Can I respond to a sentence like "This kid wants to become a pro basketball player." with "They all do" (want to become a pro basketball player) with the meaning that it's something a lot of kids wish for but rarely succeed in? Or does it not make sense and would I be better off saying something more clear such as "Every kid wants to become a pro basketball player"?

Does a reply like "They all do" ever make sense if not in this case? Something similar is possible in my native language when its obvious what the answer refers to (not by itself). Maybe it's not in English I don't know. This is obviously possible if the verb remains the same as in "Can you help me?" Answer "Yes, I can" where you don't have to repeat what was just said and not just limited to questions either "This looks good" Answer "It does." But here the case is also different (kid to they) so I wonder if its possible. I know this question is probably confusing.

  • "They all do" is fine. A shorter question might yield a better answer! – P. E. Dant Nov 12 '16 at 6:57

They all do.

is a perfectly good answer that could be used in your situation and many others situations to confirm an observation of a smaller group applies to a larger similar group

If you analyze the answer

they - reference to a group of things or people
all - the entire group being talked about
do - perform some action

can be used to answer questions like

My kids like to jump in water puddles and get muddy.
My cat is lazy and only lies in the sun.
Some students use ELL to improve their English.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.