The phrase "awful lot" is typically used to describe a large amount or quantity of something. It can mean a great number, a significant amount, or an extensive quantity of something. For example, "I have an awful lot of work to do today" means that the person has a substantial amount of work to complete. Similarly, "We spent an awful lot of money on our vacation" means that the individuals spent a significant amount of money on their vacation. Overall, the phrase "awful lot" is used to emphasize the magnitude or intensity of a particular situation or quantity.