all of the = all the baby teeth

learning_grenglish

Senior Member
India
New born babies do not have teeth. The first tooth appears when a baby is about seven months old. By the time a child is 3 years old, all of the baby teeth appear. Little children have twenty baby teeth.

Can I replace, "all of the baby teeth" with "all the baby teeth" in this cotnext, without any change in the meaning?
 
  • nzseries1

    Senior Member
    New Zealand - English
    If it was up to me, I would have re-written the original sentence as:

    By the time a child is 3 years old, all of the baby teeth will have appeared.
    By the time a child is 3 years old, all the baby teeth will have appeared.

    To me, "all of the" and "all the" both could be used and both mean the same.
     

    Tabac

    Senior Member
    U. S. - English
    My personal choice is influenced by my knowlege of the French partitive construction, so I would say 'all', without 'of'. I use 'of' with 'some, a few, a number, five,' etc.
    However, I'm certain to be the exception rather than the rule on this issue.
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    New born babies do not have teeth. The first tooth appears when a baby is about seven months old. By the time a child is 3 years old, all of the baby teeth appear. Little children have twenty baby teeth.

    Can I replace, "all of the baby teeth" with "all the baby teeth" in this cotnext, without any change in the meaning?
    As a side issue regarding style, note that the way you use numbers is inconsistent, i.e. digits vs written-out. Different authorities on style don't agree on a rule, but one should be consistent. (U.S. newspaper style is to write out numbers less than 10 and use digits thereafter)
     

    river

    Senior Member
    U.S. English
    Standard English gives you the option of dropping of before possessive pronouns, before that, and before collective and plural nouns. So, yes, you can drop the of in your sentence without any change in meaning.
     
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