a lot vs. allot vs. alot

What is the difference between a lot and allot (and alot)?

We use the phrase a lot to indicate a large amount (of something), as in:
  • “I have a lot of homework tonight.”
  • “She likes you a lot.”
The word allot, on the other hand, is a verb meaning “to distribute, assign, or allocate.” For example:
  • “We were each allotted enough money to cover two meals and minor expenses for each day of the convention.”
  • “Our father chose to allot each sibling a portion of the land in his will.”

Spelling Tricks and Tips

A very common mistake is to write alot instead of a lot—but alot is not a word. You can remember the proper spellings this way:
  • A lot is not a word—it’s two!”
  • If what you mean to write is allot, remember that it means “to allocate.”
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