The second BE THE EDITOR series kicked off on January 21st! BE THE EDITOR is a great way to test your grammar, learn, and have fun!
Series 2 started with the sentence you see in the image. I asked people what made their inner editor twitch!
The first response was to remove all together. I asked why. I was told that it’s redundant. Also, this person didn’t recall see it as two words, but as one word: altogether.
This, of course, was the sneaky point of using this sentence. In many of my editing books, several pages are reserved for words that are easily confused—for example, capitol, capital, Capitol!
So what is the difference between all together and altogether? They’re both valid in their respective contexts, and they both have different, although slightly similar, meanings.
Altogether is an adverb (remember, adverbs modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs. They often, but not always, end in ly. As you can see, altogether does not end in ly.
Here is a list of phrases that are synonyms of altogether:
● entirely, totally, completely, wholly
● to the full extent
● with all things considered
● on the whole
● all told
● in total, in all
All together means “all in one place,” “all at once,” or “all at the same time.” Therefore, it’s clear to see that “all together” wasn’t the best choice for this sentence. Thanks, Kath, for your wise input!
Meet the Editor
I'm Coreen, and I am a copy editor, writer, instructor, digital marketer, and student of PR and Communications for organizations doing positive work in the world.