In a Cantonese forums, someone posted a question: " how to say 'each other?' or 'one another' in Chinese"

One of the suggestion was:

I thought the simplest way is just to say 大家?

They don't like each other - 佢哋唔中意大家

And my reply to this answer was:

No, 大家 means "everybody "

In "大家都唔鍾意佢哋" ( everybody dislike them) 大家 is the subject, and 佢哋 is the object

If the subject and object switch places in the above sentence, you have to replace 大家 with " 所有人" or " 全部人" and place the object before the subject.

"所有人佢哋都唔鍾意" / "全部人佢哋都唔鍾意"

*you cannot write 大家佢哋都唔鍾意

*佢哋唔鍾意所有人 or 佢哋唔鍾意全部人 sound awkward.

More examples:

大家一齊停手 ( everybody stop at once)

大家都有好處 ( everybody would benefit)

I don't think I have done a good job explaining why 大家 (everybody) cannot be the object for the subject 佢哋. It is a pronoun, and pronouns should be able to become subjects or objects. Would that be because 佢哋 is also a pronoun?

I also know 佢哋唔鍾意所有人 or 佢哋唔鍾意全部人 sound awkward, but can't explain why.

  • to exhibit 大家 as object of certain verbs feed e.g. 给大家,帮助大家,请大家,提醒大家,on the other hand jukuu does not seem to have examples for some other verbs e.g. *麻烦大家,*打扰大家,*咒骂大家,generally it seems 大家 can simultaneously be object and subject in pivot sentences like 让、使,叫大家做什么
    – user6065
    Oct 20, 2016 at 8:35
  • I had the same questions about 到处. Oct 20, 2016 at 13:07
  • A little bit weird saying "大家都唔鍾意佢哋", Normally we say "無人鐘意個班人" Nov 21, 2016 at 4:11

5 Answers 5


While 大家 means 'everyone', it refers to 'everyone' in a group of people that is implied in the sentence, or everyone in close proximity


大家 in this case implies everyone within the group of '佢哋', which is essentially 'each other'. Also this sentence sounds perfectly natural, I hear this a lot when people are referring to couples who don't actually like each other


大家 here refers to everyone that you are speaking to, basically 'hey everyone'


There is an implicit subgroup '大家' where everyone in that group or everyone here dislikes 佢哋, 'everyone (here) dislikes them'


'You too', 'same'

大家 can definitely be used for 'each other', however it is not the only usage, and there is not a direct one to one translation for 大家 in english.

In other special cases, for 'each other' / 'one another' you could use:


to love each other


to encourage each other


to hurt and fight each other


After much thinking, I surmise the reason I use 大家 mainly as a subject, is because of 大家 often functions as an address, like "gentlemen" or "folks" in English.


  • 大家聽我講 "Everybody listen to me." / " Listen to me, folks."

  • 大家靜一靜 "Everybody be quiet for a moment." / "Gentlemen, be quiet for a moment."

I was confused "folks / gentlemen" (大家) with "everybody" (大家)

Someone pointed this out to me:

"C Chiu" wrote:

I think 大家 can be the object for the subject 佢哋, e.g. 佢哋已經將宣誓嘅事通知咗大家. What makes the sentence 佢哋唔鍾意大家 sounding unnatural is probably because of the verb 鍾意 rather than the subject 佢哋.

He is right, 佢哋通知咗大家 is grammatically acceptable, 大家 can be an object for the subject 佢哋. The problem is the verb.

Why is "唔鍾意大家" sounded unnatural, but "通知大家" isn't?"

My conclusion is, "大家" implies "the audience".

"notify" (通知) can act on "the audience" naturally but "dislike" (唔鍾意) can't.


Everyone, them and each other

大家(n) is everyone, 佢哋(n) is them, 互相(adv) is each other

They don't like each other: 佢哋唔鍾意對方 (most common) or 佢哋互相唔喜歡 (less common, be still understandable)。

大家 as an object?

大家 can be an object. Please see the following sentence as an example:

天然資源係大家嘅。: Natural resources belongs to everyone., which you can use 每個人("everyone") or 我哋(explicitly "us") to change the effect.

大家 VS 所有人 and 全部人 (VS 任何人)

  • 大家: everyone
  • 所有人, 全部人: all people


  • 任何人: anyone

The above words can interchange in most circumstances to change the meaning while keeping correct grammar, e.g.

  1. 大家都唔鍾意爭鬥: Everyone dislikes fighting
  2. 所有人都唔鍾意爭鬥: All dislike fighting.
  3. 全部人都唔鍾意爭鬥: All dislike fighting.
  4. 任何人都唔鍾意爭鬥: "Anyone" dislikes fighting. (meaning No one likes fighting.)

2. and 3. though correct, are more commonly substituted by 冇人鍾意爭鬥(No one likes fighting.)

The following sounds unnatural, a better way is to rephrase the sentences.

  1. 佢哋唔鍾意所有人, 佢哋唔鍾意全部人 become
  2. 佢哋所有人都唔鍾意, 佢哋全部人都唔鍾意 become
  3. 佢哋咩人都唔鍾意 (but this sentence can actually also mean No one likes them(the subject), however, in that case, more people use 佢哋係咩人都唔鍾意嘅 to combat ambiguity.)
  4. 全部人佢哋都唔鍾意 (this only means They don't like all people. since 佢哋 is a pronoun). But I rarely hear this form.

P.S. After writing this answer, as a native tongue, I suddenly became confused in the last section. I wish it goes away soon.

  • I think we're confused because we can't help thinking "大家(everyone)" and "所有人(all people)" is the the same concept. The original question I asked was: " Is 大家 object only? " And the answer is "NO" . However, I still can't think of a reason why " 佢哋唔中意大家" sound so strange. I think it is out of habit. Most of the time, "大家" is used at the beginning of a sentence.
    – Tang Ho
    Dec 10, 2016 at 9:51
  • @TangHo I disagree, that doesn't sound strange, it just needed a correct place in a passage to make sense. Dec 10, 2016 at 9:53
  • 1
    Ah, yes! Something like: "佢唔中意大家, 係有佢嘅理由嘅."
    – Tang Ho
    Dec 10, 2016 at 9:57

sometimes 大家 refer to a person who is very famous and expert in some aspect


Sorry,my mistake.When it is noun,it can be subjective.When it is adjective,it can be predicate.For example,他是大家

  • You should try editing your answer instead of posting 2 short broken answers. Oct 20, 2016 at 13:06

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