All right vs. Alright

A common doubt that even native English speakers have is whether to write All right (two words) or Alright (one word).

What is the difference between All right and Alright?

All right (adjective/adverb): in a satisfactory manner but not especially good; acceptable; suitable

  • I was a little worried though everything turned out all right in the end.
  • The food at the restaurant was all right though it wasn’t anything special.

Alright: is the non-standard / informal version of all right.

Ok, a quick look in the Oxford Learner’s Dictionary and you will find the word Alright.

What does it say?

Alright (adv) (non-standard or informal) = all right

So it says it’s non-standard, which is the nice way for a dictionary to say “not the correct or accepted way”.

I suppose they included it in the dictionary because so many people looked up the word with that spelling.
The standard way is as two words: all right.

BUT WAIT!

On the Oxford Dictionary website they say:

There is no logical reason for insisting that all right should be written as two words…

Nevertheless, alright is still regarded as being unacceptable in formal writing.

In the Merriam-Webster dictionary they say the following:

Although the spelling alright is nearly as old as all right, some critics have insisted alright is all wrong…

… It is less frequent than all right but remains common especially in informal writing.

Interesting how they both disagree with what the critics / grammar gurus say.

With both dictionaries saying they both forms are in theory correct, I did a quick Google search to see how frequent each term is.

All right – 181,000,000 results
Alright – 123,000,000 results

There’s not much of a difference in results, is there?

So what should I write?

It is best to avoid writing alright as many regard it as incorrect.
Using all right is never wrong so is the safest to use, especially in formal writing.

The difference between All right and Alright in English.

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