'all of the' vs 'all the' : using весь

Russian Language Asked on October 4, 2021

I want to say,

Almost all of the weeds are in bloom.

which, in English, can also be stated (improperly?) as,

Almost all the weeds are in bloom.

So far is that correct?

I think these two would translate as,

Почти все сорняков (pl. gen.) в цвету.


Почти все сорняки (pl. nom.) в цвету.

So my question might originate in which is proper to say in English, but also – for the essence of the idea – which is proper to say in Russian.

The issue being expressed in the title….

This was close, but still did not clarify my question:

In "Я скажу тебе всё позднее.", what is the grammatical form of всё?

I think все here in my question is also a pronoun, not an adjective…. correct?

One Answer

You can say either:

Почти все из сорняков в цвету


Почти все сорняки в цвету

Those are quite close in meaning, but the former can clarify the meaning when the noun is uncountable.

Весь персонал я знаю лично // I know all the staff personally

Here, персонал is a synecdoche for "any single person of the staff", because you cannot know groups of people personally.

Весь персонал весит менее 200 килограмм // All the staff weigh(s) less than 200 kg

This is an ambiguous sentence: is персонал a synecdoche for "any single person of the staff" or a literal description for "all of the staff together"? Can we put all the staff into the passenger elevator or should we use the freight one?

Все из персонала весят менее 200 килограмм // All of the staff weigh less than 200 kg

We'd better wait for the freight one.

You can use it even with the countable nouns (like in your example), in which case it means you're talking about smaller classes rather than individual units of the class:

Почти все сорняки (900 особей из 1000) сейчас в цвету.

Почти все из сорняков (василёк, полынь, дурман, но не ромашка) сейчас в цвету.

Correct answer by Quassnoi on October 4, 2021

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