All the vs All of The: Know the Difference

The usage of all the or all of the can…

The usage of all the or all of the can be confusing not only for non-native speakers but sometimes also for native speakers. Inappropriate use of the word ‘of’ after the word ‘all’ is a frequent mistake among many.

All the vs. All of the: Which One Is Correct?

Depending on the context, both “all the” and “all of the” are correct. Non-native speakers may often make the mistake of using both the terms interchangeably, but they mean two different things.

Using “all of the” before a noun is not incorrect, but it is usually informal and colloquial. For native speakers, it may sound a bit old-fashioned or sloppy.

On the other hand, it is a common practice to use “all of” by most native speakers. This is due to the fact that “all” serves as a predeterminer in the phrase. And it comes with a different set of defined rules than when it functions as a pronoun or determiner.

However, it would be incorrect to say that the errors can be addressed by omitting “of” from the “all of the.” This is because there are times when the “of” is necessary.

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Learn to Use “All the”

Scenario 1: We use “all” when talking about all the things of a particular class without specifying a group. If ‘all’ follows a noun that refers to something in its entirety, we should not use ‘of.’


  • Incorrect: All of the dogs are loyal.
  • Correct: All dogs are loyal.

In the above example, we use “all” without “of” because “dogs” refers to every possible canine, not a specific group of dogs.

Scenario 2: We use all by itself when an uncountable noun follows it without a determiner.


  • Incorrect: We have given up on all of the hope.
  • Correct: We have given up on all hope.

Scenario 3: We don’t need the ‘of‘ when ‘all‘ functions as a pronoun itself, referring to everyone, everything, or the only thing.


  • Sentence 1: All you deserve is happiness.
  • Sentence 2: All were happy with the final decision.

The above sentences are both correct because ‘all‘ functions as a pronoun, not a determiner.

Learn to Use “All of The”

Scenario 1: When ‘all‘ serves as a determiner or predeterminer, it is followed by ‘of.’ This means that the ‘all’ is used to refer to the quantity or amount of something you’re talking about.

Generally, we use ‘all of‘ when the following word is a pronoun. Whether it is a personal pronoun (me, you) or relative pronoun (whom, which), we use ‘of‘ to make the sentence grammatically correct.

Example 1:

  • Incorrect: All you were invited to the party.
  • Correct: All of you were invited to the party.

Example 2:

  • Incorrect: I spoke to my uncles, all whom were lawyers.
  • Correct: I spoke to my uncles, all of whom were lawyers.

Scenario 2: When “all” comes before another determiner, particularly the definite article “the,” in a noun phrase, the “of” is not necessary.


  • Correct Sentence 1: She does all of the work at home.
  • Correct Sentence 2: She does all the work at home.

To Wrap Up

A lot of people mouth “all the” when they mean “all of the,” and vice versa. You should know the difference so that you don’t accidentally say one thing and then correct yourself.

The difference between all the vs all of the is subtle but significant. Both the phrases are commonly used and incorrectly used by people. Therefore, this quick guide will help you clarify your confusion and learn the correct usage of both phrases.

Frequently asked questions

Is it all my life or all of my life?

This piece of information in English Grammar in Use -5th edition says we do not use “for + all” in sentences like: “I’ve lived here all my life.”.

Which is correct they are all or they all are?

Michele, we have bloomed all of them. However, all of them are college friends. Each interpretation gives the same answer to every measurement, so they are all equally correct.

Is it all the people or all of the people?

Senior Member. That is, you use “all humans” when you’re talking about “people,” and you use the term “all the people” when talking about people. The first is entirely universal, while the second is defining one particular group of. You can find examples by using Google Books, for example.

Is all the more grammatically correct?

All is used in structures such as all the more or all the better to mean even better or even bigger than before. The living room is decorated in pale colors that make it even more airy.

Is it all the Or all the sudden?

The correct phrase in English is “all of a sudden.”.

How do you use all of the in a sentence?

  • I apologize to all my friends who have eaten pizza.
  • They all eat pizza right now. ( see below).
  • This is correct, they drank the most water.
  • Exactly, they drank all the water they had. ( see below).
  • I know all of the people there.
  • I know that all of the people there are correct. ( see below).

Is it grammatically incorrect to say all of?

All Pronouns Under Determiners. In a decision, it is perfectly acceptable to use all of the necessary variables.

Is it correct to say all the Or all the?

Instead of saying “all the” it is widely accepted. In addition, “all” is a predeterminer, and it has different rules than when it is merely a pronoun or determiner. She is going to every park. The park is complete and she’s going to all the parks.

Is it correct to say all the students?

The proper form would be “All students”. Learn how you’ll love studying, literally. “All students”.

When to use all and all the?

Is it all our children or all of our children?

That is why the “of” just emphasizes that we are talking about a particular group of children – “all the children” points to this too, but adding “of) emphasizes it. But interchangeable.

Is it correct to say all the people?

The term “all people” is an indefinite plural, so it refers to all people everywhere. The plural “all the people” refers to all of a specific group of people – all the people in the room, all the red haired ones.

What is the difference between all the and all of the?

Remember to choose “all” or “all of” when deciding whether to go with “all,” or when it is a personal or relative pronoun. You can use either all or all of when the next word is a noun phrase beginning with a determiner.

Is it all the sudden or all of a sudden?

The word sudden has almost been abandoned by history, and it is now a synonym for “all” in the idiom “all of a sudden,” meaning “suddenly, or sooner than expected.” The correct phrase.

Where is all the people or where are all the people?

“Where are the people” is correct since “people” is plural in this sentence. Remember that in English, use “is” with singular nouns and “are” with plural noun.

All the vs All of The: Know the Difference

Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

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