Do you think "all" is a pronoun or adverb in "It all went wrong"?

Is the "all" identical to the "all" in "Tom removed them all"?

  • 2
    It went all wrong. There all is an adverb. It all went wrong. There all is something else, and is related in some way to it not to the verb. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Aug 30 '18 at 10:38

In (1) It all went wrong, all would be a determinative functioning as quantificational adjunct in clause structure (quantifying the subject). In (2) Tom removed them all, them all is a compound pronoun (there are only 6, it seems, us/you/them all/both) functioning as object.

The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language by Huddleston, Pullum, et al. (2002) essentially provides a test (on p.428) to distinguish the two: (1) allows an adjunct to be inserted between the pronoun and the quantificational adjunct (It certainly all went wrong) and the pronoun can be replaced by NPs with common noun heads (The experiments all went wrong) – (2) doesn't permit this, with both *Tom removed them certainly all and *Tom removed the girls all being ungrammatical.


In the meaning 'it all = all things' it's an adjective, at least dictionaries put the examples like 'all things (men, etc)' and 'all his life' in the section where 'all' is treated as an adjective..

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