1. lostinwebspace
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    lostinwebspace Active Member

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    All [noun] vs. all of [noun]

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by lostinwebspace, Apr 6, 2011.

    Which is correct? Should I say "All of ..." or "All ..." as in, "All of my stuff was bought used." or "All my stuff was bought used." or "I have all of the money." What's the rule?

    By that token, what's the rule for "off vs off of," "both," "half," or any other word I may have forgotten?
     
  2. KP Williams
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    KP Williams Contributing Member

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    I haven't heard any specific rule on this, so I'll just say my gut feeling. I think leaving out the of is technically incorrect, but it doesn't seem like a rule people would go ballistic over. The only difference in my mind is that leaving out the "of" makes it sound more casual. For that reason, I'd probably restrict it to dialogue. It just sounds too informal for narrative, even if you're writing in first person.

    In this specific example, I'd say, "All of my stuff was bought used." Leaving the of out sounds wrong to me in that sentence.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    'all of' is probably the only grammatically correct wording for your examples, though both ways are often seen/heard... which is correct will depend on the context and in some part on the writer's style... as in:

    all took part in the ceremony
    all who were there took part
    all of the women took part
    all the non-believers chose not to take part

    however, 'off of' as in 'get off of that chair' is a commonly made error and not good grammar, period...

    'both/half' need 'of' in most cases, but again, it depends on the context... could be:

    half the class was absent
    half of the boys in the class wore jeans

    both of us were there
    both boys and girls were there
     
  4. Backbiter
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    Backbiter Contributing Member

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    I agree with mammamaia on this one, the real thing is looking at the context and figuring out which way works the best. People all write differently, so just go with your own style and what you believe to be correct in the sentence you're writing.
     
  5. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    Where you have to be careful is with an object pronoun. You must have 'of' in cases like:
    All of them listened carefully.
    All of us were present.
    All of you were wonderful tonight.
    etc
     
  6. coldu
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    coldu Member

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    The word "all" is not a noun but a prounoun, adjective and a adverb.

    "All [ dogs ] go to heaven."
    All standing for the noun dogs (obviously unambigious only if the noun has been previously mentioned. The omission of the noun "dogs" (for example ) does not turn the pronoun into a noun as "all" is not capable of independant sense.
    "They were in all probablity unable to comply." Adjectrive describing the noun probablity.
    "She was dressed all in yellow." qualifiying the degree of the verb dressed (here expressing enirity as opposed to being "partially" dressed.

    101 of writing is to omit uncessary words. If "all" can be used without "of" then do so. As above, the only time really that you need to us "of" with "all" is with personal pronouns.
     
  7. lostinwebspace
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    lostinwebspace Active Member

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    I didn't mean to imply that they were nouns. By the thread title, I just meant that a noun would go in place of [noun] after the word "all" or "all of."

    I did some research and found this (check River's response). I've also heard this (check the "Off Of" section) which says that either way is fine. Do these hold any weight?

    I'm concerned with the American standard, by the way.
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i strongly disagree with the idea that if enough people say something wrongly, that makes it ok...

    if that were true, then we could all be saying/writing 'axe' for 'ask' and 'nucular' for 'nuclear'!
     
  9. amementomori
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    amementomori New Member

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    Omit all prepositions that, with removal, do not change the sentence's meaning.
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    that's really optional, not an ironclad rule...

    keeping the 'of' can add emphasis and clarity in some cases, such as with:

    "I have all of the money you need, not just part of it."
     

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