The additional function of the question pronoun in Chinese

In addition to the function of expressing doubt and rhetorical question, the question pronoun in Chinese also has the function of expressing any people or things. For example, “谁” refers to anyone, “什么” means anything, “怎么” refers to any way and method, “哪儿” means anywhere, “什么时候” means any time. In such case, they are usually used together with “都” or “也”.

You can only use “都” in the affirmative sentence. In the negative sentence, you can use either “都” or “也”

Sentence structure:

Affirmation form: 谁/什么/怎么/哪儿/什么时候+都+verb……. .

For example:

I’m hungry. I want to eat anything.
我很饿,我什么都想吃。
Wǒ hěn è, wǒ shénme dōu xiǎng chī.

The teacher is like an encyclopedia, he knows everything.
老师像一本百科全书,什么都懂。
Lǎoshī xiàng yī běn bǎikē quánshū, shénme dōu dǒng.

You can come at any time you like.
你什么时候来都可以。( 什么时候=任何时候)
Nǐ shénme shíhòu lái dōu kěyǐ.

Negative form: 谁/什么/怎么/哪儿/什么时候+都/也+ 不/没+verb……

For example:

He doesn’t look like either of them.
他谁都不像。
Tā shéi dōu bù xiàng.

David was a bit carsick, and David didn’t want to eat anything while on the car.
大卫有点儿晕车,坐车的时候,大卫什么都不想吃。
Dà wèi yǒudiǎn er yùnchē, zuòchē de shíhòu, dà wèi shénme dōu bùxiǎng chī.

She caught a cold and didn’t want to eat anything.
她感冒了,什么也不想吃。( 什么 what =任何食物 any food)
Tā gǎnmàole, shénme yě bùxiǎng chī.

Follow the example and rewrite the sentences.

He doesn’t look like his mother or his father. He doesn’t look like either of them.
他长得不像妈妈也不像爸爸。 → 他谁都不像。
Tā zhǎng de bú xiàng māma yě bú xiàng bàba. Tā shéi dōu bú xiàng.

There are no people I know here. I don’t know anyone.
在这儿没有我认识的人。 → 我谁都不认识。
Zài zhè’er méiyǒu wǒ rènshì de rén. Wǒ shéi dōu bú rènshì.

No one will be on a business trip next month. No one is going on a business trip next month.
下个月没有人出差。 → 下个月谁都不出差。
Xià gè yuè méiyǒu rén chūchāi. Xià gè yuè shéi dōu bù chūchāi.

Neither my friend nor I like that restaurant. None of us like that restaurant.
我和我朋友都不喜欢那个饭馆。 → 我们谁都不喜欢那个饭馆。
Wǒ hé wǒ péngyǒu dōu bù xǐhuān nàgè fàn guǎn. Wǒmen shéi dōu bù xǐhuān nàgè fànguǎn.

Welcome to have my 1-ON-1 lessons on http://www.verbling.com/teachers/dawei  🙂

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