Is it altogether or all together?

Both of these expressions exist in British English. They do, however, have different meanings and are commonly mixed up.

Altogether:

This means ‘entirely’, ‘completely’, ‘utterly’, ‘all told’, ‘all in all’ and ‘with everything considered’.

Examples:

  • Altogether, there were 50 of them.
  • They were altogether different from usual.
  • He had an altogether odd view of the world of grammar.

All together:

This means several things or people have been brought together.

Examples:

  • The workers met all together in one room.
  • The countries’ people were standing all together.