all/different kinds of stuff vs. various/different things

zaffy

Senior Member
Polish
Are these four equally natural?

A: What can we get in that shop/store?
B: Well, all kinds of stuff. Anything from a soap to a book.
B: Well, different kinds of stuff. Anything from a soap to a book.
B: Well, various things. Anything from a soap to a book.
B: Well, different things. Anything from a soap to a book.
 
  • Roxxxannne

    Senior Member
    English (northeastern US)
    To me they are all equally natural, but they don't all mean the same thing.
    'All kinds of' covers a wider variety of things than 'different kinds of.'
    As I use it, 'stuff' implies that some of the items in the store are not what I'm interested in; they might be useless to me or I might not know what they're used for. "Things' are identifiable or useful to me.
    'Different' implies being different from something, which the other examples to involve.
    A shop with 'various things' in it means to me that it sells books, soap, and screwdrivers, but not blank journals or sponges or hammers: they have many categories but their offerings in each category are somewhat random and not at all complete.

    Note: I don't intend to represent all, or even many, American English speakers; this is just how I myself use these words and phrases.
     

    sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Thanks, which do you like most?
    If the idea is that you can find just about anything in that shop, I like "all kinds of stuff" best.

    I don't like either of the options with "different": the word suggests that the shop carries an unusual range of items, not that it stocks just about everything.

    "Various things" is rather vague and lacks the implication of comprehensiveness.
     
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