gram·ma·ry /ˈɡramərē/

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Wartime and Wilderness in the West: Ernest Hemingway

May 16, 2019

As a man disillusioned by the ravages of war and lost love, Ernest Hemingway penned male-centric fictional works that spoke brusquely of the unpredictable American psyche and, as a result, has been considered a notable trailblazer in 20th-century naturalist literature in the United States. Born...
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Much Obliged: Here’s What Makes Obligated Different from Obliged

May 15, 2019

Learning English? Then you’re obligated to read this article. We have learned over the course of this series that two words that sound alike don’t always have the same meaning. Once in a while, we get word pairs that sound so alike and have meanings that are pretty similar that differentiatin...
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Ten Must-Read Blogs for Language Lovers and Learners

May 14, 2019

From looking up grammar guides to losing ourselves in vocabulary vortices, we’ve scoured the cyber woods of words to bring you a select list of blogs that discuss the many facets of the English language. Equal parts educational, engrossing, and entertaining, these influential blogs should be ...
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LATEST POST

A Puzzling Lot: Distinguishing “A Lot” from “Allot”

Words can be confusing a lot of times. Or wait, is it “a lot” or “alot”? And wasn’t there another word, “allot”? Before it gets any more chaotic, let’s sort their definitions out.


A lot from Allot

For starters, “alot” is just a common misspelling of the phrase “a lot.” With that out of the way, we focus now on settling the differences between “a lot” and “allot.”


A lot

“A lot” is an informal phrase typically used as an adverb or a pronoun. It comes from the word “lot,” as in “an unpleasant lot,” with meanings ranging from an ugly patch of land to a bunch of people you may not want to deal with. “Lot” in the phrase sums up these definitions and refers to “a considerable quantity or extent.” Therefore, “a lot” is “a large number or amount” of a particular thing, be they persons, items, or even abstract concepts such as love and time. We need not look further—one can say that the word “lot” has a lot of meanings. It can also be used to describe frequency, as in we tend to write about grammar a lot.


Allot

“Allot,” on the other hand, is a transitive verb. It shares the root word “lot,” which is why it is similarly involved with portions and amounts. The key difference is that “allot” refers to the act of “assigning as a share or portion” and “distributing by or as if by lot.” For example, you, the reader, are allotting time to know the differences between “a lot” and “allot.”


Here are a few more side-by-side examples for review:

  1. A lot of people find comfort by eating McDonald’s french fries.

  2. The governor of District 7 is allotting a budget of six thousand per month for coal and fuel.


  1. Even before high school, Norra liked Landon a lot.

  2. In most schools, there is an allotted time for recess and lunch.


  1. There were a lot of rats running loose inside the cafeteria.

  2. Maria left her officers to allot the remaining plots of land to the farmers who wanted them.


Another easy way to distinguish them is that there are more words in “a lot” than in “allot”, which has only a single portion.


That’s a lot of lots. This has been sufficiently bamboozling, but we hope this article helped out a lot. Just to be sure, you might want to allot a little more time to practice using these words. But if you have some more questions about grammar, language, and writing, just send us a message, and we’ll get to it as soon as we can. Until then, feel free to look through the other entries on the blog.



Sources:



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