I have a hard time wrapping about these specific words.

As far as I know 所有 is most similar to "all of the..." like “所有的人”. While 全部 is more or less like 所有 except you don't need 的 between it and the object like “全部时间".

Meanwhile, 整个 is most similar to "the whole..." "整个下午"

But 完整 is very similar to 整个 like "完整的句子.

So can I ask how their specific usages differ? Are there times you should only use a certain one while other times it's fine to interchange?

  • at jukuu find examples of 所有 w/o 的: 1.首先,所有人都将更有效率。 4.要尽可能考虑到所有主要的视图和对话。7.控制程序中的所有细节是必要的,而了解所有正在发生的状态是容易让用户分心的。and 100 examples of 全部 with 的 (used as adjective),also find at least 30 examples with 地:全部地 when used as adverb
    – user6065
    Commented Apr 12, 2017 at 16:02

3 Answers 3


That's an interesting question. The answer basically boils down to differences in grammatical role of these words:

所有 “all (of the)”, refers to all entities pertaining to a certain context. Given the meaning of 所 and 有 alone you can effectively think of it as meaning "all (things) that are here". It is mainly used with 的 before a noun or in a relative sentence and it often comes with a 都 "all".

我们家被偷了,所有的在保险柜里的钱也被偷了 Our house was robbed, all (of the) money that was in the safe was stolen too.
我所有认识的人都念过大学 All the people (that) I know went to university.

In general 全部 means "everything, all" and refers to one single entity in its entirety. So for instance it can't be used to refer to a group of things, unless you use a collective noun.

他说什么,我没听到全部 I didn't hear everything he said
这本小说,我还没全部看完 I haven't finished this book yet (haven't read it in its entirety)
这群人我并不认识全部 I don't know everyone in this group of people

整个 "whole“ is used in place of a number (actually 一 "one" can be omitted) and before a classifier to mean "one whole thing" (obviously you can change the number to say N whole things):

她吃掉了一整桶冰淇淋 She ate a whole bucket of ice cream.
一整天不够讲完这个故事 A whole day isn't enough to tell this story

完整 "complete". You often use it as an adjective in noun phrases with 的, as:

一个完整的句子 a complete sentence
一个完整的解决方案 a complete solution


"全部" and "所有", almost in the all situations, they are equivalent in grammar.

The difference between them is in the semantics. "全部" means the sum of the various parts. It emphasizes the integrity of all parts in its scope. "所有" means the sum of the number of things in a certain range. It emphasizes the ownership of the things in the scope.

So we usually use "所有" to describe something made up of a number of individuals just like "所有人". You might want to use "全部的人" but it sounds a little bit weird.

We usually use "所有" as an adjective or a pronoun just like "所有人/所有的动物". But "全部" could also be used as a adverbial. "他们这些人全部都会功夫" here you can't use "所有" instead of "全部".


全 = complete; all; whole

部 = parts

全部 = (having all parts; everything is complete) = whole; total; all; entire

所 = which

有 = own

所有= (everything which subject owns) = total; all; entire

The difference between 全部 and 所有 are as follow:

  • 全部 can be an adjective for noun or adverb for verb and adjective; 所有 is strictly an adjective for noun


  1. 全部杀死 (kill all)

  2. 全部无用 (all useless)

  3. 全部财富 (entire wealth)

of all three examples, you can only replace 全部 with 所有 in #3, because 'wealth' is a noun

  • when describe one entity that contains many parts, you should use 全部


全部员工 (员工 here is the collective noun for the staff)

全部财富 (财富 here is the collective noun for the wealth)

  • when describe parts that made up one entity you should use 所有

所有员工 (员工 here are all the individual personnel that made up the staff)

所有财富 (财富 here are all the individual items of a wealth, e.g cash, stock, real estate all added together)

整 = whole

个 = entity

整个 = the whole

It is used mainly to describe a single object that is completely whole, not lacking of any part

完 = completely

整 = whole

完整 = complete

It is used mainly to describe a single object or entity that is completely whole, not lacking of any part


完整套餐 = complete set meal (套餐 is a noun treated as a single object, which contains different components)

一份完整套餐的所有餐點 = all the dishes in a complete set meal (餐點 in 所有餐點 refers to individual items of a set meal)

完整陣容 = full lineup (陣容 here is the collective noun for the lineup)

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