1

Imagine we are watching 10 pm evening news, the speaker is saying

All students participated in march against smoking in the campus this morning.

All the students participated in march against smoking in the campus this morning.

All of the students participated in march against smoking in the campus this morning.

All of students participated in march against smoking in the campus this morning.

I am pretty sure that the first one and the last one (example#4) are both incorrect, and I'll explain it later, how about the others?

What rules could be applied for these cases? Following part answers some of these questions.

All students

Cambridge Dictionary gives a rule for this situation

When "all" refers to a whole class of people or things, we don’t use "the"

and gives this example

All children love stories. (i.e. every child in the world)

Obviously, the students participated in march are not all the students in the world, example#1 is not appropriate.

digging

I searched the usage of 'all' , 'all the', 'all of the' a bit on ELL.

An ELL post 'all' , 'all the', 'all of the', and 'the whole' talks about the usage, only for time related, such as life, day, time, morning

Another post "All of the ...." or " All the ... "? talks about the usage for "students". The examples at the beginning of this post are adapted from there.

I guess the cases about "time" is different from "students", maybe due to countable or uncountable. But I am not sure and don't have a clear understanding.

All of students

as stated in Swan's PEU (shall we call this determiner rule)

do not use all of if the noun has no determiner

This rule explains why example#4 is incorrect.

pronoun

A video lesson gives (shall we call this object pronoun rule)

"of" is required when "all" is used with an object pronoun, such as, all of them, all of it, all of us, all of whom

post Why is there "of" here? justifies this rule

question

There are 2 rules in total, are there other rules for the usage of 'all' , 'all the', 'all of the'?


Please have this post focus on the situations relevant to students or other countable noun plural; the different between "all of the time" and "all the time" please see ("all of the time" vs. "all the time" when referring to situations); other discussion related to time, please take a loot at here.

1

Answering only about "all students". That need not refer to all students in the world, only to all students in the domain intended by the speaker. For example, the dean of a school may say "All students must fulfill these requirements."
That is correct if he means all the students attending the school, not all students in the world. So, the first example sentence in your post is not faulty.

| improve this answer | |
  • Thank you. How about this one. "In this school, all children are from the Chinese community." – WXJ96163 Mar 18 at 22:31
  • That is a good sentence too, and with that sense you could also say "all the children". – Jack O'Flaherty Mar 18 at 23:37
  • In the example of "Chinese community", "all children" clearly refers to "all the children attending the school", not "all students in the world", right? – WXJ96163 Mar 18 at 23:42
  • Yes, since it explicitly begins "In this school". – Jack O'Flaherty Mar 18 at 23:50

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.