Set 1:

  1. My all efforts ended in smoke.

  2. All my efforts ended in smoke.

Set 2:

  1. My both friends are honest.

  2. Both my friends are honest.

My grammar book says sentence one in both the sets is wrong and it should be sentence two. Why so? What is the difference between sentence one and sentence two in both sets?

  • Your first sentences are not idiomatic English. 'All [of] my efforts' = 'Every one of my efforts'. Commented May 8, 2020 at 16:20

1 Answer 1


The "possessive" is not the reason. The same would be true if you said "the efforts"

The words "all" and "both" are not adjectives. They are functioning as determiners. The possessive "my" is also a determiner. The "main determiner" is "my", and "all" or "both" act as a pre-determiner, and must go before the main determiner:

All the dogs
Both my cats
All this work

and so on

other determines act as "post determines" and come after the main determiner (numbers are good example)

All (of) the three dogs
Both (of) my last two friends


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