As with other homophones (words that are pronounced the same but have different meanings and oftentimes spelling), it is not suprising for people to be confused about the words altogether and all together.
Below are simple tips on how we can unknot this issue.
Altogether is an adverb that means “completely/totally,” “including everything,” or “taking everything into consideration.” Since it functions as an adverb, altogether cannot be used in a sentence without a verb that it describes. Below are examples of the proper use of altogether:
“Embarrassment as final Divergent movie to skip cinemas altogether”
“Toyota seeks to stop investing in diesel engines altogether: exec”
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In the first two examples, you can subsititute altogether with completely or totally and there would not be any change in the meaning of the sentence.
“Paper Round: Russia to be banned from Rio altogether, Arsenal want Mahrez and Lacazette for £75m”
This particular sentence indicates that taking everything in consideration, Russia will be banned from the Rio Olympics.
On the other hand, the two-word phrase all together means “all in one place or in a group” or “all at once.”
“CONNIE MACK BASEBALL: Towamencin puts it all together at right time”
In this example, all together is used to indicate that all the Towamencin baseball team players come together as a group in a timely manner.
“National Parks May Be The Thing That Will Bring Us All Together”
This sentence denotes that national parks may be able to bring people all in one place.
“Ex-Chelsea man looking to put it all together for Hartlepool”
This last example sends the message that a former Chelsea football player is planning to give his best all at once for Hartlepool.
In summary, you can avoid misusing altogether and all together by simply remembering their uses. If you can substitute the term with completely for your sentence and it is used as an adverb, then you should choose altogether. Meanwhile, if you can use all and together separately in the sentence, then the correct term to use is all together.
Can you come up with your own sentences using altogether and all together?