Results 1 to 3 of 3

Thread: The word "all"

  1. Junior Member
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Apr 2020
    • Posts: 38
    #1

    The word "all"

    He spilled milk all over the floor.

    Does the word "all" function as an adverb modifying e prepositional phrase "over the floor"?Or is it a determiner or some other part of speech? Thank you.

  2. Member
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Great Britain
      • Current Location:
      • Great Britain

    • Join Date: Mar 2016
    • Posts: 465
    #2

    Re: The word "all"

    He spilled milk all over the floor.



    I think it’s preferable to treat "all" as a determinative, where the underlined sequence is a PP in which "all" functions as modifier.

    "All over" is partly idiomatic: if we omit "all" the natural preposition to use would be "on" rather than "over".

  3. VIP Member
    Other
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Dec 2009
    • Posts: 6,645
    #3

    Re: The word "all"

    NOT A TEACHER


    Hi,

    1. Thanks to your question, I was able to learn something new about English grammar today.

    2. I checked three sources.

    a. The website Wiktionary feels that one should parse "all over" (as used in your sentence) as a preposition. Its example: "He dropped the bucket and got paint all over the floor."

    b. L.G. Alexander's Longman English Grammar (1988), pages 151-152, parses "all" as an adverb that modifies the preposition in "Our baby went on crying all through the night."

    c. Four respected scholars in A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language (1985), page 685, give this sentence: "They splashed water (all) over me." The parentheses indicate that the authors feel that "all" is optional.

    *****

    In my opinion, "He spilled milk over the floor" does not sound natural. I feel that "all" is required in your sentence. Therefore, I personally would parse "all over" in your type of sentence as a preposition.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •