Inspired by this question, I asked myself how I would say "Everybody but me..." e.g. "Everybody but me ate fish".

At first I thought of 私以外の人はみんな... which is a phrase that seems to occur often on Google. Then I thought that maybe I could contract it to 私以外のみんなは...which does appear on Google but is much less popular.

1) Is 私以外の人はみんな...natural in this context

2) Is 私以外のみんなは... wrong? And, why? If it's not wrong is there a difference between the two?

  • I don't think it's necessarily wrong calling 以外 a particle, but it's not traditionally considered to be one, so I'm not sure if we should create a particle-igai tag. For now I've removed it, but we could start a meta discussion about what sort of tag to use for 以外.
    – user1478
    Aug 27, 2018 at 10:48
  • Fair enough. My book says 'dependent noun' , but I don't think we have a tag for that either. I often think I should be adding another tag, but can't find anything relevant, so I just settle for 'grammar'. I think simply 'igai' might be the most sensible tag. Aug 27, 2018 at 11:03

2 Answers 2


I think this is simply a reflection of how Japanese people prefer adverbial expressions to describe the quantity of things.

Semantically they are almost interchangeable, but 私以外のみんな tends to refer to a definite group of people (e.g., "all of the remaining seven people (excluding me)", "the rest of us"), whereas 私以外の人はみんな tends to refer to indefinite people (e.g., "everyone (living in Japan) except me").


Both expressions sound very natural and I can't think of any significant semantic differences between those two.

Technically, additional "人は" is scoping what みんな refers to. For example, consider 私以外の女性はみんな. But 人 is as broad a class as it gets, so in this instance it's not adding no value.

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