5

I wrote

Alternatively, we can use any constant element repeating in all items, such as ``Add to Cart".

Here by items I mean all items on the page or all items of a list, but still I don't know if I should use "all the items" or "all items". I remember once I used "all the elements" to mean "all the elements on the page" but I saw "all elements" in the answers!

4

The rule is the same as with any other use of the... 'All' makes no difference

If you are talking about a specific group, you would use the:

Pass me all the apples in the bowl

If you are talking about apples as a 'thing' but not as individual apples, you would not use the:

All apples are delicious

To translate this to your case, if you are talking about the elements on one page you would use the:

Some of the elements on the page are left aligned, the rest are justified. It looks strange.

If you are talking about elements in general you would not:

All elements need both a class and ID, otherwise the JavaScript breaks

Note that in the latter case of both examples we are talking about apples/elements as a 'thing' or concept, whereas in the former we are talking about individual objects.

  • 1
    The partitive “of the” portion in “X of the” expressions like few/some/many/most/several/all of the is best avoided in careful writing: your writing will be stronger without it. Your example with some at its start should therefore arguably be: “Some page elements are left-aligned; the rest are justified. It looks strange.” – tchrist Sep 5 '15 at 14:40
  • While I agree, I felt it would confuse the issue in this case: I decided to just answer the question as-is – Jon Story Sep 5 '15 at 17:33
  • @JonStory What about this one: 'All products I use are from company x' Do I need to say 'the' even if the context implies what kind of products I mean ( in this case cosmetic products)? My wife corrected me and said it should be 'all the products'. It sounds fine both ways. – Chris May 1 '17 at 5:52
  • @Chris That would be covered in the answer. You're no longer talking about the individual products ("the products") and are instead talking about "products" as a concept/group. It would be akin to saying "All apples are delicious". It works because you're including the qualifier "I use", which limits your statement to a small subset of all products. "All products are from this company", for example, wouldn't fit this rule. – Jon Story May 10 '17 at 9:30
  • @JonStory I knew there was something! Thank you for clearing it up for me! – Chris May 12 '17 at 20:20

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