Chinese Grammar: All about “all”
Are you wondering about the use of “all” in Chinese? No worries, we are here to help, let us explain it all.
There are a lot of ways of saying “all” in Chinese. This tiny word has lots of equivalents, and the small differences between them can be confusing.
都, 全, 什么 ... 都, 任何, 所有 and 一切 mean “all”! Let's see how to know which one to use and when.
The first we often learn and the most common word for “all” is 都.
Subject + 都 + Verb or Phrase
现在 大家 都 知道了。
Everyone knows now.
全 means “the whole": it indicates the entirety of something. 全部 is equivalent to 全 and can be used indifferently.
我 的 全部 行李 都 收拾 好 了。
All my luggage is packed.
明天 我 全天 都 在 家。
I am going to stay home all day tomorrow.
全世界 的 人 都 知道。
The whole world knows it.
It’s a pattern often used by the Chinese to express “all” and “everything”.
爸爸 什么 都 知道。
My dad knows everything.
我 什么 都 爱 吃。
I like eating all kinds of food.
所有(的)... 都 is also a useful structure to express “all”. Usually, it is used to refer to "every" or to "all" when the quantity is mostly large.
所有 人 都 到 饭店 了。
Everyone has arrived at the restaurant.
所有 的 东西 都 在 这儿。
All the things are here.
一切 can both be an adjective and a pronoun. It can only refer to things that are not considered as a collection of individual units.
祝 你 一切 顺利！ Hope it all goes well for you!
一切 都 结束 了。 It is all finished.
任何 literally means “any”, but it means “any and all”, like in English.
任何 + noun
学校 没有 任何 责任。
The school doesn't have any responsibility (in this).
Don't hesitate to report a feedback if you have internet!
You are disconnected!
Please check your internet connection and retry.
Pay attention to the fact that 都 should be used after the subject. A common mistake is to put 都 at the beginning of the sentence. It’s not appropriate in Chinese, so watch out little dragon!