The Farlex Grammar Book > English Spelling and Pronunciation > Common Mistakes and Commonly Confused Words > all together vs. altogether
all together vs. altogether
What is the difference between all together and altogether?
The two-word phrase all together has the general meaning of “at the same time or in the same place as a group.” For example:
- “Now that we’re all together, I’d like to make an announcement.”
- “It’s so nice hearing the group singing all together again after so many years.”
Altogether, on the other hand, means “entirely or completely; all included; on the whole,” as in:
- “The meal was very good, but it was altogether too expensive.”
- “Altogether, we’ve seen a 20 percent rise in profits this year.”
Spelling Tricks and Tips
As a quick test to see which spelling is correct, try moving all to a different part of the sentence. If it still makes sense, then all together is correct; if not, altogether is the right choice. For example:
- “He hid the cash all together in the floorboards beneath his bed.”
- “He hid all the cash together in the floorboards beneath his bed.” (The new sentence makes sense, so all together is correct.)
- “After failing the class, he decided to drop out of school altogether.”
- “After failing the class, he decided to drop out of all school together.” (The sentence no longer makes sense, so altogether is correct.)
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