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27. All, half, most, some, no and none


1 All, most and some

We can use all, most and some before a plural or an uncountable noun.
All plants need water.
All matter is made up of atoms.
Most people would like more money.
Some food makes me ill.
All plants means 'all plants in general / in the world'. Most people means 'most people in this country / in the world'. Some food means 'some food but not all food'. Here some is pronounced [sam].

2 All of, half of, most of and some of

Laura: Why do you keep all of these clothes? You never wear most of them. You've had some of your jackets for ten years. Why don't you throw them all out? This one is completely out of fashion.
Trevor: Well, I thought if I waited long enough, it might come back into fashion.

All of these clothes has a specific meaning. Laura is talking about Trevor's clothes, not about clothes in general.

We can use all (of), half (of), most of and some of.
Have all (of) the plants died? - No, not all of them.
Most of the people who live around here are students.
I've spent most of my money already.
Half (of) the audience left before the end of the film.
Some of that food from the party was all right, but I threw some of it away.

We can leave out of after all or half, but not before a pronoun.
all of these clothes OR all the clothes BUT all of them NOT all them
half of our group OR half our group BUT half of us NOT half us
We can also use all in mid position or after a pronoun.
These cups are all dirty. I'll have to clean them all.
The guests have all gone now. I think they all enjoyed themselves.

We can use most and some on their own.
The band sang a few songs. Most were old ones, but some were new.

3 All meaning 'everything' or 'the only thing'

We can use all with a clause to mean 'everything' or 'the only thing'.
Tell me all you know.
All I did was ask a simple question.
Here you know and I did are clauses. We do not normally use all without the clause.
Tell me everything. NOT Tell me all.

4 No and none

We use no with a noun.
We've rung all the hotels, and there are no rooms available.
I'm afraid I've got no money. (= I haven't got any money.)

We use none with of or on its own.
None of my friends will be at the party.
Look at these clothes.
None of them are in fashion now.
I wanted some cake, but there was none left. NOT There was no left.

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