Cohesive Elements | Talking About Things In General

We use several different expressions to talk about things in general.

Key phrases

On the whole
In general
In all / most / many / some cases
Broadly speaking
By and large
To a great extent
To some extent
Apart from
Except for

  • In general, I am satisfied with my progress.
  • Broadly speaking, politics is a dirty game.
  • Broadly speaking, people are nice to you if you are nice to them.
  • To a great extent, a child’s character is formed by the age of eight.
  • The photography of the film was bad but the plot was exciting. On the whole I enjoyed it.

Notes
On the whole is used to sum up your opinion of something which is good and bad in parts.

To talk about exceptions to generalizations we can use apart from and except for.

  • Except for James, everybody turned up. (= James didn’t come; everybody else did.)
  • I have cleaned all the rooms, except for the bathroom.
  • Apart from the starter, I thought the meal was good.

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