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Expressing "every" with question words

This grammar point is not about how to use 每 (měi) to mean "every," but rather how to combine question words with (dōu) to make words and phrases like "everywhere" or "everyone." You may have learned this same pattern for expressing "everything," but now it's time to extend it.

Expressing "Everyone" with 谁 都

"谁 都" (shéi dōu) is a pattern used to express "everyone" (or possibly "anyone") in Chinese. The placement of the question word 谁 is very similar to the way 什么 (shénme) can be used to express "every", along with other question words like 哪儿 (nǎr) and 多少 (duōshǎo).

Structure

谁 + 都 + Verb Phrase

Examples

  • 谁 都 喜欢 美食。Shéi dōu xǐhuan měishí.Everyone likes delicious food.
  • 这个 地方 谁 都 可以 进 。 Zhège dìfang shéi dōu kěyǐ jìn.Everyone can go inside this place.
  • 谁 都 不 相信 他 说 的 话 。 Shéi dōu bù xiāngxìn tā shuō de huà.No one believes what he said.
  • 谁 都 不 希望 发生 这样 的 事 。 Shéi dōu bù xīwàng fāshēng zhèyàng de shì.No one wants this kind of thing to happen.
  • 谁 都 没 办法 证明 他 拿 了 公司 的 钱 。 Shéi dōu méi bànfǎ zhèngmíng tā ná le gōngsī de qián.No one can prove that he took the company's money.

Expressing "Everywhere" with 哪儿 都

This pattern also works with 哪儿 (nǎr).

Structure

哪儿 / 哪里 + 都 + Verb Phrase

Examples

  • 你 家 太 乱 了 , 哪儿 是 脏 衣服 。Nǐ jiā tài luàn le, nǎr dōu shì zāng yīfu.Your place is so messy. Dirty clothes are everywhere.
  • 昨天 运动 得 太 厉害 了 , 现在 哪儿 疼 。 Zuótiān yùndòng de tài lìhai le, xiànzài nǎr dōu téng.I exercised too strenuously yesterday. Now everywhere hurts.
  • 我 太 累 了,哪儿 不想 去。Wǒ tài lèi le, nǎr dōu bù xiǎng qù.I'm too tired. I don't want to go anywhere.

Expressing "Whenever" with 什么时候 都

什么时候 (shénme shíhou) combines with 都 (dōu) to mean "whenever" or "anytime."

Structure

什么 时候 + 都 + Verb Phrase

Examples

  • 什么 时候 行 。 shénme shíhou lái dōu xíng.You can come anytime.
  • 什么 时候 开始 不 晚 。 Shénme shíhou kāishǐ dōu bù wǎn.It's never too late to begin.
  • 我 家 什么 时候 有 人 在 。 Wǒ jiā shénme shíhou dōu yǒu rén zài.There is always someone at home.

Expressing "However Much" with 多少 都

多少 (duōshao) also works with "都" in this case.

Structure

多少 (+ Noun) + 都 + Verb Phrase

Examples

  • 多少 钱 买 不到 这个 东西 。 Duōshao qián dōu mǎi bùdào zhège dōngxi.You can't buy this thing at any price.
  • 你 想 吃 多少 可以 。 Nǐ xiǎng chī duōshao dōu kěyǐ.You can eat however much you want.
  • 这些 是 免费 的 , 我们 拿 多少 没 问题 。 Zhèxiē shì miǎnfèi de, wǒmen ná duōshao dōu méi wèntí.These are all free. We can take however much we want.

Expressing "However" with 怎么 都

怎么 (zěnme) also works with "都" in this case.

Structure

怎么 + 都 + Verb Phrase

Examples

  • 我 想 怎么 可以 吗 ? Wǒ xiǎng zěnme zuò dōu kěyǐ ma? Is it OK if I do however I want?
  • 别人 怎么 不 重要 。 Biérén zěnme xiǎng dōu bù zhòngyào.It doesn't matter however other people think.
  • 这 件 衣服 怎么 穿 好看 。 Zhè jiàn yīfu zěnme chuān dōu hǎokàn.This clothing looks good however you wear it.

See also

Sources and further reading

Books