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Using after all

After all can mean ‘in spite of what was said before’ or ‘contrary to what was expected’. After all usually goes at the end of a clause.

  • I’m sorry. I can’t help you after all.
  • I expected to pass the test, but I failed after all.

After all can be used to introduce an important argument. With this meaning, it can go at the beginning or end of a sentence.

  • OK, I will do the washing up. Somebody has to do it, after all.
  • I think we should let him decide what he wants to do. After all, he is a big boy now.

After all does not mean ‘finally’, ‘at last’ or ‘in the end’.

  • After the show we had dinner and went to the park; then we finally went home. (NOT …after all, we went home.)
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