6

What is the role of 都 in this sentence?

你网上小店都卖什么东西啊?

Should I read:

你卖 = you sell
你的小店卖 = your little shop sells
都卖 = all sell
你和你的小店都卖 = you and your little shop both sell

Basically, who is the seller??

6

都 is an adverb. The subject is 你(的)小店.

你最近都在做些什么啊?
你都去过那些地方?
你平时都听些什么样的歌?
你都怎么想的?
...

When 都 is used, the question sounds less specific. The speaker either expects a long or complete list, or expects the listener to elaborate at length or in detail.

  • is like an interjection e.g. "the hell" in English. – Joseph S WU Dec 13 '14 at 3:23
  • "...sounds less specific...": a long or complete list sounds more specific. I'm confused. – Becky 李蓓 Jan 18 at 9:43
3

You could remove 都 here and the basic meaning would be the same.

The meaning of 都 in this sentence is:

4 (used for emphasis) even -CC-CEDICT

So if we took the 都 out:

你网上小店卖什么东西啊?

What does your online shop sell?

Now if we add the meaning from 都 above we get something like:

What the hell does your online shop even sell?

1

The seller is “You". The question can be translated as "What products are you selling in the store you opened online?"

Removing 都 would not affect the meaning of the sentence too much. 都 loosely indicates that the addressee of the question, desirably, should attempt to include all categories of products in the answer, instead of only listing a portion of them.

I don't agree with this point by user3306356:

" Now if we add the meaning from 都 above we get something like: What the hell does your online shop even sell?"

The sentence itself, without tone or context, does not suggest emotions or attitudes of the speaker. It does not necessarily carry the aggressive attitude as quoted above. It could be used by the girl next door with an curious tone, or a casual dude who does not really care about the answer, or even an prospective investor in a business manner.

  • So is it a bit like: 你在你的小网店里在卖什么都?but somehow the 都 got shoved over? – Pedroski Dec 7 '14 at 11:18
  • 1
    The point of user3306356 is the "language intuition" -- indeed in that sentence the use of 都 would be only because of someone's colloquial habit, just for emphasis. Consider this situation,you may understand this point easier -- a parent would scold the child for bringing trouble, "你看看你都干了什么?!" Yes, if we carefully consider the meaning of 都 here it is "whole/all", but in fact, the speaker only use it to show the anger, he/she doesn't care about the details. – Stan Dec 12 '14 at 14:26
1

So is it a bit like: 你在你的小网店里在卖什么都?but somehow the 都 got shoved over?

I have heard 都 being used at the end of the sentence and it should be the same meaning as your original sentence, but where I grew up, I would say the 都 before a verb is more commonly used if not more grammatically correct.

-1

都 here carries a similar meaning as "usually".

i.e., "What goods does your mini online shop sell usually?"

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