A rule can apply to none, some, or all the packets.


A rule can apply to none, some, or all of the packets.

Which form is more appropriate?

I am writing a document and can't seem to decide which is correct. Packet refers to network packets (like the data units of an internet connection) and rule refers to firewall rules which decide whether to allow/block certain kinds of network traffic.

  • Note that in the exact example cited, the word of is effectively optional (it's syntactically valid with or without of). But if the "list" was reordered to A rule can apply to none, all, or some of the packets OR A rule can apply to some, all, or none of the packets, then it wouldn't be syntactically valid to omit of (because none and some have different syntactic affordances to all). Commented Sep 5, 2022 at 12:05
  • Note that a Google Internet search returns twice as many hits for prepositionless "fool all the people" as it does for "fool all of the people" Commented Sep 5, 2022 at 12:14

1 Answer 1


Whatever kind of packets they are, you need to include the of, which applies to all three pronouns. (You can't say 'none the packets'.)

  • You can't say 'none the packets' or 'some the packets', but you can say 'all [of] the packets' with or without the preposition, so something doesn't apply to all three pronouns.. Commented Sep 5, 2022 at 12:08

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