all in all

Edher

Senior Member
USA
Cd. de México, Spanish & English
Saludos a todos,

I'm having trouble applying the expression "all in all." Could you please provide me with some good examples where it can used as well as common misusages to avoid.

Thank you,
Edher
 
  • Bienvenidos

    Senior Member
    USA
    Afghanistan/USA
    All in all is a way to conclude a statement (however, in academic texts, it is not recommended to use all in all as a closing transitional phrase).

    We got lost on the way to Mexico City, but all in all, it was a good trip.

    Bien
     

    Joelline

    Senior Member
    American English
    It is synonymous with "all things considered" or "on the whole," and as Bien suggests, one of these would be preferable in formal writing.

    All in all, we had a good trip.

    By the way, there is an implication here that, if we knew more details, there would be some negative things to say about the trip! (All in all is a summarizing phrase with details omitted.)
     
    Edher said:
    Saludos a todos,

    I'm having trouble applying the expression "all in all." Could you please provide me with some good examples where it can used as well as common misusages to avoid.

    Thank you,
    Edher

    I can't think of any misusages Edher. Since it is a "neat" stock phrase, once learnt and understood, it would be difficult to misuse.

    All in all it's a piece of cake. :)



    LRV
     
    paulvial said:
    Good morning,
    If "all in all " is not recommended in formal writing, could it then be replaced by "on the whole" ? Or is that much of the same ?

    Hello Paulvial,

    'On the whole" is a good replacement, as Joelline suggested, or "all things considered." I prefer "on the whole".

    "On the whole, we had a really good holiday."



    LRV
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    All in all means (meant?) every thing in every way, all things together in one. The phrase finally settled in my head as a biblical reference:

    1539 CRANMER 1 Cor. xv. 28 That God maye be all in all.
    (I suppose we could call that an example of formal usage:) )

    1824 BYRON Juan II. clxxxix, They were All in all to each other.

    It seems from the descriptions given, and indeed from the examples I found through Google that, somehow, all in all has slipped from a quite exalted meaning to acquire the sense of taking a broad view, one thing with another, considering the rough with the smooth, generally speaking.

    So, when I whisper in MrsP's shell-like ear "You are my all in all", she may be thinking "So what negative things has he in mind," rather than remembering Byron.

    That explains a lot.
     
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