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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"!


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:


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:


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".


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:


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:


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


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


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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