The English language has many words & phrases that seem similar at first glance but have different meanings. In this post, we’ll analyze two of the most commonly confused words, at least or atleast! Read on to find out which is the correct spelling.
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What’s The Correct Spelling: At Least or Atleast?
There are many words in the English language with multiple meanings, just like unto & onto. New writers often get words that look similar, like confused. And it is easy to see why! Let’s discuss the difference between the one word & two word phrase at least!
- At Least – The correct spelling of at least has two words! This phrase means the minimum or smallest amount of something. We’ll use some examples to demonstrate the correct way to use this phrase in the next sections!
- Atleast – Not a real word & should not be used in your writing. This is a common misspelling of the correct phrase at least.
Takeaway: At least is the correct version. Atleast is not a real word.
How To Use At Least
At least is an popular phrase to use in both formal writing and casual conversation. It implies not less than what its followed by, or at the minimum that amount. In most cases, it is used to refer to an amount of money but it can apply to other situations.
- For example, when you get assigned a research paper you teacher may require you to cite at least four sources.
This means that you must cite a minimum of four sources or you will get a lower grade on your paper! However, just like the words Auntie & Aunty, writers often get it confused!
The phrase “at least” is also used for recognition or agreement.
- For example, “My teacher deducted two points but at least he acknowledged by answer was the best in the class!”
Here are several example sentences that demonstrate how to use the two word phrase “at least”.
- You should at least try the new restaurant downtown.
- I would at least like to see the movie before I make a judgement.
- She should at least tell me what’s wrong.
- He will at least need a band-aid for that cut.
- We could at least go for a walk in the park.
Just like we saw when comparing everyone’s or everyones’, small spelling & punctuation changes can make a huge difference.
How To Use Atleast
Atleast is the incorrect spelling of the two words “at least”. Atleast is not a real word and is grammatically correct to use in your writing.
- Incorrect: You will need to take atleast $40 to the football game tonight.
- Correct: You will need to take at least $40 to the football game tonight.
There are many different ways you can use the phrase “at least”. Here are some of the most popular synonyms.
- At the very least
- To say the least
- In the very least
- At a minimum
- At the bare minimum
By reviewing Google’s Ngram Viewer you can see that at least is far more popular than atleast. And this makes sense because atleast is NOT a word!
However, just like we saw in our analysis of the words Ither & Either, writers often use incorrect grammar. As time goes on there is no predicting if the phrase at least will grow in popularity.
UK vs American English
Generally speaking, the UK & USA follow very similar spelling & grammar rules. However, there are many situations where the American & UK English grammar rules are not the same.
In this case, there is no difference between American & British grammar rule. Atleast is not a word in either set of spelling rulesets!
Frequently Asked Questions
You might say “maybe I’m not a genius, but at least I graduated college.” By definition, atleast is not a real word and you should not write it.
At least is two words and should never be spelled as one word. You might say “I didn’t get to present my final thoughts, but at least I got my point across.”
Here are two example sentences using the phrase at least. “I need at least two hours to finish this project” or “we have at least three options to choose from.”
The phrase at least two means no less than two. If you say I need at least two dollars you mean two dollars is the smallest amount of money you can accept.
The Bottom Line
By now you should be an expert on the difference between atleast & at least! As we already mentioned, atleast is not a real word and should not be used in any context. At least is the correct spelling & is used to mean “minimum” or “no less than”! If you need some more help with this spelling rule, consider using our check grammar online english tool FREE of charge!