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    • Join Date: Aug 2006
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    All the students vs all of the students

    Hi everyone.
    What is the difference between the 2 phrases:

    1) All the students


    2) All of the students


    In the first one all is an adjective? The second one a noun?


    3) All students

    I know this one has a different meaning to the aforementioned 2: 'all students in general'
    but what part of speech is 'all' being used here??

    I would like an indepth response if possible. Thanks!
    Last edited by Federerexpress; 30-Jan-2009 at 07:12.

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    Re: All the students vs all of the students

    Grammatically, the "all" in "all the students" is an adjective and modifies the noun "students", and in "all of the students" it is a pronoun modified by the adjectival phrase "of the students".

    In the plain meaning there is no difference. And it is dangerous to identify anything other than plain meaning by means of grammatical analysis.

    Here, however, the rhetoric matches the grammar. The phrase "all the students" is either neutral in stress, or slightly emphasizes "students". The phrase "all of the students" lays definite stress on the "all".

    So in each case, the emphasis is on that entity which is being modified. It would be wrong, however, to extend this conclusion to some sort of a general principle.

    In "all students" all is an adjective. Rhetorically it is the most neutral phrase of all.

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