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Chinese Grammar: Lesson: 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.

, , 什么 ... , 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 .

Structure

Subject + + Verb or Phrase

Examples

现在 大家 知道了
Everyone knows now.

我们 喜欢
We all like you.

周末 哪儿
I didn't go anywhere at all this weekend.

means “the whole": it indicates the entirety of something. 全部 is equivalent to and can be used indifferently.

Structure

/全部 + Noun

Examples

全部 行李 收拾
All my luggage is packed.

明天 全天
I am going to stay home all day tomorrow.

全世界 知道。 
The whole world knows it.

?
Is everybody here?

什么...

It’s a pattern often used by the Chinese to express “all” and “everything”.

Structure

Something + 什么 + + Verb/Adjective

Examples

爸爸 什么 知道
My dad knows everything.

什么
I like eating all kinds of food.

什么 不知
He doesn't know anything.

所有()...

所有()... 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.

Structure

所有() + Noun + + Adjective

Examples

所有 饭店
Everyone has arrived at the restaurant.

所有 东西 这儿
All the things are here.

所有 问题 解决
All the problems were solved.

一切

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.

Structure

一切 + Adjective or
一切 + + something

Examples

一切 顺利
Hope it all goes well for you!

一切 结束
It is all finished.

喜欢 这里 一切
I like everything about here.

任何

任何 literally means “any”, but it means “any and all”, like in English.

Structure

任何 + noun

Examples

告诉 任何
Don't tell anyone!

学校 没有 任何 责任
The school doesn't have any responsibility (in this).

现在 不能 任何 东西
I cannot eat anything now.

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