How to use the words “allot”, “a lot” and “alot”
There are many confusing words in the English language that are homonyms (words that sound the same, but are spelled differently and have different meanings) that cause frustration for writers when they want to be able to use the words properly in sentences. Three such words are “allot”, “a lot” and “alot”. One of the important things to get straight right away is that there is no such word as “alot”, even though in speech it does sound like it is one word. The only time it may occur is if a person makes a spelling or typing error.
The difference in the meanings of “allot” and “a lot” will give you a good idea of how each one should be used in a sentence. “A lot” refers to a large number. It is not specific but from reading the sentence, one can infer that it does involve a large count.
A lot of children eat too much candy.
In this sentence you can see that the words “a lot” mean that there are a great number of children who each too much candy.
It can also be used as an adverb in a sentence, such as in this example:
The baby babbles a lot.
In this sentence, a lot tells how much and describes the verb.
The word “allot” means to assign or distribute. It is a verb that is generally used to describe how something would be distributed among a certain number of people or things.
The teacher allots five minutes for roll call each morning.
In this sentence, the word allots means that this is the amount of time given to this classroom activity.