‘Afterall’ or ‘After All’: How to Spell It Correctly

By Amy Gilmore, updated on November 23, 2022

Some words are confusing no matter how many times you use them. It can be difficult to remember whether ‘afterall’ or ‘after all’ is correct. However, understanding the definition, correct usage, and origin can help you remember. 

‘After all’ is always two separate words. To learn why read this guide. It teaches you why you spell this phrase with two words, what it means, and more.

Is the Correct Spelling ‘Afterall’ or ‘After all?’

You always spell it as two separate words. However, this can be confusing because ‘after’ is combined or used as a prefix with many other words to create compound words. For example: 

  • Afterglow
  • Afterbirth
  • Afternoon
  • Afterthought
  • Aftermath
  • Afterlife
  • Afterglow
  • Afterimage

What Does ‘After All’ Mean?

It is a phrase people use when something will not occur in spite of their belief that it would. For example: 

  • She thought she would win the award but didn’t win ‘after all.’ 

However, it is also used to start a sentence in many cases. When used to start a sentence, it may have a slightly different meaning depending on the context. For example: 

  • Barry was elected class president. ‘After all,’ he is friends with everyone. 

Why is ‘After All’ Two Words? 

With so many other words that people combine with after, it may seem like ‘afterall’ is correct. However, compound words refer to one time, object, place, person, etc. ‘After all’ is more like an idiom meaning with all things considered or despite believing in or planning on something. 

Usage Examples

You should have a good grasp of how to use this term. However, here are a few additional examples: 

  • ‘After all,’ she is the best in the business. 
  • I am so sorry. I will not be able to make it ‘after all.’

Final Advice on ‘After All’ 

‘After all’ is one of the most confusing terms to remember in terms of spelling. With so many other words in the English language that use ‘after’ as a prefix, it is hard to remember that this idiom is two words. However, you can always reference writingtips.org if you need a refresher.

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Written By:
Amy Gilmore
Amy Gilmore is one of the lead freelance writers for WritingTips.org. She has been a professional writer and editor for the past eight years. She developed a love of language arts and literature in school and decided to become a professional freelance writer after a demanding career in real estate. Amy is constantly learning to become a better writer and loves sharing tips with other writers who want to do the same.

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