All of the students don’t like the novel.

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touchstone

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[FONT=&#23435]All of the students don[/FONT][FONT=&#23435]t like the novel.[/FONT][FONT=&#23435][/FONT]
[FONT=&#23435]I think this sentence means that none of the students likes the novel. What do you say?[/FONT][FONT=&#23435][/FONT][FONT=&#23435]Thanks. [/FONT]
 

Raymott

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It's ambiguous, and should be rephrased.
 

touchstone

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It's ambiguous, and should be rephrased.

Thanks, Raymott. Do you mean that sentence can also mean 'not all of the students like the novel'? Thanks again.
 

Raymott

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That's right.
 

emsr2d2

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We don't tend to use "All of ..." with something that includes some form of "not". You could say "All the students hate the novel".
 

GoesStation

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I don't understand why the above could mean the following. Can anyone explain?

Don't could apply either to all of the students or like the novel. It took me quite a few readings to see the former possibility.
 

Matthew Wai

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'All of them do not (verb)' could mean 'Not all of them (verb)', right?
If so, could 'All of them are not Chinese' mean 'Not all of them are Chinese'?
 
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GoesStation

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'All of them do not (verb)' could mean 'Not all of them (verb)', right?
If so, could 'All of them are not Chinese' mean 'Not all of them are Chinese'?

Yes. We do use that construction sometimes, but it didn't jump out when I was reviewing this particular sentence.
 

bubbha

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People do use the "all X [verb] not Y" construction (e.g. "All that glitters is not gold"), but I avoid it because of its inherent ambiguity.
 

Raymott

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It's obviously ambiguous, and should not be used. But most people interested in English know that "All that glistens is not gold" is a saying that means "Not all that glistens is gold" - which I think deserves making explicit.
 

Matthew Wai

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Simply put, 'All (verb) not' could mean 'Not all (verb)', right?
'All is not true' could mean 'Not all is true'.
'All did not come true' could mean 'Not all came true'.
 
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