Commonly Confused: The “All” Words (all together/altogether; all ready/already; all right, but not alright)

May 20, 2006

These pairs of homonyms (words that are pronounced alike) can cause confusion in choosing the proper words to use in standard written English. Review the differences between the words in each pair.

all together/altogether

"all together" means "in a group" when used as an adjective or "at the same time" when used as an adverb.

We were all together in the car. ("all together" is used as an adjective modifying "we")

We went to the concert all together. ("all together" is used as an adverb modifying "went")

"altogether" is an adverb that means "entirely, wholly, completely."

I am altogether fed up with your behavior. ("altogether" is used as an adverb modifying "fed up")

all ready/already

"all ready" is an adjective that means "all prepared."

We were all ready to go to the concert. ("all ready" is an adjective modifying "we")

"already" is an adverb that means "previously."

When we got there, the opening band had already played. ("already" is an adverb modifying "played")

all right/alright

"all right" means "satisfactory" when used as an adjective and "satisfactorily" when used as an adverb.

The opening band was all right, but the headline band was amazing. ("all right" is used as an adjective modifying "band")

The opening band played all right, but the headline band really brought down the house. ("all right" is used as an adverb modifying "played")

"alright" is not a word. Do not use it.

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5 Responses to “Commonly Confused: The “All” Words (all together/altogether; all ready/already; all right, but not alright)”

  1. Boomshakalaka Says:

    alright is controversy. Some people say it is wrong, some say it is correct.

  2. stellarooj Says:

    thank you so much i was confused wid these words

  3. ミク Says:

    Thank you so much I finally get it now :D

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