Teachers, I need your help

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RL

Junior Member
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Jun 26, 2004
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What's the difference between "a lot" and "alot" and What's the appropriate use of each?! It's quite confusing. Thanks!
 

Francois

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2004
Nice question, and surprising answer to me:

grammarmudge.cityslide.com said:
Although a lot of people write it, no such word as alot exists in English. Whether it is "a lot of fun" or "I like you a lot," a lot is always two words. The verdict on alright is less clear. The American Heritage Dictionary (click here) states that alright is generally not all right. The Merriam-Webster Collegiate, however, tends to give some approval to alright (click here). We believe, however, that there is still no strong consensus for using, or need to use, alright.

Perhaps this common spelling error began because there does exist in English a word spelled “allot” which is a verb meaning to apportion or grant. The correct form, with “a” and “lot” separated by a space is perhaps not often encountered in print because formal writers usually use other expressions such as “a great deal,” “often,” etc. If you can’t remember the rule, just remind yourself that just as you wouldn’t write “alittle” you shouldn’t write “alot.”

I've always thought that 'alot' was correct, if UK probably.

Anyway, RL, you have a lot of charm :)

FRC
 

RL

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Jun 26, 2004
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Francois said:
Nice question, and surprising answer to me:

grammarmudge.cityslide.com said:
Although a lot of people write it, no such word as alot exists in English. Whether it is "a lot of fun" or "I like you a lot," a lot is always two words. The verdict on alright is less clear. The American Heritage Dictionary (click here) states that alright is generally not all right. The Merriam-Webster Collegiate, however, tends to give some approval to alright (click here). We believe, however, that there is still no strong consensus for using, or need to use, alright.

Perhaps this common spelling error began because there does exist in English a word spelled “allot” which is a verb meaning to apportion or grant. The correct form, with “a” and “lot” separated by a space is perhaps not often encountered in print because formal writers usually use other expressions such as “a great deal,” “often,” etc. If you can’t remember the rule, just remind yourself that just as you wouldn’t write “alittle” you shouldn’t write “alot.”

I've always thought that 'alot' was correct, if UK probably.

Anyway, RL, you have a lot of charm :)

FRC


Thanks a lot, Francois! :wink:
 

Tdol

Editor, UsingEnglish.com
Staff member
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Nov 13, 2002
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English Teacher
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British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
Japan
It's incorrect in the UK, though you will see it used. 'Alright' is generally accepted. I imagine that it will become accepted, but not yet. ;-)
 

Casiopea

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Here's a trick to remembering that a lot is made up of two words: you can place a whole word between 'a' and 'lot', like this, a whole lot of fun! :D
 

Tdol

Editor, UsingEnglish.com
Staff member
Joined
Nov 13, 2002
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English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
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Current Location
Japan
That's a neat way of making it clear. Thanks.;-)
 

Francois

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2004
Well, I actually had to force myself to sometimes write it in a single word, as I've always found the two-word form more natural. So this won't be a difficult habit to get out of.

FRC
 

Casiopea

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Francois said:
Well, I actually had to force myself to sometimes write it in a single word, as I've always found the two-word form more natural. So this won't be a difficult habit to get out of.

FRC

:D I'm curious to know why you felt you had to write a lot as one word in the first place. :D
 

Francois

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2004
I suppose I saw native or fluent speakers use it many times eg. on the internet. It looked to me like one of these BE peculiarities. And as I try to use actively most of the vocabulary I learn...

FRC
 

RL

Junior Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2004
Member Type
Student or Learner
Casiopea said:
Here's a trick to remembering that a lot is made up of two words: you can place a whole word between 'a' and 'lot', like this, a whole lot of fun! :D

Thanks, Casiopea! :)
 
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