He and my family both hope you can come to see us.

Is the word "both" here correct? or should I use "all", but "all" doesn't feel right either.

  • To clarify, is "he" supposed to be part of the family, or a separate non-family individual? – sumelic Dec 18 '16 at 2:31
  • How about neither of the two and let the sentence exist without both or all? – Stu W Jan 2 '17 at 2:25

Correctly ‘my family as a unit hopes…’ when ‘he and the family unit both…’ or ‘the members of my family individually hope…’ when he and the family members all…’

‘Both’ only if ‘family’ means the unit as a whole and not the members, which in everyday usage is unlikely; even then, the choice will prolly be idiomatic.

‘My family was wiped out in the war’ clearly means the unit as a whole.

‘My family were all killed in the war’ clearly means the members individually, although the result is the same.

How much chance is there really that an individual writer - much less a speaker - will make that somewhat pedantic distinction and not use ‘were wiped out…’ or even ‘was killed…’?

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