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都 = All ? | Do All Chinese People Drink Hot Water?

Nov.18, 2019

Do you say "都中国人喝热水"?


I'm sorry it's incorrect grammatically!

When you think of saying "all" in Chinese, I assume the first word that comes to your mind is "都dōu"!


都=all???


Sorry, this is another huge misunderstanding you might have!

"都dōu" just equals a part of "all". So what does it mean and how to use it properly?

In English you say it like this:

"All Chinese people drink hot water."


So it's natural to directly translate this into Chinese:

都中国人喝热水。

Dōu zhōngguórén hē rèshuǐ.


However, "都dōu" is an adverb and not an adjective, so the right place for 都 is before the verb and not before the noun! Chinese people will feel odd about a mistake like this where you put "都" in front of the noun "中国人".


So, in this case, you talk like a native if you say:


中国人都喜欢喝热水。

Zhōngguórén dōu xǐhuān hē rèshuǐ.

Chinese people all like to drink hot water.


If you want to put "all" before the noun,  the proper Chinese word to use is the adjective "所有suǒyǒu".


所有的中国人喜欢喝热水。

Suǒyǒu de zhōngguórén hē rèshuǐ.

All Chinese people like to drink hot water.


And, if you want to emphasize "all", you can simply use both "都" and "所以". That would look like:


所有的中国人都喜欢喝热水。

All Chinese people like to drink hot water.


drink hot water


Now, you get "所有suǒyǒu" and "都dōu" clear now?


In short:


  • 所有+(的)+N

  • 都+V


Here are some more examples:


这是我所有的东西。

Zhèshì wǒ suǒyǒu de.
This is all that I have.


这些书我都喜欢。

Zhè xiē shū wǒ dōu xǐhuān.
I like all of these books.


我所有的朋友都会来聚会。

Wǒ suǒyǒu de péngyou dōu huì lái jùhuì.
All of my friends will come to the party.


That's all for today. You got it?


Never say "都中国人……"、"都我的朋友……" anymore! Practice and use "所有" and "都" accurately. See? You just swept another landmine of grammar!


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