Synonyms of all in English:
1 all the children went home all creatures need sleep all of the applicants were overqualified
each of, each one of, every one of, every single one of;
every (single), each and every
[Antonyms] no, none of
pronounBack to top
adverbBack to top
, forming words meaning ‘relating to all, including all,’ such as omniscient (‘knowing everything’) and pan-African (‘including the whole of the African continent’)
Other than as an ironic idiom for ‘no more than’ (e.g., sex with Edgar lasts all of twenty seconds), does all of have any legit uses? The answer is a qualified, complicated, and personally embarrassed yes. Here's the story. An irksome habit of many student writers is to just automatically stick an of between all and any noun that follows— all of the firemen posed for the calendar; she gave the disease to all of her friends—and I have spent nearly a decade telling undergrads to abjure this habit, for two reasons. The first is that an excess of of's is one of the surest signs of flabby or maladroit writing, and the second is that the usage is often wrong. Over and over, in conference and class, I have promulgated the following rule: Except for the ironic-idiom case, the only time it's correct to use all of is when the adjective phrase is followed by a pronoun— all of them got pink-eye; I wanted Edgar to have all of me—unless, however, the relevant pronoun is possessive, in which case you must again omit the of, as in all my relatives despise Edgar. Only a few weeks ago, however, I learned (from a bright student who had gotten annoyed enough at my constant hectoring to start poring over usage guides in the hope of finding something I'd been wrong about that she could raise her hand at just the right moment in class and embarrass me with . . . which she did, and I was, and deserved it—there's nothing worse than a pedant who's wrong) that there's actually one more complication to the first part of the rule. With all plus a noun, it turns out that a medial of is required if the noun is possessive, as in all of Edgar's problems stem from his childhood or all of Dave's bombast came back to haunt him that day. I doubt now I'll ever forget this.David Foster Wallace
My addendum to the preceding note by David Foster Wallace:One colloquial American phrase that seems to demand of after all is the somewhat breathless all of a sudden, which I hate but which is almost unavoidable in everyday speech. Here someone tries to convey blinding surprise in a manner that has the singular effect of depleting all such surprise for the listener/reader. ( Listen to this funny story works similarly in that it instantly kills all comedy.) If it must be used, all of a sudden is superior to the grosser all the sudden, unless used in dialogue to convey an extreme idiomaticity.Joshua Ferris
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