Writing Tip #101

All together versus altogether. Here’s another one that stymies writers, but the rule is easy to remember. The word altogether is an adverb that means entirely or all told or in total. So when you’re unsure about whether you should use all together or altogether, just replace with entirely or all told or in total. If the sentence makes sense, then the correct word is altogether. If it doesn’t, use the two-word all together (which means all in one place).

Got it? Hmmm… What’s the correct answer for this sentence?

You should have five emails from me in your inbox ____________. (all together or altogether?)

So what do you think?

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5 thoughts on “Writing Tip #101

  1. This one got me in a first reading of my ms — when I misused all together and meant altogether…. so I can answer it this time. Altogether. But I’m glad to see you address it because it’s a common error (at least for me!).

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