Skip main navigation

New offer! Get 30% off your first 2 months of Unlimited Monthly. Start your subscription for just £29.99 £19.99. New subscribers only. T&Cs apply

Find out more

Introducing the Usage of adverbs “也” and “都

In this video, Dr Li will introduce the usage of “也” and “都”.
NǐhǎoWǒ shì Yīngguórén. ÀWǒ yě shì Yīngguórén. Wǒmen dōu shì Yīngguórén. Do you notice anything special? They used yě also, and dōu both or all. First, we are going to discuss the position of the adverb, yě. In this sentence, the structure is subject plus yě plus verb. Similarly, yě can also be placed after the subject and the before the adjective. For example, David hěn gāoxìng. Lucy yě hěn gāoxìng.
If we want to express they are both English, we can say, Tāmen dōu shì Yīngguórén. The position of the adverb, dōu is the same as yě.
In the negative sentence, we add bù after yě or dōu. David bù xǐhuan chī dàngāo.
Lucy yě bù xǐhuan chī dàngāo. Tāmen dōu bù xǐhuan chī dàngāo.
But dōu may either be put after bù. The meaning of a dōu bù and bù dōu are different. For example, Mary búhùi yòng kuàizi.
Tom yě búhùi yòng kuàizi. Andy yě búhùi yòng kuàizi.
We can say, Tāmen dōu búhùi yòng kuàizi.
Means none of them can use chopsticks. But if we put bù before dōu Tāmen bù dōu hùi yòng kuàizi It means, not all of them can use chopsticks. Listen to a dialogue and pay attention to the position of the adverb yě and dōu. Wáng Xiǎobǎojīntiān shì nǐde shēngrì duì mɑ? Duì ɑ,nǐ lái cānjiā wǒde shēngrì jùhùi bɑ.
Hǎode.David yě lái mɑ? Shìa.Wǒmen yìqǐ chī Zhōngguó cài. Hǎo ɑnǐ hùi yòng kuàizi mɑ Dāngránwǒ hùi yòng kuàizi.David yě hùi yòng kuàizi.
èn.Wǒmen dōu hùi yòng kuàizi.

In this video we discuss the position of the adverb “也yě (also or too) ” and “都dōu (both or all)”. Especially pay attention to the position of the adverb “都dōu ”. It has different meanings in different positions in the negative form.

  • Subject + 也yě +Verb / Adjective

For example:

王小宝是英国人, George也是英国人。

Wáng xiǎobǎo shì yīngguórén, George yě shì yīngguo rén。

Wang Xiaobao is British, and George is British too.


David hěn gāoxìng, Lucy yě hěn gāoxìng.

David is happy, Lucy is also happy.

  • Subject + 都dōu +Verb / Adjective


Tāmen dōu hěn gāoxìng.

They are all happy.


“Tāmen dōu shì Yīngguórén”.

They are all British.

  • The negative form:

Subject + 也yě +不+ Verb / Adjective


Lucy yě bù xǐhuān chī dàngāo。

Lucy doesn’t like cakes, either.

Subject + 都dōu +不+ Verb / Adjective


Tāmen dōu bù xǐhuān chī dàngāo。

None of them like cakes.

Subject +不+ 都dōu + Verb / Adjective


Tāmen bù dōu xǐhuān chī dàngāo。

Not all of them like cakes.

The following is Chinese and English Version of Situational Dialogue in the Video:








Xixi: Wáng Xiǎobǎo,tomorrow is your birthday, right?

Wang Xiaobao: Right. Why don’t you come to my birthday party?

Xixi: Sure. Is David coming?

Wang Xiaobao: Yes. We are going to eat some Chinese food.

Xixi: Great. Do you know how to use chopsticks?

Wang Xiaobao: Of course! I know how to use chopsticks, so does David.

Xixi: Well, we all know how to use chopsticks.

© Shanghai International Studies University

This article is from the free online

Learn Chinese: Introduction to Chinese Grammar

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now