lot Question #3

Which statement is true?
Correct! Oops! That's incorrect.

The answer is C. “A lot” can be used as an adverb or a pronoun in a sentence.

Allot Question #4

What part of speech is “allot”?
Correct! Oops! That's incorrect.

The answer is VERB. “Allot” is a verb that means to give someone a share of an item or set aside part of a task.

A Lot or Alot Question #5

Select the grammatically correct sentence.
Correct! Oops! That's incorrect.

The answer is A. Use “a lot” whenever you want your reader to understand that you’re referring to a large quantity of something.

Alot Question #6

Which sentence is grammatically correct?
Correct! Oops! That's incorrect.

The answer is B. “Allot” means to assign or give a portion.

Read More: Bear With Me or Bare With Me?

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Krista Grace Morris

Krista heads up Marketing and Content Creation here at INK. From Linguistics and History to puns and memes, she's interested in the systems we create to share our ideas with each other.

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