I am confused by the maxim All that glitters is not gold.

May I know why the word is is used there?

In my known according the English grammar glitters is plural, So after plural we add verb+s.

As in above example use auxiliary verb so why not are – why is?


Good question, but it's worth pointing out that glitters in this context is a verb, not a noun. The subject of the sentence is all.

When all is used as the subject of a sentence, it functions as a pronoun, and it can function as a singular or a plural pronoun. From NOAD:

all (pronoun) [with clause ] the only thing (used for emphasis) : all I want is to be left alone.

(used to refer to surroundings or a situation in general) everything : all was well | it was all very strange.


All that glitters is not gold

is roughly equivalent to

Everything that glitters is not gold

and the verb tense agrees.


All who eat are not gluttons

is roughly equivalent to:

All the people who eat are not gluttons

so there is no problem there, either.


Grammatically is is used with third person singular and also s form of verb is used. "All" indicates a third person single group.


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