It would be easy to imagine that these words represent an evolution: two words becoming one. In fact, they have distinct meanings. Hereâ€™s how to keep each in its place.
Altogether can mean entirely, utterly or completely; on the whole; or with everything included:
Thatâ€™s a different point altogether.
Altogether the meeting was a success.
You owe Â£500 altogether.
All together means in or as a group (a physical or conceptual one), collectively; or in one place:
Letâ€™s sing our office theme song: all together now!
Once everyoneâ€™s ideas were in, we were able to bring it all together.
Weâ€™re all together in this.
A good way to test which version you want is to see if you can put another word (or words) between the all and the together.
Are we altogether convinced weâ€™re all in this together?
Now thatâ€™s clear, take a moment to enjoy what, surely, is the best example of people altogether confused over which is which.