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I am not altogether convinced.

Does that mean that I am not completely convinced? Or that I am not convinced at all (=not at all)?

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  • It would be relatively "unusual" phrasing, but if you moved the negating not, as in I'm altogether not convinced most native speakers would understand that as meaning I am not at all convinced (as opposed to your version, natural phrasing which means I'm somewhat convinced, but not completely). Commented Dec 28, 2017 at 17:36
  • @FumbleFingers Thx for the explanation. But now I am a bit confused about the correctness of my last sentence in the question. Should it say "Or that I am not at all convinced?" if I mean that I am absolutely not convinced? Does "Or that I am not convinced at all?" mean that I am somewhat convinced, but not completely? Commented Dec 28, 2017 at 18:04
  • not at all means absolutely not (not in the slightest, to no extent whatsoever), whereas not completely, not altogether both usually imply partially, to some degree unless the speaker is being facetious and deliberately understating (thus, for example, I'm not altogether happy with this could actually mean I'm really unhappy/annoyed). Commented Dec 28, 2017 at 18:21
  • Note that if you really want to focus on the fact that you are actually partly convinced (as opposed to the fact that you're not convinced enough to actually believe it), you should probably use different words to make this clear. For example, What you say has some merit, but [reasons why you don't fully believe it]. Commented Dec 28, 2017 at 18:27
  • I think it sounds fine the way you have it and FumbleFingers' way, but I think the meaning changes. Your way, to me, sounds as though you were not completely convinced whereas "altogether not convinced" sounds as though you were completely not convinced, i.e., not convinced at all.
    – Nick
    Commented Dec 28, 2017 at 21:48

1 Answer 1

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Yes, you are correct it means not completely convinced.

The word altogether can also be used in sentences to express a total of something.

e.g. I have $460 altogether.

e.g. Altogether, I have $50 in my pocket.

Be careful not to mix this word up with all together which means everybody or everything together.

e.g. Put the cups all together on the shelf.

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