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  1. #1
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    Default Grammtically Incorrect

    Please justify why is the ff. statement grammatically incorrect. Thanks.

    "Law applies to all or nothing at all"

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Grammtically Incorrect

    The law applies to all, or to nothing at all.

    you need the TO before the the NOTHING

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Grammtically Incorrect

    The sentence,
    "The law must apply to all or nothing at all."
    is grammatically incorrect because the phrase following the conjunction "or" does not appear to have a subject nor to refer back to any particular part of the previous phrase.

    It could be corrected by placing the word TO in the phrase so that it reads,"... or to nothing at all.", which makes it refer back to the application of the law.

    However (unless this is a quote from somewhere and we know that the answer was the missing TO), it could be corrected by inserting IT IS so that the phrase would read, "...or it is nothing at all.", which makes it refer back to the law.

  4. #4
    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Grammtically Incorrect

    Wouldn't it be better with 'no one' instead of 'nothing'?

  5. #5
    Buddhaheart is offline Member
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    Default Re: Grammtically Incorrect

    How about "the law applies to all things or nothing at all?"

  6. #6
    albertino is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Grammtically Incorrect

    Without the context, i think we can't make a conclusive answer.
    However, as what i have learnt from "Everyone is equal before the law"
    The sentence seems to be pointing to "people".

    By the way, when making contrast, one shall not omit "to" after "or".
    So, I would say, "the law applies to all or to nothing at all
    Last edited by albertino; 27-Jun-2007 at 04:25.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Grammtically Incorrect

    Quote Originally Posted by Niall Beag View Post
    The real problem with the sentence is as TDOL pointed out:

    "all" as a pronoun is equivalent to "everybody" -- it's people not things. "nothing" is things, not people.

    So it should be one of:

    "The law applies to everything or nothing at all."

    Or (as TDOL suggested)

    "The law applies to all or to nobody at all"
    I agree.

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