I can't really catch the meaning of this sentence. It was only given as an example of the use of 统统, I have no more context.


No matter who, after arriving at a new firm, (your ) original files all (will) all be stored in a steel locker, you (can/must/should) start anew.

Or is '铁皮柜‘ some kind of slang for '计算机‘??

What are '原来档案‘??

  • 1
    as attributive adjective 原来 is usually separated from the following NP by the structural partcle 的, so that original file would usually be 原来的档案, therefore it seems worth considering whether 原来 in the given sentence might function as adverb:"it turns out that"
    – user6065
    Apr 12, 2015 at 3:02
  • @S.Rhee I think you have made a valid point here and this is indeed a possible reading of the sentence, though it wasn't the first one that came to mind. Without more context, it's difficult to tell.
    – monalisa
    Apr 12, 2015 at 19:10
  • So how would the sentence look in English, or German?
    – Pedroski
    Apr 12, 2015 at 23:07
  • @Pedroski "It turns out that no matter who it is, when s/he enters the new company, his/her files will all be stored in a metal cabinet, and s/he must start anew." Instead of "original files", it is now just "files" because 原来 has a different function and meaning now.
    – monalisa
    Apr 13, 2015 at 0:27
  • Aha, that is an unusual use of 原来。 The problem here is, I suppose, lack of context, but Reechen 很聪明丫,没有别人找到这样的意思!Gut gemacht! You should write it in an answer, I could give you an upvote!
    – Pedroski
    Apr 13, 2015 at 1:13

3 Answers 3


'铁皮柜‘ is a metal filing cabinet.

'统统' is for emphasis. In this case, it is ALL the files, with no exception.

Compare these two sentences, which are identical except for '统统'. Their meanings are basically the same, but the first one is more emphatic.



No matter who it is, when one enters the new company, one starts anew, with one's original files (hinting past history) stored away.

There is only one subject in this sentence, it's the one who enters the new company, the one whose files are put away, and the one who has to start anew.

  • Aha, so they mean, if someone leaves a company, their work will be locked away and not used. The remaining team members must start again from the beginning of whatever project they were working on. Is that the right meaning??
    – Pedroski
    Apr 12, 2015 at 4:06
  • 1
    This is my understanding of the sentence. "No matter who it is, when they start at the new company, all their original files will be stored away in a filing cabinet (meaning they cannot rely on whatever past achievement they had), and they must start anew as a member of the new company." This sentence is not about people leaving a company, but entering it.
    – monalisa
    Apr 12, 2015 at 5:08
  • Thanks. That seems to contradict what user3306356 is saying. You think the files will be stored at the new company, which was my assumption, user3306356 seems to think the files stay at the old company. I suppose this hinges on whether we read 到 as 'to' or 'arrive'. Either way it seems strange behaviour and a waste of work and expertise! I don't mean to bother you with this, I am just confused!
    – Pedroski
    Apr 12, 2015 at 5:42
  • 1
    @Pedroski it means no matter who, as long they just come to the company all there past achievements must be put away, no exceptions. Basically it means don't get can cocky because of past achievements and learn from scratch. Apr 12, 2015 at 7:22
  • @Pedroski No bother here. 不用客氣 I respectfully disagree with the other answer. Please see my edits to the answer. For that answer to make sense, a different subject is need for 从头干起. As it stands, the person who needs to start anew is the same one who is in the new company and whose files are in the filing cabinets.
    – monalisa
    Apr 12, 2015 at 15:15

This is only a traditional saying to describe a situation that some workers "discriminate against" other because of ages (Maybe they are elder than them), experiences (Maybe the working period is longer than theirs)..... So when you hear this sentence, you are told that you are FORBIDDEN to "倚老卖老". And you are just a runner who stands on the same line where the others are.


铁皮柜 = iron file cabinet

原来档案 = original files


No matter who it is that leaves and goes to a new company, after they've left the original files will all be thrown into an "iron" file cabinet and work will need to start again from the top.

  • I apologise for the downvote, but "原来档案" should be referring to the new comer.
    – Henry HO
    Apr 22, 2015 at 23:44

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