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What’s the difference between ‘Quan’ and ‘Dou’ as adv.?
Posted by: Kelly.Daly (IP Logged)
Date: January 18, 2009 10:55PM
Who can tell the differences between ‘Quan’ and ‘Dou’? I was told they were the same and are equal to ‘all’. But many a time I was told I used one of them wrong and I should use the other one. Here is an example, I wanted to say ‘All want to go to that movie’ and said in Chinese that ‘mei ge ren quan xiang qu kan na ge dian ying.’ What’s wrong with the ‘Quan’ here? I don’t know what the point is there. Don’t that both ‘Quan’ and ‘Dou’ mean ‘all’? The answers I got was always like ‘I don’t know how to explain’ or ‘it’s complicated’ when I asked for an explanation. I got nowhere to know how to differentiate the two words and how to use them. Don’t they just mean ‘all’?

Re: What’s the difference between ‘Quan’ and ‘Dou’ as adv.?
Posted by: haiying (IP Logged)
Date: January 18, 2009 10:59PM
It’s a common mistake English-speaking learners would make. Theoretically speaking, ‘Quan’ emphasizes items as a whole and there must be a certain scope of the items before ‘Quan’ in a sentence; for instance, ‘Zhe xie ren( those people) wo (I) quan(all) xi huan.’ In this sentence, ‘ren’(a person) acts as the item and ‘zhe xie ren’ (those people) acts as the scope. As to ‘Dou’, it emphasizes every item or any part of the whole mentioned are the same. When you wanted to say ‘All want to go to that movie’ what you want to express is that every individual, not all as a whole, wants to go to that movie and you don’t have any idea in your mind whether there is a scope for the ‘all’. Now you can see you should say ‘mei ge ren dou (not quan) xiang qu kan na ge dian ying.’

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