Home > Grammar > The “All” Confusion

The “All” Confusion

Confusion often arises when we’re trying to decide if we want to use the word ALL or if we should be using the corresponding prefix. For example, do you know the difference between ALL READY and ALREADY? Do you know the difference between ALL TOGETHER and ALTOGETHER? Does it really matter which one you use? It does! Check out the differences below!

all ready/already

ALL READY (adjective phrase) means: completely ready, prepared

“I am all ready to leave for the cruise.”

ALREADY (adverb) means: previously

“I have already been on several cruises.”

And when you combine the two…

“I’ve already packed my bags so I am all ready to leave on the cruise!”

all together/altogether

ALL TOGETHER (adverb phrase) means: in a group

“If you all join in now, we could sing this new song all together.”

ALTOGETHER (adverb) means: wholly, completely, entirely

“It is altogether more than I can comprehend.”

And when you combine the two….

“It is altogether more than I can comprehend that you were able to arrange that we meet here all together.”

all right/alright

The general consensus of the various style guides is that ALRIGHT is a misspelling of the two words ALL RIGHT. Though the use of alright is becoming more readily acceptable, it is still considered by grammarians to be incorrect. Though you may at times be able to get away with writing alright, you will always be correct when you write all right!

  1. September 21, 2011 at 9:19 am

    Always and ever helpful. Thanks so much Rosie for bringing major mess-ups to light to help us all become better writers. I truly cherish your wisdom, insight, and great attitude; not just regarding writing, but regarding life as well. 😉

  2. September 21, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    Excellent description and a great reminder. Thanks!

  3. September 21, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    What a great post. So easy for some to confuse. Thank you for such good information! 🙂

  4. Lisa Mather
    September 21, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    Never knew that alright was a misinterpretation of all right. Spell check doesn’t even catch it.

    • September 21, 2011 at 6:36 pm

      That’s because it is becoming more accepted. You can probably get away with it for the most part. In formal writing, if you want to keep all the grammarians happy, then stick with ALL RIGHT! 🙂

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