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Is it “A lot”, “Allot” or “Alot”? (Examples, Definitions, Explanation)

To allot is to allocate resources amongst a group or people. A lot is mostly an adverb meaning "to a great deal or extent", and 'alot' is a common mispelling.

Last updated on February 10th, 2024 at 04:46 pm



Is it ‘a lot’, ‘allot’ or ‘alot’?

Did you have allot, a lot or alot of fun? Let’s clear up the confusion … there appears to be a lot.  

Which is correct: allot, alot or a lot?

First thing’s first: the correct spelling is “a lot” with a space between. “Alot” is incorrect, and a common misspelling that has emerged due to the frequent misuse of the phrase.

Both allot and a lot are legitimate words/phrases in English, but the meaning of both are entirely distinct and unrelated to each other. Be sure not to confuse them with each other in writing.

A lot is an adverb that means “to a great degree or extent”, or often. For example, “I can’t even guess how much it costs to live here, but it must be a lot.A lot sometimes functions as a pronoun meaning “many” or “a large amount.” We use ‘a lot‘ to emphasize the amount or extent of something. See the example sentences:

Sentences with the adverb a lot

I have a lot of homework to do.

I like to sleep a lot.

You should drink a lot of liquids when you’re sick.

Allot is a verb that means to distribute, allocate, or assign something, typically resources, time, or tasks, among different individuals or purposes. It implies the act of designating portions of something for specific uses. See the verb allot in action (in sentences):

Sentences with the verb allot

Please allot enough time to review your work.

We’re going to allot half of our budget for supplies.

Students should allot an hour every day to independent study.

Other sentence examples with allot

The manager will allot tasks to each team member based on their skills and strengths.

The professor will allot specific reading assignments for each week of the semester.

We need to allot a sufficient budget for research and development in the upcoming fiscal year.

The event coordinator will allot time slots for each speaker during the conference.

The judge will allot equal time for both sides to present their arguments in the courtroom.

Other sentence examples with a lot

I have a lot of work to do before the deadline.

She has read a lot of books on various topics.

There are a lot of people waiting in line for the concert tickets.

He spends a lot of time at the gym to stay fit.

The company invested a lot of money in its new product development.

Synonyms of “allot”

Each of these synonyms can have slightly different nuances or connotations depending on the context in which they are used. Be sure to use the best word given the context.

  • assign
  • allocate
  • issue
  • award
  • grant
  • administer
  • earmark for
  • designate for
  • apportion
  • budget for
  • devote
  • appropriate for
  • set aside for

Synonyms of “a lot”

  • very many/much
  • a large amount
  • a fair amount
  • plenty
  • an abundance
  • many
  • a great quantity
  • a good/great deal
  • much
  • a wealth
  • a profusion

The origin of “allot”

“Parcel out, divide or distribute as by lots,” late 15c., also alot, from Old French aloter (Modern French allotir) “to divide by lots, to divide into lots,” from à “to” (see ad-) + loter “lot,” a word of Germanic origin.

Origin of “a lot”

Old English hlot “object used to determine someone’s share” (anything from dice to straw, but often a chip of wood with a name inscribed on it), also “what falls to a person by lot,” from Proto-Germanic *khlutom (source also of Old Norse hlutr “lot, share,” Old Frisian hlot “lot,” Old Saxon hlot, Middle Dutch, Dutch lot, Old High German hluz “share of land,” German Los), from a strong verb (the source of Old English hleotan “to cast lots, obtain by lot; to foretell”). The whole group is of unknown origin.

Read about other confusing words



In Review

In summary, “a lot” refers to a large amount or quantity, while “allot” refers to the act of distributing or assigning something.

Sources  

1. Harper, Douglas. “Etymology of lot.” Online Etymology Dictionary, https://www.etymonline.com/word/lot. Accessed 15 August, 2023.

2. Harper, Douglas. “Etymology of allot.” Online Etymology Dictionary, https://www.etymonline.com/word/allot. Accessed 15 August, 2023.

3. “A lot.” Vocabulary.com Dictionary, Vocabulary.com, https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/a lot. Accessed 15 Aug. 2023.

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