Answer to the Exercise on The Negation of “都(dōu)”

Correct Answer: B
“都(dōu)” is an adverb meaning “all” or “both” which is commonly used in Chinese people’s daily conversations. It refers to the total of all the nouns or collective nouns which precede it in a sentence.


Nǐmen dōu zhīdào nèi mǎ ěr ma?
你们     都   知道    内  马 尔 吗?
Do you all know Neymar?

Wǒmen dōu yǒu shǒujī.
我们       都   有    手机。
Both of us have cellphones.

“都(dōu)” is used before or after “不(bù)” to express negation, but the meanings of “都不(dōubù)” and “不都(bùdōu)” are quite different.
“都不(dōubù)” indicates a complete negation, meaning “none of …” or “neither of …”


Lǐ  Níng: Nǐmen shì Měiguó rén ma?
李 宁: 你们    是   美国    人  吗?
Li Ning: Are you guys Americans?

Elizabeth: Wǒmen dōubú shì Měiguó rén.
Elizabeth: 我们      都不 是    美国    人。
Elizabeth: None of us is American.


Tāmen dōubù hējiǔ.
他们       都不  喝酒。
Neither of them drinks alcohol.

“不都(bùdōu),” on the other hand, is a partial negation, meaning “not all of…” or “not both of …”


Tāmen bùdōu shì dàxuésheng.
她们      不都    是    大学生。
Not all of them are university students.

Wǒmen bùdōu qù kàn diànyǐng.
我们      不都    去   看    电影。
Not all of us will go see the movie.

In the test above, the two blanks need two complete negations. Therefore, the correct answer is B.

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