a lot vs allot and what’s with alot?

 In Learn English

Do you have these moments when watching TV and a commercial comes on, and it feels like it’s directly addressing you? … I HAVE been trying to lose the same 5 pounds my whole life! … Yes, I DESPERATELY need a pillow that will cure my insomnia!

Well, I had that exact sensation when I read this article subject a lot vs allot vs ‘alot’, suggested by my editor because…she WAS speaking directly to me.

a lot vs allot vs alot: 1 of these 3 is an incorrect phrase?

I admit it, I’m an “alot” offender.  Spellcheck saves me most of the time, but not always.

A lot” the 2-word phrase meaning, ‘an abundance of’, is essentially slang to begin with, and when spoken it sounds like 1 word; people were even taught in school, not so long ago, that “alot” = a value or measure, and “a lot” = a parcel of land.  Now, these may sound like justifications on my part, but I like to think of them as the reasons why you’ll see “alot” (the incorrect spelling) written “a lot”.

So, it’s Really—a lot vs allot

a lot vs allot

 a lot of coffee beans

A lot is the indefinite article “a” + the word “lot” as a noun or adverb.  When put together, “a lot” becomes an adjective phrase to refer to, a ‘large number or amount’ of a noun.

There are a lot of people marching today.                 A large number of people

It can also function as an adverbial phrase meaning, ‘much’ or ‘a great deal’.

Things are a lot simpler now.                                     Things are much simpler

Allot is a verb meaning, ‘to give out’, ‘distribute’, or ‘to divide’.

Each speaker will be allotted 5 minutes for opening remarks

The hospital board wants to allot 75% or the funds to research.

I will remember that “alot” is not a word—not anymore at least!  Maybe this Hyperbole and Half cartoon (that I was anonymously sent) will help YOU remember it tooJ

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