1

there’s a common British English expression:

  • If all goes to plan

in some way it seems to me that “all goes” doesn’t make sense, because I usually come across “all” as a plural

closed as off-topic by Edwin Ashworth, oerkelens, Nigel J, Cascabel, user067531 Jan 8 '18 at 12:31

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 1
    Yes: all does mean everything. See Oxford sense 1.4. – Andrew Leach Jan 6 '18 at 12:07
  • 'All is well' and 'all is not lost' also use 'all' as a singular meaning 'all things'. But in elipsis, when 'things' is dropped, 'all' becomes singular. – Nigel J Jan 6 '18 at 12:21
1

The idiomatic phrase uses all in the sense of everything:

all 1.4 pronoun (used to refer to surroundings or a situation in general) everything. ‘all was well’ ‘all is not lost yet’ - ODO

It is idiomatically singular. All refers to a monolithic totality in this context.

If you take all to refer to the plurality of composites (and hence use plural agreement), you get quite a different meaning:

all 1 Used to refer to the whole quantity or extent of a particular group or thing. (as pronoun) ‘carry all of the blame’ ‘we all have different needs’ - ODO

In that case, "if all go to plan" would mean something like "if all people go to do some planning".

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.