Suprisingly, confusion between the use of the words a lot and alot is commonplace despite one of them not being an actual word.
Here are a few tips to avoid this mistake.
Although you may encounter the word frequently on the internet or through text messaging, alot is not an actual word. You would not find it in a dictionary and it is generally considered a misspelling.
Below are some instances that alot was erroneously used:
“25 years of reform: alot done, more could’ve been done”
The Economic Times
“Vic Mensa: ‘There’s Alot Going On’ [EP Review]”
Guardian Liberty Voice
“The U.S. Bond Market Just Got Alot More Popular, ETF Tips to Win”
On the other hand, a lot is a two-word phrase made up of the indefinite article a and the noun lot, which means “a large amount or quantity, a great deal.”
“Yahoo Shareholders Could Have Done a Lot Worse”
“CEOs Are Paid A Lot Because CEOs Are Worth A Lot”
“Unlike the GOP, Cleveland Wants To Attract A Lot More Immigrants”
The Huffington Post
Two-word phrases with the same construction, such as a house, a boy, and a bird, are never written as ahouse, aboy, and abird so how alot came to be remains a mystery up to this day. A possible explanation for the confusion would be its similarity in spelling and pronounciation to the unrelated word allot.
Allot is a verb used to denote “to give or apportion something to someone as a share or task.”
“Rural police ask govt to allot 254 personnel”
Times of India
“NFL plan to allot $765M concussion settlement to ex-players, families”
“Brazil to allot coffee cargoes”
The New York Times
To summarize, there should not be any confusion with the use of a lot and alot. The correct form requires a space–a lot–and the one without space, alot, is not an acceptable word.