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Which of these 3 alternatives would you use and why?

All computers in the world form a connected network.

All the computers in the world form a connected network.

All of the computers in the world form a connected network.

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  • Which would you use? Commented Oct 23, 2022 at 9:17

2 Answers 2

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I would use either the second or third option:

All the computers in the world form a connected network.

All of the computers in the world form a connected network.

You can choose whichever you like best.

The first option is also correct, but it's more likely to be used if you eliminate in the world to make it non-specific:

All computers form a connected network.

BTW, here's a very detailed technical explanation of this topic.

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  • Specific from the perspective of whether you use an article or not. There is a difference between "all computers" and "all the computers". The latter refers to specific computers and the former references computers in general. Commented Oct 23, 2022 at 10:32
  • Thank you. It's hard for me to understand why the computers are specific and hence we should use "the". We are talking about all (the) existing computers in the universe (assuming that there is one single world in the universe). We are talking about billions of computers. Can a whole be also specific even if it is not a subset? Is specificity brought about here by the fact that we are talking about the specific whole or totality of computers in the universe? Isn't that a generality instead?
    – user163195
    Commented Oct 23, 2022 at 10:36
  • PS: I am now wondering if using "all" here is awkward. Should the sentence instead begin with "the computers", "the totality of computers", "the whole of computers" or something of this sort?
    – user163195
    Commented Oct 23, 2022 at 10:57
  • You're thinking about it too much and second-guessing yourself. All is perfectly appropriate. "Specific" means more like countable, tangible and identifiable, as opposed to non-specific which is a generalization or abstraction. Here's another example. "This law is beneficial to women." (women in general, not specific) "This law is beneficial to all the women in the world." It's specific because they are at least identifiable and countable, but if you just say "women" they are not because it's a huge generalization. Commented Oct 24, 2022 at 5:08
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We can use the second or the third version.

We can also say 'Computers form a connected network'. or 'All computers form a connected network.'

Computers form...network (computers in general)

(all) computers= all the computers in the world

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  • Isn't "all" maybe redundant?
    – user163195
    Commented Oct 24, 2022 at 8:19

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