student asking question

Can I replace "entirely" with "all"?

teacher

Native speaker’s answer

Rebecca

Yes, in this case you can replace "entirely" with "all". Both "all" and "entirely" are adverbs and they have very similar meanings, so you can often use them interchangeably. However, "entirely" is a bit more formal and can more strongly emphasize that something is complete, whereas "all" does not have the same emphasis. Ex: I spilled the drink all on my shirt. Ex: I spilled the drink entirely on my shirt. Even though "all" means that something is "complete" or "whole", it does not imply that something is totally covered with something because "all" is often used to exaggerate something that is not complete or whole. So when used to describe something complete or whole, "all" sounds less strong.

Popular Q&As

02/26

Complete the expression with a quiz!