Allot, A Lot, and Alot


Once we eliminate alot (a common misspelling of a lot), we can focus on the difference between the homophones allot and a lot.

Definitions

The verb allot means to give or allow a share or portion of something.

A lot means a large amount. (A lot is often a less formal way of saying many or much).

Always spell a lot as two words, not one. (Alot is regarded as a misspelling of a lot.) See Avoid These 10 Words in Formal Writing.

Also see the usage notes below.

Examples

  • “[E]very college has its own application, so you have to allot a certain amount of time for every application you have to complete.”
    (Alison Cooper Chisolm and Anna Ivey, How to Prepare a Standout College Application, 2013)
  • When I was younger, my mother and I moved around a lot, so I changed schools all the time.
  • “He had a soft southern accent and he laughed a lot, disclosing teeth too white and too even to be anything but 1950 vintage Sears and Roebuck dentures.”
    (Stephen King, The Shining, 1977)
  • “She leads him past a hall and staircase into a cool room with a high ceiling and silver wallpaper, a piano, watercolors of scenery, [and] a lot of sets of books in a recessed bookcase.”
    (John Updike, Rabbit, Run, 1960)

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