RE: Grammar question

Subject: RE: Grammar question
From: "walden miller" <wmiller -at- vidiom -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 12 Oct 2000 16:01:28 -0600

> Does anyone know if there is a rule about using "all" versus "all of"?
> For example, "This enables the user to view all of the files, " versus,
> "This enables the user to view all the files."

For an excellent discussion of the history of "all" vs "all of" refer to the
Webster's Dictionary of English Usage.

both constructions date back at least to Shakespeare. And all preceding a
pronoun (all we) dates back to at least the 13th century (king james bible).
It is all very fascinating.

The final wrap-up is:

We can conclude that "all of" is usual before personal pronouns, both "all"
and "all of" are used before nouns--the "all" users seem to be a bit
stronger on the literary side. The choice is a matter of style and it is
likely to turn on the rhythm and emphasis of your sentence. It is unlikely
that most of your readers will even notice which construction you have

I love my usage dictionary.


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