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I'm just looking at settling a debate of the correct use of an all manner.

He looked around and saw an all manner of contraptions nailed to the wall.

He looked around and saw all manner of contraptions nailed to the wall.

Is an before all manner grammatically correct? Does it make sense as a sentence?

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He looked around and saw an all manner of contraptions nailed to the wall.

This particular usage doesn't make sense.

A possible way of using it in a similar way—although not one I've ever actually seen—would be as a compound adjective:

He looked around and saw an all-manner contraption nailed to the wall.

This might "work" (or at least be understood) in the same sense that an all-purpose contraption works.

However, all manner of is actually an idiom, and would not normally be used differently than in its usual way as defined by Merriam-Webster:

: all kinds or sorts of (things or people) • The store sells all manner of musical instruments. • All manner of people come to the city.

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