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A shopping addict is shown all of her stuff -vast amount of items- which is exhibited in a huge place. Upon seeing all of them piled up together, she herself is surprised and says:

Is that honestly all mine? Shopping addiction (see:00:53-00:56)

I thought about the structure "Is that all ....." and also thought about how I would have said it as a non-native speaker. So, I have thought of some alternatives and now I wonder whether they would be idiomatic to mean the same.

1- Is it all honestly mine?

2- Are those all honestly mine?

3- Are all those honestly mine?

4- Is all that honestly mine?

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    What do you mean by "staff"? Do you mean "stuff"? Note that "stuff" isn't countable, so you can't refer to "thousands of stuff" (only things like a lot of stuff). So the disbelieving question would be your first suggestion - maybe as Is all that [stuff] really mine? Commented Aug 28, 2023 at 16:43
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    All four of these sound natural. "that" gives the sense that you're not looking at it as individual items, but as a single pile of indeterminate "stuff", where I might use "are those..." if it was more something like, 20 racks of shoes, where I'm referencing the individual shoes.
    – Kaia
    Commented Aug 28, 2023 at 17:00
  • @FumbleFingers, Yes, I meant "staff". Sorry. By the way, I wonder "Is all that ...." and "Is that all...." the same?
    – Yunus
    Commented Aug 28, 2023 at 17:16

1 Answer 1

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I'm going to assume you mean "stuff" instead of "staff".

"all that" would be applicable no matter what the pile of stuff included, but "all those" is sort of more limited in nature.

  1. "All those" I think only applies if the stuff is countable - kind of like the difference between "how many" and "how much". You wouldn't look at a bucket of water and say "how many water is that?", and similarly you wouldn't ask about a large bucket of water "are all those mine", or a pile of sand.

  2. You would only say "all those" instead of "all that" as the speaker if you already knew as a speaker that there were only a few known kinds of things in the piles of stuff. For example, if it's only a few piles of books and you, the speaker, know it's all just books, or even if there were a few different types of things - maybe books, dvds and shoe boxes. But if there's too many different types of things, or the types of things are unknown to the speaker, "all those" becomes sort of awkward.

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  • yes I meant stuff. Sorry. I corrected it.
    – Yunus
    Commented Aug 28, 2023 at 17:26

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