All that glitters is not gold.

Discussion in 'English Only' started by peptidoglycan, Oct 9, 2008.

  1. peptidoglycan Senior Member

    Turkey
    Turkish
    "All that glitters is not gold." is a well-known sentence.

    I would like to ask whether the sentence "All what glitters is not gold." is also correct or not.

    Thank you very much.
     
  2. JamesM

    JamesM Senior Member

    Strictly speaking, I would say that is not correct. There are certain dialects and regional forms of English that use "what" for "that" in this way, but it is non-standard English, as far as I know.

    "All that you said was true." -- standard
    "All what you said was true." -- non-standard, but heard sometimes in very casual English, in my experience
     
  3. GreenWhiteBlue

    GreenWhiteBlue Senior Member

    The City of New York
    USA - English
    "All that glitters is not gold" is a common misquotation of a line that appears in Shakespeare's play The Merchant of Venice. The original version is actually All that glisters is not gold. Shakespeare was repeating an idea that is also found in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, where it is expressed in the "Canon's Yeoman's Tale" as But all thing which that shineth as the gold/ Ne is no gold, as I have herd it told.

    Since it is an actual quotation, no change is correct. The change you propose ("All what glitters...") has the added disadvantage of being ungrammatical and unnatural.
     

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