0

As I understand, there are interchangeable these sentences, aren't they?

I have a small poodle. / I have a little poodle.

They bark at all. / They bark at everything.

It’s my mom’s dog. / That’s my mom’s dog.

P.S. Some phrases were taken from one English dialogue. (in Bold)

5
  • 1
    "They bark at all," is not idiomatic. The phrase "at all" has a fixed meaning of "even slightly" (it does not mean "at everything"). It is used as an intensifier in negative sentences. For example, "They don't bark at all," means that they don't bark even in the slightest amount. Jan 26, 2021 at 20:50
  • Can I say: "Our dog doesn’t bark at everything."?
    – Sergei
    Jan 27, 2021 at 19:31
  • 1
    Yes. That means that he barks at some things, but not all things. If you wanted to say that the dog never barks at things, you could say "Our dog doesn't bark at anything." Jan 27, 2021 at 20:14
  • So, "Our dog doesn't bark at anything." and "Our dog doesn’t bark at all." are the same in this context?
    – Sergei
    Jan 27, 2021 at 20:35
  • "Our dog doesn't bark at anything" leaves open the possibility that the dog sometimes barks "at nothing" - that is for no reason and directed at no thing, but this would be a weird way of expressing that. Jan 27, 2021 at 20:58

1 Answer 1

3

Not quite

  • I have a small poodle.
  • I have a little poodle.

These two are essential identical in meaning, although "little " is perhaps a stronger statement. In other contexts "I have a little X" can mean "I have a small amount of X" but not here.

  • They bark at all.
  • They bark at everything.

"They bark at all": is simply not a valid sentence, and has no meaning. The similar sounding "They don't bark at all." means "They never bark." while "They bark at all people." means that they bark at each person.

  • It’s my mom’s dog.
  • That’s my mom’s dog.

Both of the above are valid, but the usage is different. "That’s my mom’s dog." would more often be used when pointing at or otherwise indicating the specific dog. The phrase " It’s my mom’s dog." would most often be used when the dog has been mentioned in a previous sentence in the same passage. For example:

I don't feed the dog. It’s my mom’s dog. She feeds it.

3
  • Can I say: "Our dog doesn’t bark at everything."?
    – Sergei
    Jan 27, 2021 at 19:30
  • Only Collins dictionary says that "You use "that" to refer back to an idea or situation expressed in a previous sentence or sentences."
    – Sergei
    Jan 27, 2021 at 20:09
  • 1
    @Sergey You can say "Our dog doesn’t bark at everything." but it likely means "Our dog only barks at some things" not "our dog never barks". "That" can be used in quite a few different ways, but in this sort of construction, I think the ways i described are by far the most common. Jan 27, 2021 at 20:32

You must log in to answer this question.

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