What happens when two words become one? Sometimes, like with \u201call right\u201d and \u201calright,\u201d both terms mean the same thing. But then we have \u201call together\u201d and \u201caltogether.\u201d These terms have a shared origin, but they have also developed distinct meanings in modern English. How, then, should we use them? And how can you avoid errors in your writing? Let us explain.\nAll Together (All in One Place or All in Unison)\nWritten as two words, \u201call together\u201d usually means \u201call in one place\u201d:\nMy family and I were all together on vacation last year.\nA slightly different use is to mean \u201call in unison\u201d or \u201call at the same time\u201d:\nLet\u2019s sing a Christmas carol. All together now!\nWe can also separate the \u201call\u201d and \u201ctogether\u201d in some sentences. For example:\nAll of my family and I were together on vacation last year.\nLet\u2019s all sing a Christmas carol together!\nThese mean the same as the equivalent sentences above, but they have been restructured. The key factor is that \u201call\u201d is a determiner and \u201ctogether\u201d is an adverb in all of these sentences.\nAltogether (Entirely or Taken as a Whole)\nWritten as one word, \u201caltogether\u201d usually means \u201centirely\u201d or \u201ccompletely\u201d:\nI\u2019m not altogether sure you used that word correctly.\nAnother use is to mean \u201ctakes as a whole\u201d or \u201call things considered\u201d:\nAltogether, it was the best Christmas we ever had.\nFinally, especially in the UK, \u201cin the altogether\u201d is a slang phrase for being nude. You probably don\u2019t need to know this, as it\u2019s quite rare. But we find the phrase amusing, so we thought we\u2019d share.\nAll Together or Altogether?\nThese terms have developed distinct meanings over time, so make sure not to confuse them. Remember:\n\n \tThe two-word phrase all together means \u201call in one place\u201d or \u201call in unison.\u201d\n \tWritten as a single word, altogether means \u201centirely\u201d or \u201ctaken as a whole.\u201d\n\nIf you are unsure which to use, try replacing it in the sentence with \u201centirely\u201d or \u201ctaken as a whole.\u201d If the replacement fits, \u201caltogether\u201d will be correct. Otherwise, \u201call together\u201d will be correct. And if you\u2019d like any help checking the spelling in your writing, feel free to get in touch.