Commonly Confused Words: Is It Alot or A Lot?
So, you went down a home renovation / DIY rabbit hole on TikTok, and you have so many amazing new ideas to share with your spouse about your living room, kitchen, bedroom and front porch. Oh, and all the bathrooms, too. You get out your phone to text the news, but wait, do you need alot or a lot of things from the hardware store?
There are some words I always have to stop and think about when I’m writing. Sometimes, it’s because I can’t for the life of me remember how many double letters to use for words like accommodate, recommend and occurrence. (I legitimately misspelled occurrence just now while typing this. Also, don’t get me started on the word misspell.) Other times, I can’t remember which vowels to use in words like independent, separate and ambiance. Let’s face it. The English language can be incredibly confusing.
The good news is that alot vs. a lot has a simple rule: alot is not a word. If you can commit to memory that a lot is two words, you are good to go. You can confidently send your home reno text and start your new DIY life.
Alot or A Lot at a Glance
A lot can mean different things depending on the context, but you always spell it with two words. People often misspell this expression as alot, but that is never correct.
- A lot: The “a” in this phrase is an indefinite article used to introduce the noun lot. The word lot usually means “a large number” or “a great many.”
- Alot: This is a common misspelling, but not an actual word in the English language.
What’s the Difference Between Alot and A Lot?
When considering alot vs. a lot, remember that alot is a misspelling of the phrase a lot. It is not a legitimate word. A lot refers to a significant number or a great many. Think of it this way: you would not say you had alittle piece of cake or agreatdeal of work to do. In this context, lot is a noun meaning many, and a is the article you place in front of it.
When To Use Alot
Alot is not a real word in the English language, so you should never use it.
When To Use A Lot
If you want to convey a large number of things, you can use the noun phrase a lot. You can also use a lot as an adverb to express a degree of something. For example, in the sentence, “She likes math a lot.” The word lot can also refer to a portion of land or an article for sale at an auction, but you likely don’t confuse that particular meaning with alot.
Examples of using a lot in a sentence:
- My parents have a lot of boxes in their garage.
- Johnny ate a lot of candy on Halloween.
- There are usually a lot of parking spaces on the south side of the building.
- Thanks a lot!
- It took me a lot longer to sort my photos than I expected.
Alot or A Lot Is a Common Grammar Question
Using alot instead of a lot is a common spelling error. When deciding whether to use alot or a lot, think of it this way: A lot is a lot of words. Yes, I know it’s only two words, but that may help you remember to put a space after the a! You wouldn’t say abunch, so don’t say alot.
Now, you can let your partner know you both need to start saving a lot of pennies for that DIY resin penny floor in the bathroom. And, you will be heading to a craft store today to pick up a lot of woven baskets for chic storage around the house.
If you have a lot to say regarding alot vs. a lot, or other commonly misspelled words and commonly confused phrases, leave a comment below. We are happy to try and make words a little (or hopefully a lot) less confusing!
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