Whole vs Entire

Whole vs Entire

Whole

  • less formal, a bit more common implies the wholeness of a single undivided object, not a collection of parts, not a sum of parts;
  • not broken or damaged, intact: used with singular countable nouns e.g. a whole loaf of bread / a whole person / whole life (one’s life as a single unit);
  • cannot be used with plural countable nouns or uncountable nouns.

Examples

  1. The lessor has leased the whole building.
  2. We’ve rented the whole of the 5th floor as we’re planning to take on more staff. 
  3. This whole idea is crazy.
  4. She told the whole truth.
  5. We spent the whole / the entire / all day on the beach.
  6. Now that I’m back from my week-long vacation, I feel whole again.
  7. I ate the whole pie.
  8. The unemployment rate for the whole of Poland was 18%.
  9. You do not have to pay them a bonus for the whole of 2015.

Entire

  • implies totality, completeness and means no part has been left out; 
  • used with singular countable nouns; 
  • cannot be used with plural countable nouns or with most uncountable nouns, is used with some uncountable noun meaning integrity of parts e.g. entire life (means all the parts: years, experiences) of a life.

The entirety of 

The entirety of is very formal.

More Examples

  1. This entire idea is crazy.
  2. She told the entire truth. 
  3. That teen prodigy can play the entire Beethoven corpus.
  4. I read the book in its entirety. (I read the entire/whole book.)
  5. He war affected an entire generation of young Americans.
  6. The fence runs along the entire length of the building.
  7. She has dedicated her entire life to helping others.
  8. He threw up after drinking an entire can of beer.
  9. He slept through the entire movie.
  10. One word spoken in anger may spoil an entire life.
  11. Knowledge is limited while imagination embraces the entire world.
  12. Most kinds of snakes can go an entire year without eating anything.
  13. It takes 12 bees their entire lifetime to make about 15 milliliters of honey.
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