Some “All” Words and Expressions
You’ll hear some of these in conversation and see them on blog sites, but when it comes to formal writing, beware of these “all” words and expressions.
all of – I ate all of the cookies. The “of” is unnecessary. Better: I ate all the cookies.
alright – As my English teachers pounded into my brain, there’s no such word as “alright.” There is the phrase all right. Is it all right if I search your house?
already – This word is an adverb. Too late! The cat has already eaten the canary.
all ready – This is a phrase. When you are all ready, I’ll get the car. We were all ready to go to the movies.
altogether – This word is an adverb meaning “entirely.” Your idea is altogether wrong-headed.
all together – This is a phrase. All together, now, sing! The family was all together for Thanksgiving.
alot – This is the bane of English teachers and, I suppose, editors. The expression is a lot, two words. I like you a lot. My children read a lot. There is a word allot, a verb meaning “to divide into lots.” When I plan my day, I allot four hours to meals and a minimum of six hours to writing.
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