# How do I write “One can …” / “You can …” (general personal pronoun) in Chinese?

Which personal pronouns can I use in an instruction in Chinese to replace the English "one" or "you" when used as meaning "you, we or anyone else":

Examples in English:

"One can always be sure to find tasty tea in that shop."

"One should not spit on the sidewalk."

"You/one are allowed to smoke in the shop."

• grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/one.htm In the United States, one sometimes has a literary or highfalutin feel to it; the more it is used, the more pretentious it feels. In British English, the use of the impersonal or generic one is more commonplace and has no such stigma. In the U.S., one is often replaced by you. – user6065 Dec 25 '17 at 8:52
• Or the royal we. – Mou某 Dec 26 '17 at 2:43

Which personal pronouns can I use in an instruction in Chinese to replace the English "one"

user3306356's answer did not answer this question. Yes, the subject (or it's pronouns) can be omitted if the meaning is clear.

But in Chinese grammar, the[ one can + main clause] structure does exist, it is [你可以 + main clause]

Example:

in '可以在这里抽烟' (you/one can smoke here)

here refers to you and everyone else

One more example:

here refers to you and everyone else

'你可以在这里抽烟' can be rephrase to '这里可以抽烟' omit '你' and '在' because we know who we are speaking to and 这里 strongly implies 在这里

'在这家工厂，你只有25分钟的午餐时间' can be rephrase to '这工厂只有25分钟午餐时间' (We know who only get 25 minutes)

I said it many times, "it is considered good form to omit everything you can omit, as long as the meaning is clear."

• Man, I haven't put any answer yet. lol – dan Dec 25 '17 at 7:45
• But I kind of agree with you. 'One' can be interpreted as 我们 or 你 based on the context. And sometimes it can be elided. – dan Dec 25 '17 at 7:52
• Sorry, I meant user3306356's answer, I would edit my answer – Tang Ho Dec 25 '17 at 8:04
• My argument is that One, as used in English, is basically never translated into Chinese. If it were it would sound very English. – Mou某 Dec 25 '17 at 8:39
• So again, back to my point: this is more like English usage of you -or- we rather than one. I'm not trying to be pedantic, although it's getting there, but that's the point of these questions - I suppose. – Mou某 Dec 26 '17 at 2:42

Pronouns are often omitted in Chinese when the context is clear.

I’m so tired is often just said as:

Are you okay? can be rendered as:

and so on and so forth.

In the examples you gave the place would become the main subject and not 某人 (some person) or 某某 (someone).

Here are some rough ideas of how you would express these ideas in Chinese

"One can always be sure to find tasty tea in that shop."

"One should not spit on the sidewalk."

"You/one are allowed to smoke in the shop."

You would probably refer to One as 人们. In chinese, it is most polite to refer to people as more than one. For example, instead of using 你, you would use 您.

"You can" can be directly translated into "你能"/"你可以".

"One can" can be translated into "(大家/每个人/谁/我们) 都 (可以/能)."

Translate "you" to "你" is a good choice in most cases. But for "one", "每个人" is a generally good choice. If something can be taken for granted or is obviously easy/trivial, you can use "谁". Use "大家/我们" if you want to emphasize everybody including yourself.