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  1. #1
    Odessa Dawn is offline Key Member
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    "You cannot buy all what you like!"

    31

    • Wrong You cannot buy all what you like!
      Right You cannot buy all that you like!

    50 Common Grammar Mistakes in English ? part 2 engVid
    Why the first one is wrong, please? Honestly, I have no idea, and your help is needed.


    Thank you.


  2. #2
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    nyota is offline Senior Member
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    Re: "You cannot buy all what you like!"

    There are a few instances where you introduce clauses with that and not a wh- relative.
    The example you've given is one of those cases.

    You use that after all, everything, nothing e.g. All that glitters is not gold.
    In defining clauses after superlatives e.g. The worst thing that could happen is ... .


    H. Gethin, Grammar in Context

  3. #3
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    probus is offline Moderator
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    Re: "You cannot buy all what you like!"

    This one is difficult to explain with grammar.

    Both "You cannot buy all you like" and "You cannot buy what you like" are grammatically correct. I think the first is pretty much identical in meaning to "You cannot buy all that you like" which means "You cannot buy everything you like." But the second has a slightly different meaning, namely that some things you like are not available. It concerns absolute availability rather than quantity.

    I think the grammatical problem with "You cannot buy all what you like" begins with the fact that what is a relative pronoun which marks the phrase "what you like" as a relative clause and the object of buy. When you try to use "all" as a modifier, the question that pops into one's mind is whether "all" modifies what (apparently correct based on proximity, but grammatically impossible) or the whole relative clause. That uncertainty is my best explanation for why "all what" is nowadays considered wrong.

    That being said, there are two things to add. First, it is easy to imagine Dickens putting "all what you like" into the mouths of certain of his characters, and also it may be acceptable usage in some modern dialects, for example cockney. I don't know for certain. The second thing is that I doubt my poor attempt at grammatical explanation has helped you much. It would probably have been just as useful and a lot simpler to say: it is idiom and you just have to remember it.
    Last edited by probus; 13-Mar-2013 at 03:03.

  4. #4
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    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Re: "You cannot buy all what you like!"

    You cannot buy all what you like. X

    In that sentence, 'all' functions as a pronoun conveying the idea of 'all the things/material'. 'What also functions as a pronoun, conveying the idea 'the thing(s) that'. SO:

    You cannot buy all (= all the things) that you like.
    You cannot buy all (=all the things) what (=the things that) you like. X

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