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Billy is more popular than ___ in the class. (A) all other (B) all the boys (C) all the others (D) all other boys
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Billy is more popular than ___ in the class. (A) all other (B) all the boys (C) all the others (D) all other boys

D is the right answer. But I am not sure how I can explain it.

A: 'All others' not 'all other'
B: Since Billy is a boy, it would be okay to say 'any of the girls'
C: You are not comparing Billy to any specific 'other' boy. Rather to any or all 'other.'
Interesting. I would choose C; but D seems fine too.

My preferred answer would be:

E: any other boy

MrP
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Hi,

Billy is more popular than ___ in the class. (A) all other (B) all the boys (C) all the others (D) all other boys

If I may be a little contrary, this kind of exercise expects you to make assumptions about the context and expects you to make the assumption the tester expects. If you assume Billy is not in the class, then B is fine.

There's also some cultural specificity built into the question. Half of my students don't even know that 'Billy' is usually a boy's name.

Best wishes, Clive
To judge by the diversity of responses, it seems to be another case of "poorly constructed question".

MrP
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Hello Teo

Thanks for the link.

The poster called Alan states that

1. New York is bigger than all other cities in the US.

is more informal than

2. New York is bigger than all the other cities in the US.

I can think of no justification for this opinion. It seems to me that both are equally grammatical; and both might be found either in formal or informal contexts.

I would say that the difference is slight; but it seems to me that #2 is the plain, neutral statement, whereas #1 lends itself to a more emphatic utterance (stress on "all other cities").

(I would post this comment on the English Club thread; but to judge by the "conditions", it's some kind of closed shop, and only lets its own chosen few "answer" posts.)

MrP
"other cities" is the indefinite plural. "the other cities" is the definite plural.
Since, theoretically, we can list "the other cities" (in the example at hand), i.e., at least somebody knows which cities they are, i.e., can 'define' them, make them 'definite', "the" seems to be the theoretically correct choice.
On the other hand, presenting "other cities" as indefinite, i.e., "whichever cities they may be (provided we include all of them)" seems equally logical to me.

So I, too, am hard pressed to see how the choice of whether to present the "others" in this sort of comparison as if they are known or as if they are unknown amounts to a choice of formal or informal.

CJ
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