Common Mistakes : All

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Common Mistakes

Common Mistakes : All

 

All – Pronoun

DUBIOUS: He spent all the journey talking about accidents

GOOD: He spent the whole journey talking about accidents

BAD: This decision changed all of her life

GOOD: This decision changed her whole life

Before the singular form of a countable noun we usually use whole or entire : ‘We spent the whole lesson singing songs.’ ‘The entire document will have to be rewritten.’ Note that sometimes both all and whole/entire are possible: ‘It rained the whole/all the afternoon.’ In these cases, whole/entire provides greater emphasis and often express a feeling of surprise, disappointment, satisfaction etc: I read the whole book in just two evenings

BAD: People envy her because she is good at all

GOOD: People envy her because she is good at everything

BAD: Nobody understands all

GOOD: Nobody understands everything

Do not use all to mean ‘everything’ unless it is immediately followed by a relative clause: Is that all she wanted to know

BAD: All of us didn’t want to go to bed

GOOD: None of us wanted to go to bed

BAD: All companies will not tolerate lazy workers

GOOD: No company will tolerate lazy workers

BAD: We all must try to find a solution to the problem

GOOD: We must all try to find a solution to the problem

BAD: We all were delighted when we heard the news

GOOD: We were all delighted when we heard the news

BAD: As all you know, my name is Mary Smith

GOOD: As you all know, my name is Mary Smith

BAD: I’ve never forgotten how beautiful all it was

GOOD: I’ve never forgotten how beautiful it all was

All of is placed immediately before a pronoun, but all is placed immediately after. Compare: ‘All of them speak French.’ They all speak French

BAD: I like all the kinds of music

GOOD: I like all kinds of music

BAD: All of children learn to speak naturally

GOOD: All children learn to speak naturally

BAD: All of the young couples need a home of their own

GOOD: All young couples need a home of their own

For general reference, put all/most/some etc immediately in front of the noun: In Japan most people use chopsticks

For specific reference, use all/most/some + of the/these/their etc + noun: Most of the Americans I met were very friendly

BAD: I didn’t like the meal and couldn’t eat all

GOOD: I didn’t like the meal and couldn’t eat it all

GOOD: I didn’t like the meal and couldn’t eat all of it

Do not use all to replace a pronoun. Use all (or all of ) with a pronoun: She took six exams and passed them all.’ ‘She took six exams and passed all of them

Common Mistakes : All
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