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“Atleast” vs. “At Least”

“Atleast” vs. “At Least”

Here is a nugget of valuable, albeit blunt, advice: don’t believe people who claim grammar isn’t important — because the opposite is true.

Poor diction and writing mechanics can rob you of job opportunities and even limit your social circles.

Because despite the best of intentions, we humans harbor heaps of unconscious judgment about how other people speak and write.

We may snicker with smug superiority when someone says “I am doing good” instead of “I am doing well.”

We may chortle and roll our eyes when “irregardless” flies from the mouths of people who think they’re much smarter than they are.

And yes, most educated individuals will disapprovingly crinkle their nose when confronted with “atleast” in a letter, text, resume, essay, or article.


“Atleast” v. “At Least”: Which One Is Correct?

The bottom line is that “atleast” is not a word. The correct version is “at least.”

“At” is a preposition denoting a particular time, place, date, state of being, or condition. The word “least” is an adjective that comes from the Old English word “læsest,” which means “lowest or smallest in power or position.

“People may also say “at the very least,” which means the same as “at least” with a tad more emphasis.


Diving Deeper Into “At Least”

“At least” is one of those phrases commonly mistaken for one word. Other common terms in this category include “a lot,” “a bit,” and “a little.”


Use “At Least” in a Sentence

“At least” is one of those phrases that can be used in a variety of circumstances. Let’s review a few.


“At Least” Example #1

At least we didn’t have to go to the hospital.

In this sentence, the speaker is expressing relief about avoiding a hospital visit. In this instance, “at least” serves as an expression of thankfulness.


“At Least” Example #2

We need at least 20 volunteers to make the event work.

In this statement, “at least” acts as a numerical qualifier. The speaker is saying that a certain amount of volunteers is needed to pull off an event. Synonyms for “at least” in this sentence could include “a minimum of” and “no less than.”


“At Least” Example #3

He wasn’t very smart, but at least he was kind.

“At least” in this sentence refers to an unquantifiable sentiment. The speaker is arguing that although a man is lacking in one way, he makes up for it in another way.