How to Spell "A Lot"

By eContent Pro on Jan 16, 2017
How to Spell A Lot

“Alot” is a phrase that is often confused in writing. This word, spelled “alot” is more commonly used in informal writing, and has not made its way into formal, edited documents. What’s the reason for this exclusion? “Alot” is not a real word, and is often mistakenly used in place of the words a lot. Now that we know why “alot” does not appear in formal writing, let’s take a look at the intended meaning of this phrase.

Background of A Lot

A lot is a combination of two separate words. A is an indefinite article that could come before any noun, such as house, toy, car, or lot. In this situation, lot is defined as “a great many or a great deal.” This article + noun combination could be used in the following ways:

  • I had a lot of soda today.
  • There is a lot of sand on the beach.
  • I read a lot of books.

This combination is best used when describing an amount that is difficult to quantify.

Why is “Alot” Not Correct?

As we have explained above, this phrase is a combination of an article and a noun. You would not combine other noun + article phrases, such as “ahouse,” “atoy,” or “acar”; therefore, you would need to treat a lot the same way.

Final Thoughts When Using A Lot

When you are writing, it is important to be sure that you are using the correct word choice of “a lot,” especially in formal writing. Remember that “alot” is not a word, and a lot is always the correct choice. A good way to fight the habit of using “alot” is to be aware and correct it anytime you find yourself using it, even if it is in an informal setting.

Be sure to check out our copy editing and proofreading services. Our expert editors will ensure your document uses the correct forms of all words.

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