Thursday, March 12, 2009

English Grammar Point - All together vs Altogether

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All together

All together means everyone or everything together.

It's time to practice singing. All together now!

The last time we were all together was in 1997.

Put the books all together on the table.

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Tip: If the two terms can be separated, that's a sure clue that the term you want is all together.

It's time for all of us to sing together now!

The last time all of us were together was in 1997.

Put all the books together on the table.

Notice how all and together are apart and the meaning of the sentence does not change.


Altogether is an adverb and means "all in all," "all told," "wholly" or "completely."

That was altogether (completely) too difficult

Altogether (all in all) , not a bad day's work.

It cost over a thousand dollars altogether (in total).

The Bottom Line

If you can replace the term with something like "completely" or "all in all," you are altogether better off with altogether. If you can rewrite the sentence to use all and together separately, the term you want is all together.

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