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In this question, I am focusing on the word, 'all', combined with the following phrases. I have made up the sets of similar examples below:

  1. a) "I had a headache all last night." (correct)
    b) "I had a headache all night last night."
    c) "I had a headache for all of last night." (correct)
  1. a) "I was here all yesterday."
    b) "I was here all day yesterday." (correct)
    c) "I was here for all of yesterday." (correct)
  1. a) "I'm here all today."
    b) "I'm here all day today." (correct)
    c) "I'm here for all of today." (correct)
  1. a) "I'll stay here all next month." (correct)
    b) "I'll stay here all month next month."
    c) "I'll stay here for all of next month." (correct)

I spent a lot of time talking to my non-native English speaking friends about my sentences. They picked the ones that they thought were correct. I marked their choices as correct. There are two correct answers in each set.

I'm wondering if there is a grammatical pattern for the correct ones. I'm very confused about this. Do you think my friends' answers are correct?

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  • I would not have marked any of the alternatives as incorrect, though I would not use 2a or 3a. – Peter Dec 31 '20 at 10:22
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I agree that all of the ones you have listed as "correct" are grammatically valid and might be said by a fluent or native speaker. Of the ones you have not so labeled:

1b) "I had a headache all night last night." Green check mark for "OK"

I find 1B perfectly valid, and I think it would be more usual than 1C

2b) "I was here all day yesterday." Green check mark for "OK"

I find 2b to be valid and reasonably natural, although less likely than 2a or 2c.

3a) "I'm here all today." Red X for "do not use"

I can't spot any actual error in 3a, but it feels awkward to me an i would not say this. I might well use 3b or 3c.

4b) "I'll stay here all month next month."

I can't see anything wrong with 4b and I would understand it, but I doubt that I would say it. I suspect the repetition of "month" feel awkward. I would add that I find 4C to flow better than 4A, but that is a matter of style.

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  • Thank you for your clear and detailed explanation. I really appreciate it. – ansonman Jan 11 at 1:24

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