first / first of all / at first

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Verona_82

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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!
 

Barb_D

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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.
 

Verona_82

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

billmcd

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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, [STRIKE] isn't [/STRIKE] 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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