Both vs. Together

Together or both? Where do we use them? Do they mean differently? These are the questions asked commonly by English learners. Let’s take a look at them.

"Both" vs. "Together" in the English Grammar

What Are Their Main Differences?

Although finding the difference between 'together and 'both' seems hard, we have tried to monitor them closely to make them easy for you. Together means with each other, but both means two of something. If we study them closely we will understand that 'both' refers to only two people or things, while 'together' can refer to two or more people and things at the same time. They imply two delicate different meanings and in some cases, they look really similar.


Grammatical functions

  • 'Together':
  1. as an adverb
  2. as an adjective

If you want to talk about doing something at the same place and time in each other's company or with each other, 'together' is used as an adverb of manner. As an adjective, it is used to refer to someone who is sensible, smart, and mentally stable. Remember that, these are not all the meanings for 'together' looking up in your dictionary would help you find more definitions.

I must fold them together unless the meat would get out of dumpling. → adverb

Caroline seems to be a together person. → adjective

Here, 'a together person' is considered a 'slang'.

The Use of 'Together'

In addition to being an adverb and an adjective, 'together' has a leading role to make some important phrasal verbs. Here are some phrasal verbs made with the help of the term 'together'.

  • hold together
  • put together
  • get together
  • work together
  • stay together ,etc.

The Position of 'Together' as an Adverb of Manner

'Together' can be placed before the preposition and after the object. Check out the examples to learn them easily.

We ran together to the park.

We ran to the park, together.

With 'intransitive verbs' that cannot get any objects, 'together' is used directly after the verb.

Alan and Sophia lived together.

They danced together.

Sometimes 'together' is placed at the beginning of the sentence before the [verb + object] to put emphasis on it; otherwise, it comes after the [verb + object].

Together, we will make a strong team.

We will make a strong team, together.

  • 'Both':
  1. as a determiner
  2. as a pronoun

'Both' as a determiner is used before plural nouns and as a pronoun it is used before verbs with no nouns immediately following it.

Both friends would study hard for the exam. → determiner

Both are scared of cockroach. → pronoun

The Use of 'Both'

'Both' is used to refer to two people or things at the same time. It is used to give the same information that is true for both of the items. Remember when we use both we are referring to the only members of the group it means that there are just two of them.

Both of my grandmothers are good cooks.

It is either me or him. You can't have it both ways.

Idioms with 'Both'

The term 'both' is used in English idioms a lot with different meanings. Since these idioms are numerous, we can not have them all, in the article. Here are some common English idioms with the term 'both':

  • bat for both sides
  • burn both ends of the candle
  • best of both worlds
  • can't find one's butt with both hands
  • swing both ways, etc.

Why They Are Easy to Use

  • 'Both' and 'together':

are two completely different words with different meanings, so they are distinguished easily.

We have to be together as a team unless we’ll lose the game.

Both teams are at the same level.


In Groups of Two

In groups of two members, we mean groups that have only two members 'together' and 'both' can imply the same meanings relied on the sentence. Sometimes they are the same, sometimes they are not. This, only depends on the sentence They are used in, however, 'both' never indicates that they are doing something in each other's company. Check out the examples.

They tried to find the code, together.

Both helped to find the code.


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