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The sentences:

This scientist suggests that te role of humankind could be pretty insignificant. Does this give us all excuse not to worry about the damage we are doing to the Earth?

About "us all excuse", is it:

(a) Does this give (us all)excuse...?

or

(b) Does this give us (all excuse)...?
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Comments  
Taka,

Here's how I would rewrite it....

Does this give us all AN excuse not to worry about the damage we are doing to the Earth?

Meaning, do all of us now have an excuse so that we don't have to worry about the damage we are doing to the earth?

Hope this helps.

MountainHiker
In other words, (a ) is correct, right?
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Taka,

I am not sure, because A and B look the same, with just the brackets moved around. I think both are missing "AN".

MountainHiker
They are not meant to be tha same:

(a ) all=apposition of "us" as in "We all know that."

(b ) all=modifying "excuse" as in "all things."
Taka,

( a )

Hope that helps.

MountainHiker
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Thanx!
MountainHiker, I've received this message concerning the question:

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It could be either (a ) or (b), Taka. Intonantion would really help us out. You wouldn't happened to have it on audio tape, would you?

The writer dropped the article "an", so we're not sure if the article placement should be after "all" or before "all":

(a ) us all (an) excuse (Pronoun; everyone involved)
(b ) us (an) all excuse (Adjective; all-purpose excuse)

In (a ) "all" functions as a pronoun. It defines "us" (i.e. all of us ~ us all), whereas in ( b ) "all" functions as an adjective in modifying the noun "excuse".

As is, it stands ambiguous. Nonetheless, if I had to choose between the two, I'd opt for (a ) given that 'all excuse", a noun phrase, requires an article/determiner; but, then again, if the writer is using "all excuse" is an adjective phrase, then it's acceptable as is. Again, intonantion would be the best key here.
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What do you think?
Hi Taka,

I agree with the comments you received. As noted in my answer, the "AN" is missing. So I associated the ALL with US, and simply inserted the missing AN.

"us all" versus "all excuse".

Try Googling those two word combinations (WITH the quotation marks). They are not even close. "Us all" is far more common. That's probably why my brain automatically put those two together. When I first read the sentence, I determined that you were missing an "an" and then I put in associted the "all" with "us". That is how I am most accustomed to seeing it.

But if somone were to argue that the "all" belonged with "excuse" as the author of your note did, then I could agree.

If the "an" were properly placed, then the answer is obvious.

Hope that helps.

MountainHiker
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