Homonyms and a Pop Quiz on All vs.. al– Words

It’s a new month and “Word Wednesday,” so let’s bring some grammar lesson time with a word focus into this post and check in on some homonyms, compliments of GrammarBook.com.

This lesson goes back to September and focuses on the use of “two or more words having the same spelling or pronunciation but different meanings and origins.” This particular homonym lesson looks at several all and al- words that are often confused.

Homonyms often cause confusion. Here are a few tricky ones, mostly all vs. al- words, clarified for you.

Allot vs. ALot  The word allot means “to parcel out.”
Example: The company will allot each of us a cell phone.

The expression a lot means “many” or “much.”
We had a lot of fun.
A lot of people showed up for the concert.

Note that even though you may see alot written by a lot of people, there is no such word.


Allowed vs. Aloud  Allowed means “gave permission to.”
Example: You will be allowed to enter the theater in five minutes.

Aloud means “said out loud; spoken.”
Example: She read her work aloud at the poetry slam.


All ready vs. Already  These two words may sound alike when you say them, but they have distinct meanings.
All ready means “everything or everyone is now ready.”
Example: We are all ready to go.

Already means “previously” or “earlier than expected.”
Is summer over already? (earlier than expected)
I did the dishes already. (previously)


All right vs. Alright  The word alright is a casual form of the phrase all right; however, alright is not considered a correct spelling in formal writing.


Altar vs. Alter  An altar is a  pedestal, usually of a religious kind.
Example: They exchanged wedding vows at the altar of the church.

Alter means “to change.”
Example: Please don’t alter your plans.


All together vs. Altogether  All together, two words, means “in a group.”
We are all together in the photo.
It is wonderful to be all together to celebrate your birthday.

Altogether is an adverb meaning “entirely, completely, everything included.”
It is not altogether his fault. (entirely)
We had an altogether wonderful day. (completely)
Altogether, the groceries cost thirty dollars. (everything included)

And here is your pop quiz, the answers to which may be found at the link below – but don’t cheat!

Pop Quiz

1. We had to altar/alter our wedding plans because of the unseasonable rain.

2. I’m not sure that your conclusion is all together/altogether correct.

3. We were all together/altogether for our family reunion.

4. When will you be all ready/already to go to the party?

5. Are you all ready/already dressed to go to the party?

6. I like chocolate ice cream a lot/allot/alot.

7. Does that university a lot/allot/alot many scholarships?

8. Are you allowed/aloud to go off campus during lunch?

9. If you practice your speech allowed/aloud, you will memorize it more easily.

10. Tom said he felt all right/alright after the car accident.

Source: Allot vs. A Lot, Allowed vs. Aloud, All ready vs. Already, All right vs. Alright, Altar vs. Alter, All together vs. Altogether – Grammar and Punctuation

Published in: on November 6, 2019 at 9:25 PM  Leave a Comment