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Is Altogether One Word or Two? (Altogether or All Together?)

Altogether is a compound word, whereas all together is an all-phrase.

“Altogether” vs. “all together”

Are altogether and all together the same word? If not, what’s the difference between them? These frequently confused words are homophones in English; which is probably why they’re so often confused with each other.

Though both words sound alike and are spelled similarly, they are different words with two distinct meanings. This means they’re not interchangeable with each other, so make sure not to confuse the two in writing!

When to use ‘altogether’ vs. ‘all together’

Examples with “altogether”Examples with “all together”
How much is that altogether?Mix it all together with a spoon.

All together (two words) means doing something all together, as one group, or together with everyone else: Put the rice and the vegetables in the pot and mix them all together.

Altogether (one word) is an adverb that means “completely,” “totally” or “entirely”: I stopped seeing her altogether.

See how altogether works similarly to words like ‘completely’, ‘entirely,’ or ‘fully.’ This demonstrates the correct context and use of the single word altogether.

The difference between altogether and all together then is that “all together” is one of the many phrases of “all” (all* meaning ‘each’ or ‘every’, or ‘everyone’.) There are numerous ‘all’ phrases in English: all along, all right are a few examples.

Altogether is an adverb. Sometimes altogether can be used as a conclusion transition word in sentences. In this way, it’s similar to ‘all things considered,’ or ‘all in all.’ For example, ‘Altogether, the argument does not stand in the end.’

“Altogether” / “all together”, used in sentences

Examples: “altogether’ used in sentences
He had married several times and had six children altogether.

Altogether, I’m glad it’s over.

I’m not altogether sure that I’d trust him

The debt amounted altogether to twenty dollars.

When he first saw the examination questions, he was altogether baffled.

’Tis altogether vain to learn wisdom and yet live foolishly. (Dutch Proverbs)
Examples: “all together’ used in sentences
Let’s sing ‘Happy Birthday’. All together now!

Place your books all together so we don’t forget them in the morning.

The wedding guests were gathered all together in the garden.

The girls were happy when the teacher put them all together in a group.

The waiter asked if we were all together so I explained that we were two separate parties.

It is difficult to get them all together under one roof.

Synonyms of ‘altogether’

These words and phrases share a similar meaning with the phrase altogether, and are synonyms:

  • on the whole
  • all things considered
  • en masse
  • generally
  • by and large
  • in all
  • in sum
  • everything included
  • collectively
  • for the most part

Synonyms for ‘all together’

  • all at once
  • contemporaneously
  • jointly
  • simultaneously
  • synchronously
  • unitedly

Other commonly confused compounds

Many extremely common words that people use as compound words are often either single words, or could be a compound word (depending on the context in which it’s used.) Take a look at these other commonly confused as-a-compound words:

Alright vs all right: Alright is a compound of all right. Technically, alright is informal and should be avoided in formal writing.

Alot vs a lot: Alot is not a word and should be avoided period. A lot is a phrase or idiom, it means “very much” of something. It’s a flexible and versatile term that is frequently used, perhaps a little too much … or a lot.

Nevermind vs never mind: It’s ‘never mind’ as two words. Sorry, Nirvana, but the album probably resulted in an aggregate dip in correct grammar. Hopefully the reference makes sense; If not, never mind. What started as a hunch is now confirmed, only at #Gflex. Check out this fun fact to whip out at the next social party or event: #FunFact Checked: Nirvana’s 1991 studio album “Nevermind” did indeed correlate with a noticeable increase in the one-worded version and incorrect spelling of ‘nevermind’ ! Every time vs everytime: the correct way to write every time is as two words, not one, every time.

In review: altogether/all together

Altogether and all together are homophones and mean different things in English. These words cannot be used interchangeably in writing (in conversation they sound the same, so it won’t matter.) In writing, the one word ‘altogether’ and two words ‘all together’ carry distinct meanings.

· Altogether means “completely,” or “entirely.”

· All together as two words means doing something as a group, or along with everyone else.

Make sure not to get these words confused with each other in writing

Keep reading! 

Commonly misused wordsUK English vs. US English
former vs. latterburned or burnt?
bear with vs. bare withcolor or colour?
breathe or breathfavorite vs. favourite
compliment vs. complementsmelled or smelt?
effect vs. affectgray or grey?
elude or alludefavor vs. favour
it’s or itsanalyze or analyse?


  1. Nevermind Nirvana
  2. Synonyms for altogether
  3. Commonly confused compounds
  4. Dutch Proverbs
  5. Sentence examples for all together
  6. Nordquist, Richard, “All Together vs. Altogether.” ThoughtCo, Aug. 26, 2020

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