Skip main navigation

£199.99 £139.99 for one year of Unlimited learning. Offer ends on 28 February 2023 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply

Find out more

How to use 都……了 means already with a complaining tone in Chinese

The structure “都……了” means already, it emphasises the phrase after 都 and sometimes the sentence has a complaining tone.

New words

妹妹 mèimei n. younger sister



Language points

The structure “都……了” means already, it emphasises the phrase after 都 and sometimes the sentence has a complaining tone. For example:


It’s already 8 o’clock, get up quickly. (it implies that you should have got up earlier)


You have already been 10 years old, you should wash your own clothes. (it implies that you are old enough to wash your clothes by yourself)


We’ve already waited for half an hour. (it implies that she should have come earlier. This sentence has a complaining tone)

Dialogue 3

A:你妹妹怎么还没来?都八点四十了!Nǐ mèimei zěnme hái méilái ? Dōu bādiǎn sìshí le !

B:我们再等她几分钟吧 。Wǒmen zài děnɡ tā jǐ fēnzhōnɡ bɑ 。

A:都等她半个小时了 !Dōu děnɡ tā bàn ɡè xiǎoshí le !

B:她来了 , 我听见她说话了 。Tā lái le, wǒ tīnɡjiàn tā shuōhuà le 。

Let’s read it again without Pinyin.

A: 你妹妹怎么还没来?都八点四十了。

B: 我们再等她几分钟吧。

A: 都等她半个小时了!

B: 她来了,我听见她说话了。

Supposing you were B, what could you say if call your sister who is late.

Here is an example



Today we have learned the structure “都……了”, which means already, sometimes the sentence has a complaining tone.


After class, please use “都……了” to complain about someone, write at least 3 sentences.

This article is from the free online

HSK Standard Course Level 2: 2.3

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education