I am confused about the difference between
- we can store all the backup
- we can store the all backup
Can any one help me with which one is correct or both? What is the logic behind which is right?
We can store all the backup.
This means that the entirety of the backup can be stored.
In the first sentence all is a predeterminer that indicates "the entire quantity".
We can store the all backup.
This possibly means that you can store the thing called "all backup". In this sentence all could be being used in a non-idiomatic manner as some kind of modifier to distinguish which backup is being stored. This is unusual at best.
Compare it to the sentence "We can store the Tuesday afternoon backup."
All can be used as a determiner, but that is not the case in the second sentence, because there is already a determiner: the, and in the case where all would be a determiner then backup would need to be plural.
We can store all backups.
Generally I think "all" can be replaced by "all of" and still retain the original meaning (notwithstanding style guides that prefer "all of" to be exclusive to pronouns).
So, "we can store all of the backup" sounds like it probably makes sense, but "we can store the all of backup" certainly does not.
Consider the opposite: "We can store some of the backup."
We can store [A NOUN PHRASE].
[NOUN PHRASE] -> all, the, backup
There in that sentence we need to form a noun phrase that will sit after the verb - store. This noun phrase consists of three words - all, the and backup.
The head noun of the noun phrase is backup, and other two words -all and the - are determiners. So they will come before the head noun. Now the question is whether the will come before all or all will come before the.
Both all and the are determiners. A determiners can be further classified into three sub-classes - CENTER DETERMINER, PREDETERMINER and POSTDETERMINER.
And their order as occurs in a noun phrase is -
PREDETERMINER + CENTER DETERMINER + POSTDETERMINER
Here the is a CENTER DETERMINER, and all is a PREDETERMINER.
So the correct order of determiners is - all the
Hence it's all the backup that is correct, not the all backup.