I found that in Pleco, there is one special usage of 所:

[noun or pronoun + 所 + verb]

a [with 的 to modify a noun]

  • 我所认识的人 // the people I know

  • 大家所提的意见 // the opinions various people put forward

However, I feel that even without the 所, the meaning is the same.

  • 我认识的人

  • 大家提的意见

So what is the added benefits of using 所 in this use case?


This is an advanced question I think.

所 here loans the sense of 所有(的)(owned by).

The structure 'pronoun + 所 + verb + 的( + noun)' indicates a subject-predicate-object relationship. In my opinion, this could have some exclusive effect or a bit emphasis on subject-predicate-object relationship. For example,

我所认识的人 // the people I know

我所认识的人 excludes:

  • Subject 我, not others like 你,他, and etc.
  • Verb 认识, not other verbs like 信任,尊敬, and etc.
  • Target 人, not other thing like 东西,事情, and etc.

Compare the two phrases below:

  1. 我所认识的人

  2. 我认识的人

1 shows the preciseness of each component, subject, predicate, and object. 2 is just a casual way to say it. That being said, 1 is used when you are trying to be formal, clear or precise, while 2 is used when you don't have to be that formal and precise.

  • Thanks. Do you usually use this expression in daily life?
    – Blaszard
    Oct 20 '17 at 11:45
  • Yes, whenever I try to be formal or serious, I usually use it. Like 据我所知, 我所认识的人, 大家所提的意见, 我所能给予的(东西), and etc. It's a common usage of 所.
    – dan
    Oct 20 '17 at 12:05

The word 所 in this context according to the dictionary indicates passive voice. You won't hear 大家所提的意见 by itself, but usually with something along with it:


The ideas you suggested are all accepted.

From the dictionary:

  1. 與「為」或「被」合用,表示被動的意思。
    如:「他的 作品 為 一般 青年人 所 喜愛。」(His works are loved by young people.)

Personally I feel that using 所 somewhat emphasizes the objects in the sentence, like you really want to point them out.

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