grammarNOW! Language Commentary of the Week: a lot

a lot/alot/allot

First, the common misspelling “alot” is not a word. When you mean a great deal or much, the correct spelling is “a lot”: two words. Examples:

Valentine’s Day is coming, and I plan to eat a lot of chocolate.
A lot of the time, I prefer to use “most” rather than “a lot.”
It shouldn’t take a lot of examples for you to get this right
.

The word that is spelled with two lls is allot. It means “to give out, set aside, assign, or distribute”:

The rules allot each of the debaters 5 minutes per topic.
The judges will allot $500 to each winner.

“Allot” is NOT what you mean when you write a lot.

grammarNOW! says:

The phrase a lot is overused and should be reserved for informal writing or speech. Try for a more specific word choice in formal writing.

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