the word "all" in sentence “you can all help."

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the word "all" in sentence “you can all help."

Post by yuewu » Wed Aug 12, 2020 3:10 am

Hi Alan,
I read a story, 4 children and there dad go to pick up something, the dad said: "you can all help."
I know that "all" is a adv. .
Is it modified to the main verb "help"?
1)does it mean "You can totally help"
2)or does it mean "all of you" can help?

if the answer is 2), the word "all" is modified to the "you", but "you" is a pronoun. A "adv" can not modify a pronoun.

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Re: the word "all" in sentence “you can all help."

Post by Alan » Wed Aug 12, 2020 5:55 am

It means (2).

I would analyse 'all' here is a kind of subjunct, technically modifying the verb phrase 'can help' but primarily with respect to the pronoun 'you'.

To look at it another way, you might consider 'all' as meaning something like 'in such a way as to include every one of (you)'.