1
  1. They are all happy
  2. They all are happy
  3. All they are happy

What is the difference among them?

2 Answers 2

1

#1 and #2 are different.

#1 shows that they have only one emotion -- happiness. They aren't also surprised. There is no hint of wonderment. They are completely, unabashedly, and identically happy. The inclusion of every person is less clear, and may be contradicted. The sentence is perhaps idiomatic. Consider this: "The children were all giddy when the clown appeared, but not all of them. Sam retreated to the rear wall, terrified."

#2 shows that all of them, everyone, is happy. Happiness need not be exclusive or all-consuming. For each of them, they are describable as happy.

#3 as it stands isn't grammatically complete. If it were changed to "All they are is happy", it would be like #1, but with more emphasis.

21
  • The children were all giddy when the clown appeared, but not all of them. Sam retreated to the rear wall, terrified. In this case, why not use all in the first part?
    – Y. zeng
    Mar 20, 2019 at 14:04
  • As an example of #1 usage, the emphasis is on their giddiness, not on the universality.
    – cmm
    Mar 20, 2019 at 14:09
  • So, in the first sentence, 'all' just emphasis 'happy'. Is this right?
    – Y. zeng
    Mar 20, 2019 at 14:11
  • Yes, "all" emphasizes happy.
    – cmm
    Mar 20, 2019 at 14:15
  • Okay. I know now.
    – Y. zeng
    Mar 20, 2019 at 14:18
1

1) This is the most correct one, grammatically.
2) This one is fine too.
3) Grammatically wrong. It would rather be "All of them are happy".

There is no difference of meaning among all the 3 sentences.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .