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 English Vocabulary for ESL learners 



Commonly-used expressions.

 Expressions with ALL 



Expression Meaning Example
All along The whole time, from the very beginning “The policeman knew all along that the boy was lying.”
All at once Suddenly, unexpectedly "All at once a storm broke out."
All clear The situation is no longer dangerous “We waited for the all-clear from the fire fighters before driving on.”
All brawn and no brain Physically very strong but not very intelligent “He's an impressive player to watch, but he's all brawn and no brain.”
All but Almost completely “In some small towns train stations have all but disappeared.”
All ears Listening very attentively “Of course I want to know about the wedding - I'm all ears!”
All hell broke loose A sudden noisy or angry reaction All hell broke loose when it was announced that the plant was closing down.”
All in all All things considered All in all the ceremony went well.”
All in your head Imaginery, not real “Don't be silly. Nobody is trying to harm you. It's all in your head!”
All for it Completely support something “The teacher suggested an end-of-the-year picnic and I’m all for it.”
All systems go Be ready for an activity or event to begin “We've got an office, a telephone and the internet, so on Monday it's all systems go!”
All talk Being discussed but nothing has been decided or done “The idea of providing free bicycles is just all talk for the moment.”
All that jazz 'All that stuff' or 'other similar things' “Let's get out the tinsel, the fairy lights and all that jazz to decorate the Christmas tree.”
All the better Benefit from something or feel much better as a result of it “You'll be all the better for a good night's rest.
All the rage Very popular or trendy “Sending text messages is all the rage these days.”
All right Okay, fine "Everything will be all right. Don't worry."
All skin and bone Extremely thin “After trekking in the Himalayas, he was all skin and bone.”
All of a sudden Very suddenly, without any warning All of a sudden we heard an explosion.
All thumbs Awkward or clumsy “Would you mind wrapping this for me? I'm all thumbs!”
All told The final number, when everything has been counted “The number of visitors to the exhibition, all told, was 12543.”
Above all Most importantly, before anything else “Good health is important, above all.”
After all Finally, despite earlier problems or doubts “The rain has stopped, so the match can be played after all.”
Be-all and end-all The ultimate or most important thing “Being selected for the Olympic Games is the be-all and end-all of her life.”
For all (you) know Emphasises that you do not know something “I haven’t seen the old man for a long time. For all I know he could be dead.”
Know it all Someone who seems to know everything "Frankly I find Jack irritating. He's such a know-it-all!"
Not all there Absent-minded or not mentally competent “The old lady acts like she's not all there sometimes”
Once and for all Finally, to put an end to something "Let's settle this argument once and for all."



Please note that British English spelling is used on this website.

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