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adv. indicating the cause (used before 是); even; already
Discussion of 都
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When 都 (adverb) means "already", it can be replaced by 已经. For example:
Example 1. 都三点了，还有三十分钟就开始了，你在哪儿？ [phr] It's already three. It will starts in only thirty minutes. Where are you now?
We can also say:
Example 2. "已经三点了，还有三十分钟就开始了，你在哪儿？"
Grammatically example 1 and 2 are both correct. However 都 and 已经 are not entirely the same. 都 expresses a strong tone emphasizing that the situation is not ordinary or common. By using 都, the speaker is not only saying "already", but he also expresses another meaning in addition. Example 1.都三点了 indicates that the speaker thinks "it is already 3 o'clock and it is quite late".
- 现在几点了？What time is it now?
- 已经三点了。It is already 3 o'clock.
In example 3, we cannot replace 已经 with 都, because no extra is to be expressed as the speaker is simply answering a question.
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