I am trying to make sentences start with "All", like the following:

All my pots and pans were broken, by accident.

But, what if I had only one pan ?

Sounds ODD : All my pots and pan were broken, by accident.

Second Example:

All my brothers and sisters were highly educated, unlike me.

What if I have only one sister ?

Sounds ODD : All my brothers and sister were highly educated, unlike me.

One way is to start with the Singular Item and then list the Plural Items:

My pan and all my pots were broken, by accident.
My sister and all my brothers were highly educated, unlike me.

One more way is to highlight and use "only":

All my pots and my only pan were broken, by accident.
All my brothers and my only sister were highly educated, unlike me.
But, Sentences are unnecessarily highlighting the Singular Items, which may divert the focus.

EDIT : Adding two more examples starting with "All" but without "my" :

All the Kings and Queens were crowned by Popes.
Sounds ODD : All the Kings and Queen were crowned by Popes.

All the shirts and jackets were damaged by the washing machine.
Sounds ODD : All the shirts and jacket were damaged by the washing machine.

I am trying to find ways to start with "All" but remain grammatical and not sound ODD.
Suggestions ?

ANSWERS & afterthoughts :
With the suggestions by @HighPerformanceMark, to go with the Plural when it is not important, and the suggestion by @KateBunting to have a minimal repetition, there is a Point by @Barmar that "All" implies that the associated noun is Plural.
Having thought some more about this Question, I have yet another suggestion: In some cases, we can club the Items. With that change, two of my examples become:

All my siblings were highly educated, unlike me.
All the Monarchs were crowned by Popes.

  • 2
    All my Brothers and Sisters were highly educated, unlike me. remains true, and satisfies your requirement for a sentence lacking oddness, if you only have one sister. If it's not important that the sentence makes it clear that you have only one sister stick with that. And if it is important and you must start the sentence with All go with All my Brothers and my only Sister were highly educated, unlike me.. (Oh, and I expect you know that neither Brothers nor Sister needs capitalisation in your sentences.) Oct 7, 2021 at 12:27
  • 5
    Or simply all my brothers, and my sister, were... Oct 7, 2021 at 12:28
  • @HighPerformanceMark , thanks, yes, I think we can use the inaccurate Plural when it is not important, (( I will edit my question with correct capitalization ! ))
    – Prem
    Oct 9, 2021 at 13:00
  • @KateBunting , thanks, yes, the minimal repetition of "my" makes sense when it is important to gently highlight that it is not Plural.
    – Prem
    Oct 9, 2021 at 13:03

1 Answer 1


Whenever you use "all", the associated noun is treated as a plural, even if there's only have one. You can't say "all my sister", even if you only have one sister; you have to say "all my sisters". Of course, you wouldn't normally use "all" in the first place in this case.

If you're using a conjunction after "all", the same rule applies to all of the items. So it should be "all my pots and pans", and "all my brothers and sisters".

It's possible to rephrase to make it clear that one of them is singular, if you wish, but it's usually not necessary to distinguish.

My brothers and sister all were highly educated.

All my brothers and my sister were highly educated.

All my pots were broken by accident, and so was my pan.

And if you have multiple sisters, but not all of them were educated, you can write

All my brothers and one of my sisters were highly educated.

  • +1 , Suggestions are all good, thanks ! I will update my question shortly, with 2 more examples with slight variations; Hope your answer does not be come invalid with those changes.
    – Prem
    Oct 9, 2021 at 13:07

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