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Consider the following two sentences:

1a) I eat dinner at home all of the time.
1b) I eat dinner at home most of the time.

Both of these sentences would be viewed as grammatically correct by native speakers. In the case of 1a, 'of' can be elided and have the meaning remain the same. However the same cannot be said of 1b, as illustrated below.

2a) I eat dinner at home all the time.
2b) *I eat dinner at home most the time.

I'm curious to see the syntactic reason behind why the 'of' in the most-expression cannot be elided. I look forward to your feedback.

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  • Related: All of (the/a/?) time
    – Laurel
    Commented Mar 2, 2018 at 3:13
  • 1
    What about 'some of the time'? It looks like 'all' is the outlier.
    – Mitch
    Commented Mar 2, 2018 at 3:19

1 Answer 1

1

of is a preposition which is used to express the relationship between a part and a whole.

As all denotes nothing is left behind, the usage of of is unnecessary.

But most is something which is not the whole, of is always needed to express the relationship.

Examples:
Most of you are eligible.
All of you are eligible (or) All are eligible.

3
  • "Most are eligible" is fine too.
    – Laurel
    Commented Mar 2, 2018 at 4:15
  • "Most are eligible" is fine whereas "Most you are eligible" is not. The latter makes a comparision, while the former doesn't! :)
    – NinjaSword
    Commented Mar 2, 2018 at 4:28
  • But it's "the whole of the time" not "the whole the time", so it's not just about some/all?
    – Stuart F
    Commented Oct 4, 2021 at 8:53

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