All vs. All Of

All refers to three or more items. It is used mostly before plural and uncountable nouns.

  • All children need love.
  • I love all music.
  • All the invitees turned up.

When all is followed by a plural noun, the verb is normally plural. After an uncountable noun, we use a singular verb.

  • All cheese contains fat.
  • All the lights were out.

All + noun is not normally used as the subject of a negative verb. We more often use the structure not all + noun + affirmative verb.

  • Not all birds can sing. (NOT All birds cannot sing.)

All and All of

Before a noun with no determiner (possessives, articles and demonstratives) we use all.

  • All children need love.
  • All cheese contains fat.
  • All lights were out.

Before a noun with a determiner (the, my, this etc.), all and all of are both possible.

  • All the lights were out.
  • All of the lights were out.
  • I have invited all my friends to my birthday party.
  • I have invited all of my friends to my birthday party.

Before a personal pronoun (us, them etc.) we use all of + object form.

  • All of us love music. (NOT All us love music)
  • I have invited all of them. (NOT I have invited all them.)

All with nouns and pronouns

All can modify nouns and pronouns. We normally place it before the noun/pronoun.

  • I have invited all (of) my friends.
  • All of us love music.
  • I love all of you.
  • All of us are going to the movies.

We can put all after pronouns used as objects.

  • I love you all. (= I love all of you.)
  • Give my love to them all. (= Give my love to all of them.)
  • I have made you all something to eat. (= I have made all of you something to eat.)

Note that all cannot be put after pronouns used as subject complements.

  • Is that all of them? (NOT Is that them all?)

All with verbs

When all refers to the subject of a clause, it can go with the verb. When the verb consists of just one word, and that word is not a form of be (is, am, are, was, were), all is placed before the verb.

  • They all came. (All + other verb)
  • We all love music. (All + other verb)

When the verb is a form of be, all is placed after it.

  • You are all welcome. (be + all)
  • We were all invited. (be + all)

When there are two auxiliary verbs, all goes after the first.

  • They have all gone home. (Auxiliary verb + all + other verb)
  • They have all been told. (Auxiliary verb + all + auxiliary verb + other verb)

Note that these meanings can also be expressed by using all (of) + noun/pronoun.

  • All of them came.
  • All of us love music.
  • All of you are welcome.
  • All of us have been invited.
  • All of them have gone home.

All vs. All of – Grammar Exercise

Complete the following sentences using all or all of.

1. Your boy has eaten ———————– the cake. (all / all of)

2. ———————– children need love and attention. (All / All of)

3. She has invited ———————– (us all / all of us).

4. ———————— my friends are active on social media. (All / All of)

5. ————————- that I have is yours. (All / All of)

6. ———————— that I want is a place to lie down. (All / All of)

7. ———————— us are going to the party. (All / All of)

8. The cat has drunk ———————- the milk. (all / all of)

9. ————————– my family live in Canada. (All / All of)

Answers

1. Your boy has eaten all / all of the cake.

2. All children need love and attention.

3. She has invited us all / all of us.

4. All / all of my friends are active on social media.

5. All that I have is yours.

6. All that I want is a place to lie down.

7. All of us are going to the party.

8. The cat has drunk all / all of the milk.

9. All / all of my family live in Canada.

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Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I am Manjusha. This is my blog where I give English grammar lessons and worksheets.

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