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Indicating the whole with "quan"

One of the uses of 全 (quán) is to indicate the entirety of something. It could be used for something like a whole household, an entire country, the whole world, etc.

Used before Noun

Structure

The structure is quite simple, just put 全 in front of the noun you want to emphasize "the whole" of. You cannot use it with 的. Pay attention to the types of nouns you can use with 全, since it is usually paired up with 身 (body), 家 (family), 国 (country), 世界 (world), 天 (day) and the like.

全 + Noun + 都 + Predicate

The predicate part of the pattern can be a verb or an adjective.

Examples

  • 我们 去 过 北京 。Wǒmen quán jiā dōu qù guo Běijīng.Our entire family have been to Beijing.
  • 公司 的 人 不 喜欢 新 老板 。Quán gōngsī de rén dōu bù xǐhuan xīn lǎobǎn.The whole company doesn't like the new boss.
  • 运动 完 以后 我 是 汗 。Yùndòng wán yǐhòu wǒ quán shēn dōu shì hàn.My whole body sweat after finishing exercising.
  • 放假 了 。Quán xiào dōu fàngjià le.The whole school are on holiday.
  • 这个 地方 很 热 。Zhège dìfang quán nián dōu hěn rè.It's hot here the whole year.

Used before Predicate

Affirmative Form

Before a verb 全 can be omitted, but if it is used, the purpose is to emphasize the idea of "all" or "entire."

Structure

Subj. + 全都 + Predicate

Examples

  • 大家 到 了。Dàjiā quán dōu dào le.Everybody has come.
  • 奶奶 的 头发 白 了。Nǎinai de tóufa quán dōu bái le.My grandma's hair all turned grey.
  • 我 妈妈 做 的 菜 好吃 。Wǒ māma zuò de cài quán dōu hǎochī.The food that my mother makes are all tasty.
  • 作业 做 完 了 吗 ?Zuòyè quán dōu zuò wán le ma?You've finished all your homework?
  • 拿 走 吧。quán dōu názǒu ba.Take them all.

Negative Form: Total Negation

Structure

When you negate 全都 with 不 or 没 after it, you're not just saying "not entirely," you're saying "none of it" or "not at all."

Subj. + 全都 + 不 / 没 + Predicate

Examples

  • 他们 没 去 。Tāmen quán dōu méi qù.None of them went.
  • 这 个 周末 我们 不 在 家 。Zhège zhōumò wǒmen quán dōu bù zài jiā.None of us will be home this weekend.
  • 你们 不 怕 吗 ?Nǐmen quán dōu bù pà ma?Are you all not afraid?
  • 这些 菜 没 熟 。Zhèxiē cài quán dōu méi shóu.None of these food are fully cooked.
  • 他 的 话 我 不 相信 。Tā de huà wǒ quán dōu bù xiāngxìn.I don't believe anything he says.

Negative Pattern: Partial Negation

Structure

When you negate by putting 不 or 没 before 全都, you're only partially negating. In other words, you're communicating "not all."

Subj.+ 不 / 没 + 全都 + Predicate

Examples

  • 他 说 得 有 道理 ,但 我 不 同意 。Tā shuō de yǒu dàolǐ, dàn wǒ bù quán dōu tóngyì.He has a point, but I can't say I agree on all of it.
  • 菜 太 多 了 ,我们 没 吃完 。Cài tài duō le, wǒmen méi quán dōu chī wán.The food was too much. We didn't finish eating them all.
  • 昨天 作业 太 多 了 ,我 没 做完 。Zuótiān zuòyè tài duō le, wǒ méi quán dōu zuò wán.I had too much homework yesterday. I didn't finish doing them all.
  • 我 的 家人 没 来 参加 我 的 婚礼 。Wǒ de jiārén méi quán dōu lái cānjiā wǒ de hūnlǐ.Not all of my family came to my wedding.
  • 你 说 得 太 快 了 , 我 没 记 下来 。Nǐ shuō de tài kuài le, wǒ méi quán dōu jì xiàlái. You spoke too fast. I didn't write down all of what you said.

See also

Sources and further reading

Books