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    #1

    first / first of all / at first

    Hello,

    I'm not quite sure which phrase is best when, for example, giving instructions to a driver:

    - First/first of all take me to a chemist's and then to the hotel, please.


    I know 'first' and 'first of all' are interchengeable, but I'd like to double-check. "At first' is not possible here, isn't it?

    Thank you!

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: first / first of all / at first

    I don't consider "first of all" to be interchangeable with "first."

    Before you take me to the hotel, please take me to a chemist's.
    I need to go to a chemist's before we go to the hotel.
    We have a number of stops: First a chemist's, then a 24-hour cleaner, and then the hotel, please.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #3

    Re: first / first of all / at first

    Thanks! Do I get it right that 'first of all' is best avoided in this context?

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    #4

    Re: first / first of all / at first

    Quote Originally Posted by Verona_82 View Post
    Hello,

    I'm not quite sure which phrase is best when, for example, giving instructions to a driver:

    - First/first of all take me to a chemist's and then to the hotel, please.
    "First" would be the correct term. "First of all" would be used, for example, when stating a list of reasons for some action(s). (A) "I won't be going to the party on Saturday. (B) "Why not?" "(A) First of all, I have to get up early Sunday morning, and second my old girlfriend will be there."

    I know 'first' and 'first of all' are interchangeable, but I'd like to double-check. "At first' is not possible here, isn't is it? No. "At first" would typically be used when one would suspect something to be true, but subsequently realized that it was not or vice versa. "At first I thought it was raining, but it was only the sound of the wind."

    Thank you!
    b.

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