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Expressing "every time" with "mei" and "dou"

每次⋯⋯ 都⋯⋯ (měi cì... dōu...) is a pattern used to express "every time." Translating from English, you might feel that the only part really needed is 每次 (měi cì), since it literally means "every time." This is incorrect! Not only is the adverb 都 (dōu) required, but it's arguably more vital than the 每次 (měi cì)! So it's important to get used to using both parts.

Structure

This pattern actually builds on the basic 每……都…… pattern, which you should already know. In this grammar structure, we go beyond just saying things like "every person" or "every day," and focus on what happens every time a certain action is done.

每次 + Event 1 + 都 + Event 2

Examples

  • 每次 来 我 家 带 花 。měi cì lái wǒ jiā dōu dài huā.She brings flowers every time she visits me.
  • 为什么 每次 我 来 他 不 在 ?Wèishénme měi cì wǒ lái tā dōu bù zài?How come he's not here every time I come?
  • 每次 玩 这个 游戏 输 。měi cì wán zhège yóuxì dōu shū.Every time I play this game, I lose.
  • 你 怎么 每次 吃 火锅 拉肚子 ?Nǐ zěnme měicì chī huǒguō dōu lādùzi?How come you have diarrhea every time you eat hotpot?
  • 每次 迟到 说 因为 堵车 。měicì chídào dōu shuō yīnwèi dǔchē.Every time he's late, he says it's because of bad traffic.
  • 每次 经过 这 家 店 会 进去 看看 。měi cì jīngguò zhè jiā diàn dōu huì jìnqù kànkan.Every time I pass this shop, I go inside and take a look.
  • 我 妹妹 每次 打针 哭 。Wǒ mèimei měicì dǎzhēn dōu kū.My little sister cries every time she has to get a shot.
  • 每次 遇到 生词 他 要 查 字典 。Měi cì yùdào shēngcí tā dōu yào chá zìdiǎn.Every time he comes across a new word, he looks it up in the dictionary.
  • 每次 编辑 要 保存 。Měi cì biānjí dōu yào bǎocún.Every time you edit, you need to save it.
  • 爸爸 每次 出差 给 我 买 礼物 。Bàba měi cì chūchāi dōu gěi wǒ mǎi lǐwù.Dad buys presents for me every time he goes on business trips.

See also

Sources and further reading

Books