ABC is a communal obligation that, if, is not discharged by all, then every individual stands criminal.

Here what do we infer by not discharged by all?

Some have done it and some haven't.


None have done it.

Shouldn't we say: not discharged by any?

In short, if we say: It was not done by all. What does it mean?

No one did it.


Some did it and some didn't.

  • Logically/semantically, negating not applies to all, not discharged. That's to say, you should understand it as meaning if NOT ALL [the people] discharge the obligation rather than if all the people do NOT DISCHARGE the obligation.. Commented May 15, 2018 at 12:25
  • You can't tell, because "not all" (< x) includes "none" (0).
    – user3169
    Commented May 15, 2018 at 20:39

1 Answer 1


In this instance, not discharged by all and not discharged by any amount to the same thing.

The statement declares that unless all (=every individual) discharge/s the obligation, then every individual (=all) will be regarded as criminal.

To change all to any would mean:

If any (individual or individuals) fail/s to discharge the obligation, then all will be regarded as criminal.

So which ever construction you prefer, every single person concerned has to fulfill the obligation to prevent all of them being regarded as criminally liable.

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