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dōu
adv. all, both
Discussion of 都
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When 都 and 也(ye3) are used together in one sentence, 也 comes first. You may take a look at the following sentence in our dictionary:
E.g. 我们也都是学生。 [phr] We are all students, too.
lisaC
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In this post we discuss the differences between 都 and 全 when they are adverbs. These two adverbs can both be translated as “all” in English. In some sentences they are interchangeable, but in some others, they are not. What are their differences?

In the examples below (1a&1b),either 全 or 都 can be used. The meaning of the sentence does not change.
E.g. 1a 他左边的身体全 (or 都)湿了。 [phr] The left side of his body was all wet.
E.g. 1b 他连面条带饺子全 (or 都)吃光了。 [phr] He ate up all the noodles as well as dumplings.
全 emphasises the “entirety", therefore there must be a range of certain things or people before 全. In E.g. 1a, “the left side of his body” is the range, and in E.g. 1b, “all the noodles and dumplings” is the range. The emphasis of 都 is a bit different: its emphasis is on the nature of being the same.

There are some circumstances where only 都 can be used:

1. When we are referring to “anyone” of a group without exception, usually 每, 各 or 任何 is used (E.g. 2a&2b). Or sometimes, we use 谁, 什么 or 哪儿 (E.g. 3a&3b). Only 都 can be used in these sentences. 全 cannot be used.
E.g. 2a 他每周都洗车。 [phr] he washes his car every week.
E.g. 2b 任何事情他都必须知道。 [phr] He has to know everything.
E.g. 3a 像校长这样的人,到哪里都很受欢迎。 [phr] People like the headmaster are popular no matter where they go.
E.g. 3b 叫我干什么都行。 [phr] Whatever I am assigned to do, I will do that.

2. When we are referring to the same situation under different conditions, in different times or in different places. Look at E.g. 4 below. 全 cannot be used in this sentence.
E.g. 4 在以前的工作岗位上,我都没有遇到过这样的问题。 [phr] In my previous places of work, I have never encountered such a problem.

3. When the things we are referring to are not specified (E.g.5). 全 cannot be used in this sentence.
E.g. 5 你都读过哪些书? [phr] What books have you read?
lisaC
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"都" is an adverb expressing scope. It is often used to sum up the preceding elements (people or things) and can never be placed before the subject. In a sentence, "都" is the adverbial adjunct modifying the verb or adjective that follows, indicating all the people or things preceding "都" unexceptionally have the action, nature or state that is expressed by the verb or adjective.

Please pay attention to different word orders and their meanings when 都 is used adverbs, such as 不 and 没. You may take a look at the following entries in our dictionary: 不都,都不.
lisaC
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