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 都 (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.
- 1 "Everyone" with 谁 都
- 2 "Everywhere" with 哪儿 都
- 3 "Whenever" with 什么时候 都
- 4 "However Much" with 多少 都
- 5 "However" with 怎么 都
- 6 See also
- 7 Sources and further reading
"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 (duōshao).
谁 + 都 + Predicate
The predicate part of the pattern can be a verb or an adjective.
- 谁 都 喜欢 美食 。Everyone likes delicious food.
- 谁 都 可以 进 。Everyone can come in.
- 谁 都 不 相信 他 说 的 话 。No one believes what he said.
"Everywhere" with 哪儿 都
This pattern works with both 哪儿 (nǎr) and 哪里 (nǎlǐ).
哪儿 / 哪里 (+ Verb) + 都 + Predicate
- 他 的 房间 里 哪儿 都 是 脏 衣服 。His dirty laundry is all over his room.
- 我 太 累 了，哪儿 都 不 想 去 。I'm too tired. I don't want to go anywhere.
- 在 哪里 见面 都 行 。I'm fine with meeting anywhere.
"Whenever" with 什么时候 都
什么时候 (shénme shíhou) combines with 都 (dōu) to mean "whenever" or "anytime."
什么时候 (+ Verb) + 都 + Predicate
- 什么 时候 都 可以 。Anytime is fine.
- 你什么 时候 来 都 欢迎 。You're welcome to come anytime.
- 什么 时候 开始 都 不 晚 。It's never too late to start.
"However Much" with 多少 都
多少 (duōshao) also works with 都 in this case.
Verb + 多少 + 都 + Predicate
- 你 想 吃 多少 都 可以 。You can eat however much you want.
- 这些 是 免费 的 ，我们 拿 多少 都 没 问题 。These are all free. We can take as much as we want.
- 我 跟 他 说 多少 遍 都 没有 用 。It doesn't matter how many times I tell him.
"However" with 怎么 都
怎么 (zěnme) also works with 都.
怎么 + Verb + 都 + Predicate
- 怎么 做 都 可以 吗 ？ It's OK if I do it however I want?
- 这些 钱 你 怎么 花 都 行 。You can spend this money however you like.
- 别人 怎么 想 都 不 重要 。 It's not important what other people think.
Sources and further reading
- HSK Standard Course 3 (pp. 146) Anything Goes (无所不谈) →buy
- HSK Standard Course 4下 (pp. 117) Anything Goes (无所不谈) →buy
- Modern Mandarin Chinese Grammar: A Practical Guide (pp. 286-8) Anything Goes (无所不谈) →buy