'Altogether' vs 'All together': What's the Difference?

By Shanea Patterson, updated on January 4, 2023

You might have seen the phrase spelled ‘altogether’ and ‘all together.’ But what’s the difference? And which one is correct? We’ll cover that in detail in this article, plus you’ll learn how to use both correctly in a sentence.

But the quick answer is that ‘altogether’ means ‘completely’ or ‘all things considered.’

‘All together’ means ‘everything together’ or ‘everyone together.’

‘Altogether’ vs. ‘All Together’

We just learned that ‘altogether’ means ‘completely’ or ‘all things considered’ and that ‘all together’ means ‘everyone together’ or ‘everything together.’

Therefore, you shouldn’t use these terms interchangeably, even though they’re spelled very similarly.

‘Altogether’ vs. ‘All Together’ – What’s the Difference?

We just went over the major differences between ‘altogether’ and ‘all together.’ Although they sound the same, they mean different things.

They’re what’s considered homophones.

Understanding Homophones

Homophones are words that sound the same but mean different things.

Take a look at some examples:

  • There/They’re/Their
  • Two/Too/To
  • Son/Sun
  • Bear/Bare
  • Be/Bee
  • Air/Heir
  • Buy/By
  • Cell/Sell
  • Brake/Break
  • Serial/Cereal
  • Dear/Deer
  • Die/Dye
  • Flour/Flower

Now that we know what a homophone is, let’s quickly define both words so we know how to use them in a sentence later.

Definition and Meaning of ‘Altogether’

The Merriam-Webster definition of ‘altogether’ is: “wholly, completely,” “in all: all told,” and “on the whole.”

The noun means: “nude > used with the.”

Definition and Meaning of ‘All Together’ 

Let’s break down the phrase and define each word. Then, we’ll define the phrase as a whole.

The Merriam-Webster definition of ‘all’ is: “the whole amount, quantity, or extent of,” “as much as possible,” “every member or an individual component of,” “the whole number or sum of,” “every,” “any whatever,” “nothing but: only,” “completely taken up with, given to, or absorbed by,” “having or seeming to have (some physical feature) in conspicuous excess or prominence,” “paying full attention with,” “dialect: used up: entirely consumed > used especially of food and drink,” and “being more than one person or thing.”

The adverb definition is: “wholly, quite,” “selected as the best (as a sport) within an area or organization > used in combination,” “obsolete: only, exclusively,” “archaic: just,” “so much,” and “for each side: apiece.”

The pronoun means: “the whole number, quantity, or amount: totally,” “used in such phrases for all I know, for all I care, and for all the good it does to indicate a lack of knowledge, interest, or effectiveness,” “everybody, everything.”

It also means: “the whole of one’s possessions, resources, or energy.”

The Merriam-Webster definition of ‘together’ is: “in or into one place, mass, collection, or group,” “in a body: as a group,” “in or into contact, connection, collision, or union,” “in or into association or relationship,” “at one time: simultaneously,” “in succession,” “by combined action: jointly,” in or into agreement or harmony,” “in or into a unified or coherent structure or an integrated whole,” “with each other > used as an intensive after certain verbs,” “as a unit: in the aggregate,” and “considered as a whole: counted or summed up.”

It also means: “appropriately prepared, organized, or balanced” and “composed in mind or manner: self-possessed.”

Synonyms of the word include:


  • Coincidentally
  • Contemporaneously
  • Coincidently
  • Simultaneously
  • Concurrently


  • Calm
  • Collected
  • Composed
  • Coolheaded
  • Level
  • Placid
  • Sedate
  • Equal
  • Peaceful
  • Self-Composed
  • Smooth
  • Tranquil
  • Unperturbed
  • Unshaken
  • Untroubled

The phrase ‘all together’ is simply a combination of the words ‘all’ and ‘together.’ Let’s look at some examples of how to use them both correctly in a sentence.

When to Use ‘Altogether’  

We’ve covered that ‘altogether’ is an adverb that means ‘taken as a whole’ or ‘completely.’

Let’s take a look at some examples of how to use it in a sentence.

  • We were supposed to come up with a quick fix, but instead, we’ve got an altogether new idea.
  • Let’s just avoid running into Steven altogether. It’d be way too awkward after our breakup.
  • Altogether, they were able to make the town’s largest pancake. Then, they got to eat it!
  • I never imagined my fiancée would disappear altogether.
  • By noon, it had stopped raining altogether. It was a welcome relief from the torrential downpour that lasted throughout the morning.
  • I decided to give up on getting my license. I failed the test ten times!

When to Use ‘All Together’  

Now, when it comes to using ‘all together,’ only use it to mean ‘in the same place’ or ‘at the same time.’ It’s never used as an adverb.

Take a look at some examples of how to use it in a sentence.

  • We can do this if we do it all together.
  • We have to do the project all together, as a group. Mrs. Caprice said so.
  • We were all together for the last night of the year celebrating New Year’s.
  • All together, we were able to raise $100,000 for our charity. That’s a lot of money for one night!
  • I’m so glad we’re all together for Mom’s birthday.
  • Are y’all planning on coming? Dad wants to get us all together for a family reunion.

Concluding Thoughts on ‘Altogether’ and ‘All Together’ 

To recap, we’ve learned that ‘altogether’ means complete and ‘all together’ means in the same place or at the same time. Use the above sentence examples as a guide when crafting your own.

If you’re struggling with confusing words and phrases while learning English, you can always come check out our library of content on confusing words.

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Written By:
Shanea Patterson
Shanea Patterson is a writer based in New York and loves writing for brands big and small. She has a master's degree in professional writing from New York University and a bachelor's degree in English from Mercy College.

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