Lot/plot of land

thiagolb

Senior Member
Brazil, Portuguese
What is the real difference between "lot of land" and "plot of land"?

I was making a translation (from Portuguese to English) of a pamphlet about the selling of lots/plots (iPortuguese, "lotes") of land, and I realised I had never used that expression before, so I made a research and found two possibilities,, but I didn't find out if there was any difference between them.

Thanks (and feel free to correct any mistakes).
 
  • Old Novice

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    To my ear, at least, a "lot" is a piece of land on which a house will be or has been built. A "plot" is a piece of land, which might be used in different ways. "Plot" is more general than "lot."
     

    Briscola91087

    Member
    America, English
    i agree with oldnovice, "a lot" is used when refering to a piece of land that is usually used to build a house or some other building on. For instance, at the end of my block there is a vacant lot (a place where a house could go but where there is nothing built yet). A plot of land usually refers to something bigger, like a ranch or farm. For instance, "the rancher owns that plot of land". There is a subtle difference, namely, a plot is bigger than a lot.
     

    TheAmzngTwinWndr

    Senior Member
    United States
    I agree with everyone else, and wanted to add this:

    To me, if I hear someone saying "a lot of land" it sounds like they are talking about "a whole bunch of land". The example briscola gave with lot is a good one because he says "an empty lot", not "an empty lot of land". In common usage, one would only say "lot" and not "lot of land".
     

    Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    A "lot" of land is usually a piece of land which is described by defined size (ie. 75 x 100 feet) and which is legally registered in Registry of Deeds or a Land Titles Office. It is a piece of land which has been legally subdivided from a larger piece of land. A "plot" of land is as others have indicated... it is a chunk of land with no particular defining features. Think of a garden plot... it's simply a piece of land in which you grow vegetables. There's nothing legally defined about it.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    A "lot" of land is usually a piece of land which is described by defined size (ie. 75 x 100 feet) and which is legally registered in Registry of Deeds or a Land Titles Office. It is a piece of land which has been legally subdivided from a larger piece of land. A "plot" of land is as others have indicated... it is a chunk of land with no particular defining features. Think of a garden plot... it's simply a piece of land in which you grow vegetables. There's nothing legally defined about it.
    I agree.

    A lot may be a plot; but a plot might not be a lot. That might not be saying much, but it would be a lot about a lot.

    Where I live, land has gotten very expensive and people are subdividing their property to accommodate additional homes. I see signs that say:

    For sale: 1 home, plus two builders' lots, permit approved.

    The "builders' lots" are filed with the county and a permit is issued to allow the construction of a home. Some of these lots have constraints as to the size of the building that may be constructed, the set-back, etc.

    On the other hand, I could own a 3 acre plot of land that was not cleared for building.
     

    thiagolb

    Senior Member
    Brazil, Portuguese
    I appreciate your help.

    Just to make sure... if I got it right, it would be better to say that "I am selling a lot", not "I am selling a lot of land", is that it?

    Thank you.
     

    AWordLover

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Hi,

    "I am selling a lot of land". This sentence is ambiguous because "a lot" also means a great deal (like much). If context is clear (namely that you are selling land) you would not say "a lot of land" you would say "a lot".

    The word plot is more versatile, it is also used to describe the very small bit of land in which a dead body (in a casket) could be buried. This would be a funeral plot, also know as a grave.
     

    thiagolb

    Senior Member
    Brazil, Portuguese
    Ah, yes! I got it now. :D

    But, what about
    "Last lots of land for sale",
    "I am selling six lots of land"
    and
    "There are only six lots of land left"?

    I notice that "lots of land" could sound somewhat like "a lot of land", depending on the sentence and the context. However, if I say "the lot of land", would it mean the same as "lot"? Would it avoid the ambiguity?

    Thank you again.
     

    deddish

    Senior Member
    English .ca
    "Last land for sale" or "Last lots for sale" for the first;
    "I am selling six lots" works just as well for the second, if not better;
    "There are only six lots left."

    When using the plural it's not quite so confusing, but you still don't need to put in the "of land" anyways- so why bother!

    "The lot of land" is better than "a lot of land", but "the lot" or "a lot" is simpler and better.
     
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