Take the 2-minute tour ×
Chinese Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Chinese language. It's 100% free, no registration required.

How do I say "all the usual ..." in Chinese, for example."

"At my school we play all the usual school sports."

"The pharmacy had all the usual junk."

share|improve this question

3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Correct me if I'm wrong, but 'all the usual' in English has a certain nuance that seems to me slightly different from 一般的 or 普通的. That's because 'all the usual' doesn't mean 'all the ordinary' or 'all the general', etc; it means all the xxx that usually occur or are usually found in a particular situation.

For instance, 'all the usual suspects' means 'all the people we usually suspect'. This seems slightly different from 'all the ordinary suspects'. 'An ordinary suspect' is a suspect who is not out of the ordinary; 'a usual suspect' is a person who you usually suspect. If you wanted to say 'We rounded up all the usual suspects', surely 我们围捕了所有一般的涉嫌人 would not work here.

Note that you can speak of 'an ordinary person' but not a 'usual person' -- 'a usual person' doesn't make any sense. 'All the usual people' means 'all the people you would expect', not 'all the ordinary or common people'.

For that reason, I would look at different ways of translating this from 一般的 or 普通的. This could differ from situation to situation. One expression that comes to mind is 常見的.

For 'all the usual', Jukuu gives expressions like the following: 所有通用, 所有一般, 通常的, 通常表现出来的所有, (用尽)司空见惯的, 全是老一套, 日常的, 通常具有的所有, 所有的常客, 尽人皆知的, 平常所有的, 普通...通常具有的, 都有通常的, 各种常见的. While a lot of these sound like translationese, it seems to me that they are trying to express the requisite nuance of 'usually occurring', rather than just 'ordinary' or 'common'.

share|improve this answer
yes.. "the usual suspects" is a good example.. it doesn't mean "the mundane suspects" –  trideceth12 Mar 10 '12 at 12:51


share|improve this answer
Can you improve your answer by adding some content about why you propose this? –  Alenanno Feb 25 '12 at 0:28

If you want to emphasise the 'all' (and so you want to keep the 都/全):

The 'all' and 'the usual X' are normally treated separately [rather than both being stacked adjectives in English], and are usually structured as follows:

[一般的、普通的] [X] [都/全].

A casual glance might be misleading though, because 都/全 is acting as an adverb before the verb here, and so is generally followed directly by the verb. Hence you might have the subject of the verb being inserted before [都/全], depending on the sense of the sentence (especially when X is actually the object in the sentence).

[一般的、普通的] [X] [SUBJECT] [都/全] [VERB]

Otherwise, where "all the usual" is exactly the same as "the usual", the 全/都 is dropped, resulting in just the adjective coming before [X].

share|improve this answer
Great answer, Michaelyus. Welcome! –  Jon Feb 29 '12 at 4:07

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.