Comparing "dou" and "quan"
都 (dōu) and 全 (quán) both are adverbs that mean "all." Sometimes they can be used interchangeably, and sometimes they can even be used together as 全部 (quán dōu). Both words are used in informal and formal settings. Only 全 can be used as an adjective to mean "complete" or "entire." 都 is used in a wide variety of other grammar patterns which cannot use 全.
|都 (dōu)||全 (quán)|
|Meaning||all; at all; already||all; complete, entire|
|Part of Speech||adverb||adverb, adjective|
- 1 Both 都 (dōu) and 全 (quán) are adverbs that can mean "all"
- 2 全 can be used as an adjective to mean "complete" or "entire"
- 3 都 (dōu) can emphasize "all" when there are many
- 4 都 (dōu) has many different grammatical uses
- 5 Sources and further reading
Both 都 (dōu) and 全 (quán) are adverbs that can mean "all"
As adverbs, 都 (dōu) and 全 (quán) are often interchangeable
- 问题 都 解决 了。 The problems are all solved.
- 因为 战争，这里 的 人 全 离开 了。 Because of the war, all the people here left.
- 大家 全 来 了。 Everyone came.
- 电子 资料 和 纸质 资料 我 都 有。 I have all the information in both electronic and paper form.
- 我们 小区 周围 都 是 写字楼。 Our neighborhood is surrounded by office buildings.
As adverbs, 都 (dōu) and 全 (quán) can be used together
For added emphasis, use them together as 全都.
- 披萨 他 全 都 吃 完 了。 He ate all of the pizza.
- 我们 全 都 是 上班族。We are all nine-to-fivers.
- 漫威的 电影 我们 全 都 看 完 了。 We watched all of the Marvel movies.
全 can be used as an adjective to mean "complete" or "entire"
When used in this way, 全 comes before a noun, meaning "entire." 都 cannot be used this way.
- 全 新 all-new
- 全 熟fully cooked
- 全 天 all day
- 全 公司 company-wide
- 全 国 nationwide
- 全 世界 worldwide
- 这 台 电脑 是 全新 的。 This computer is brand new.
- 我 要 一 份 全熟 的 牛排 。 I'll have a steak, well done.
- 我 需要 全天 工作。 I need to work all day.
- 他 的 英文 非常 棒 ， 可以 去 参加 全国 比赛 。 His English is so good he could be in the national competition.
- 我们 公司 在 全球 都 有 工厂 。 Our company has factories all over the world.
- 全 世界 的 人 都 很想 知道 大选 的 结果 。 People all over the world are eager to know the results of the election.
都 (dōu) can emphasize "all" when there are many
都 is frequently used with 多 to emphasize that it's "a lot," and with 每 to emphasize "every." 全 is not used in this way. 全 is for emphasizing "entire," not "all" of many things.
- 很 多 人 都 喜欢 火锅。A lot of people like hot pot.
- 很 多 人 全 喜欢 火锅。
- 我 每天 都 运动。I exercise every single day.
- 我 每天 全 运动。
- 因为 疫情，很多 地方 都 关门 了。Because of the pandemic, a lot of places closed.
- 因为 疫情，很多 地方 全 关门 了。
都 (dōu) has many different grammatical uses
The uses of 都 in grammar patterns are so varied that we will not attempt to list them all here. That's what the Chinese Grammar Wiki is for! But we'll give a few common uses of 都 that you are most likely to run into.
都 can be used with 每，covers the meanings of "each" and "every."See the Chinese Grammar Eiki entry.
- 我 每 个 星期六 都 去 游泳。 I go swimming every Saturday.
都 can be used with 什么 to make 什么都, which means "everything." See the Chinese Grammar Eiki entry.
- 我 什么 都 喜欢。 I like everything.
都 can mean "already." In this usage there's also a 了. See the Chinese Grammar Eiki entry.
- 都 6 点 了 ！ It's 6 o'clock!
Combined with 一点 to make 一点都 (and followed by a negative), 都 can mean "not at all." See the Chinese Grammar Eiki entry.
- 我 一点 都 不 想 和 他 做 朋友 。 I don't want to be friends with him at all.
Sources and further reading
AllSet Learning Wikis
- Grammar patterns which use 都 (Chinese Grammar Wiki)