Two issues about modification.


I have two issues I would like to share with you experts.


Some people say that "all of the questions" is the same with "all the questions" because "of" can be omitted and I agree with it. However, some say it is not true. What do you experts here think?


Some people say "all of the" modifies "questions" or "all of" modifies "the questions" but I think that "of the questions" modifies "all" behind. What do you experst think about the modification?


I am really sorry for taking your time and asking for help without giving anything. And I really appreciate your kindness and great helps as well. Thank you so much.

edited Oct 28 '12 at 07:42 Hans Contributor

1 answer


It is impossible to answer either of your questions without the context of a complete sentence.


All of the questions = all the questions --> maybe, it depends upon the context. While the two phrases may have the same general meaning, they are not always interchangeable in a sentence and the context may give them slightly different shadings of meaning.


We don't know what all is modifying (or how all is functioning) without the context -- see your question of yesterday. "of the" is part of a preposition phrase and cannot be separated from its noun -- "of the questions" You cannot break this prepositional phrase up and assign some parts to "all" (stop trying to invent a new system of grammar).


In most contexts, "all" does not modify "of the questions" nor does "of the questions" modify "all" -- they jointly modify something else. Again, without the context, we cannot tell for sure, but the prepositional phrase may be serving as an adverb (its most common use). In this case, the adverbial prepositional phrase is modifying the missing verb. "All" is likely to be either an adverb or a pronoun. There is some debate as to whether (a) an adverb modifies the following adverbial phrase, or whether (b) both adverbs jointly modify the (missing) verb. If you agree with the first idea (a) and both are adverbs, you might say that "all" modifies "of the questions" AND "of the questions" modifies "all" -- and together they modify the missing verb.


The whole equation changes if "all" is functioning as a pronoun and "of the questions" remains an adverbial phrase (although this is unlikely). Again, without context, we cannot tell. If "of the questions" is used as an adjective phrase, it might be modifying the pronoun.


In the future, please try to provide complete sentences as the context matters.


I hope this helps.

link comment answered Oct 28 '12 at 11:41 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow

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