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Which sentence is correct?

All of us had a good time.

or

All of us had good times.

"All" is more than one people, so I was wondering if "time" should be plural as well.

  • 1
    Have a good time is an idiomatic expression meaning: Enjoy oneself, as in I hope you have a good time at the beach. so, "All of us had a good time". – user5267 Sep 10 '16 at 14:35
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Which option is correct depends on the context, but the short answer is that it doesn't matter that we is plural, it matters whether there were multiple good times or not. There is some wiggle room with it, and in some cases you can use either interchangeably, but following this rule will give you a natural sounding sentence 99% of the time.

For example, if my friends and I all went to a concert together, I would say that we all had a good time, even though there were many of us.

We had a good time at the concert.

They went shopping, and all had a good time.

I had a good time relaxing by the pool.

Alternatively, if I was remembering the summer camp I went to every year as a child I would be more likely to say that I had good times there, even though I am only one person.

I had good times at camp.

We had good times on our road trip.

Remember rooming together at college? Those were good times.

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2

The two sentences mean different things.

"All of us had a good time." implies a specific occasion, whether on a holiday or at a party or on a cruise.

"All of us had good times." implies a much longer period, such as: "when we were young" or "during our school days."

Thus "time" can be either singular or plural, depending on the context.

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For OP's specific context, only the singular is idiomatically acceptable. Semantically it's possible to imagine that each of us had our own particular kind of good time (perhaps there was a party; some people enjoyed getting drunk, some enjoyed the food, some liked the music, etc.). But we use the singular because they all enjoyed themselves at the same place and time.

On the other hand, it's quite possible to say, for example,...

We've all had problems. But we've all had good times too.

...where the plural is perfectly natural because those good times occurred on different occasions. It's just about possible to impose that meaning on OP's example, but idiomatically almost all native speakers would probably switch to Present Perfect for that sense: All of us have had good times.

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