The phrase all together means “all at once” or “all in one place or one group” or “at the same time.” The closest translation in Filipino would be “sabay-sabay.”
- They arrived all together.
- We were all together for the whole day [note: all in one group, all with each other].
Altogether is an adverb (describing anything except a noun). It means completely, totally, “including everything or everyone” or “in total.”
- It stopped raining altogether [that is, it stopped raining completely].
- This is an altogether more sensible solution (note: the solution is sensible taking everything into consideration).
- He had married several times and had forty-six children altogether (total of 46 children).
- You owe me P1,000 altogether.
The Oxford Dictionary of English discusses how to use these two terms:
Note that altogether and all together do not mean the same thing. Altogether means ‘in total’, as in there are six bedrooms altogether, whereas all together means ‘all in one place’ or ‘all at once’, as in it was good to have a group of friends all together; they came in all together.
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