When communicating using English, sometimes we use more words than necessary to send a message or say something. When trying to be concise, we want to cut out unnecessary words. So when it comes to saying “all of,” do we really need the “of?”
We use “of” when a pronoun follows “all”.
Depending on what you’re trying to communicate, you may need to use “all of” instead of just “all.” Understanding the difference between what follows these two terms will make it much easier to avoid miscommunication.
When To Use “All Of”
The term “all of” is going to be used when you’re talking about the whole of something, where a pronoun is going to come after the word “of.” A pronoun is a word that is used instead of a noun; usually when you are referring to a specific subject. A noun is a general person, place, or thing.
When To Just Use “All”
When you are using “all,” you’re referring to the entire amount of something, or you are trying to quantify something. If there is going to be an article in front of the pronoun or noun in a sentence, then you don’t have to use the word “of” after “all.”
However, if you did, it wouldn’t be grammatically incorrect. It is just adding an unnecessary word that isn’t going to alter what you are trying to say.
Examples Of How To Use “All Of”
A couple of sentences that use “all of” correctly are:
She wanted to invite all of Jimmy’s teachers to the barbeque but didn’t have their phone numbers.
Mitchell talked to all of his brothers, and they decided that they were going to pitch in to buy their mother a big birthday present.
In the first sentence, the pronoun is Jimmy, as it’s a specific person. In the second sentence, the pronoun is his, as he’s referring to his brothers.
Examples Of How To Use “All”
A couple of examples of using “all” correctly in a sentence are:
Karen believed that all cats were stand-offish until she adopted Jinky, who always wants to cuddle with her.
William heard that all the invitations were lost in the mail.
Understanding the various grammatical parts that make up a sentence helps when trying to figure out when certain words are necessary or unnecessary in a sentence. A key point to remember is that “of” is only needed after “all” when there’s a pronoun coming after. Remembering all grammar rules is tough, but practice makes perfect.
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