a billion dollars

Madonna Halim

Senior Member
In the book The Code of The Extraordinary Mind it's said that Richard Branson has started eight different companies in eight different industries and has taken all of them to a billion dollar. What's meant by has "has taken all of them to a billion dollar."? they are all worth a billion dollar, or each of them is worth a billion dollar?
  • Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I agree that it refers to each company separately, not to the total. However, it does not necessarily mean that each company is worth a billion dollars. It is more likely that it means that each company has annual revenue of at least one billion (1,000,000,000) US dollars. (Unless all eight companies are traded on public stock exchanges, which I don't think is the case, there is no way to determine how much each one is worth.)

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    That's what I got from an article, but shouldn't have he said "taken each of them to a billion dollar"?
    That would be more precise, but the distinction is unnecessary in your example. "All" can mean "each individually" or "all of them collectively", and where there could be confusion I recommend using "each" in the first case and "all" with some expression like "in total" or "together" in the second.

    Here there can be no confusion. The repetition of "different" shows very clearly that the writer is focusing on the individual companies.

    If you were writing the sentence yourself, by all means use "each"; it is better than "all". But don't expect everyone else to do so.
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