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Listen to all your fans


Listen to all of  your fans


Name all the states


Name all of  the states

What part of language is of  in these examples? Is it necessary or optional, correct or incorrect?

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When a pronoun follows "all", I think all us would agree that the "of" is needed. – Peter Shor Sep 2 '12 at 21:12
@PeterShor Be careful with that. A lot of people can’t tell the difference between a personal pronoun and a personal adjective, and you don’t need an of in phrases like “all my children”, which uses a personal adjective. – tchrist Sep 2 '12 at 21:17
@PeterShor: All we like sheep have gone astray. – TimLymington Sep 2 '12 at 21:47
Related: “All our X” vs. “all of our X”. – RegDwigнt Sep 2 '12 at 22:11
All the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't put Humpty together again. – Hot Licks Mar 9 '15 at 23:58

Of is just a preposition used to say what group or whole includes the part denoted by the preceding word:

Example: most of/ one of/ several of my friends etc.

In the case of all, half, and both; of is optional and you can either omit it or keep it.

But you can't leave out of before the pronouns us, you, them, and it *.

*You don't need to worry about this with "both" because you're not going to say "both of it" anyway.

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Michael Swan says in his book *Practical English Usage:

1> All and *All of**

All (of) can modify nouns and pronouns.

Before a noun with a determiner (for example the, my, this), all and all of are both possible. American English usually has all of.

She's eaten all (of) the cake. All (of) my friends like riding.

Before a noun with no determiner, we do not usually use of.

All children can be difficult. (Not: All of children can be difficult)

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Also, we have to use "all of" instead of "all" before a pronoun that goes with it (we can say "all of them," but not "all them"). – sumelic Jan 3 at 3:27

Of can generally be omitted in most cases or reworded to avoid.

For "all of", you could easily replace it with "every" or "each"

In the two examples you gave, the expression could be eliminated entirely with no loss of meaning.

Listen to your fans.

Name the states.

are both clear without adding "all of" or "all"

Whenever I am writing, and I see the word "of" I stop to consider if it can be worded better.

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I would interpret "listen to all your fans" as a request to listen to the collective sound of the fans, and "listen to all of your fans" as a request to listen to each fan individually. – supercat Aug 14 '14 at 20:03
I would say each would be used to mean the latter, and either version of all would be the former – CobaltHex Dec 8 '15 at 1:24
The question asks for an explanation of the grammar of "all (of)," not for tips on how to avoid using it. – sumelic Jan 3 at 3:29

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