I found the following translated example:


Chúle méiyǒu diàntī, qítā de dōu hěn mǎnyì.

I am satisfied with everything except for there is no elevator.

I have a question about the subject of the second part of the sentence. Which of the following interpretations is correct?

  1. The subject 我 is omitted, 满意 means satisfied (such as in Yabla) and 其他的...都 is the topic. It literally means:


    I am satisfied of every other thing.

  2. The subject is 其他的都 and 满意 means satisfying (though I could not find this entry in any dictionary). It literally means:


    Every other thing is satisfying.

  • 1
    其他的 means 'everything else' in this context
    – Tang Ho
    Commented Aug 13, 2020 at 15:52

3 Answers 3


I am glad to see this interesting question. The omission is really one of the most confusing but fascinating parts of the Chinese language. My explanation would be almost similar to your first one.

There are two omissions in this example. One is the omission of the subject. The other is the omission of the verb.


Except for the price, I feel very satisfied with every other thing.

除了...以外 - except for

价格 - price

我 - I

对...感觉 - feel

其他的都 - every other thing

很满意 - very satisfied

  • 1
    Well, in English grammar, there is link verb I am satisfied. In Chinese grammar, 满意 is the verb. The core phrase is 我满意 and everything else is adverb modifying 满意. There is no omission of the English style link verb 感觉
    – jf328
    Commented Aug 14, 2020 at 4:29
  • To be honest I don't agree to explain 满意 simply to be a verb. It's more appropriate to understand that as the usage of 形容词意动, essentially a kind of omission to make the language more refined. It comes from the traditional Chinese and the derivation of usage of verbs, for example, 形容词意动, 名词意动, 形容词使动, 名词使动, which are difficult to learn even for us native speakers. Here is an example of 形容词意动 in traditional Chinese. 滕公奇其言,壮其貌,释而不斩。(滕公认为其言出众不凡,其貌壮美) “奇其言”“壮其貌”是主语滕公“认为其言奇”“认为其貌壮”之义
    – smartsheep
    Commented Aug 14, 2020 at 15:08

Because you could insert more in your sentence is not proof that it was omitted. The sentence is fine as is.

Apart from not having a lift, everything else is very satisfactory.

Apart from not having a lift, all is good.

What you are talking about is 'everything' = 都 = all'

Apart from the price, everything else is very satisfactory.

Apart from the price, all is good.

What you are talking about is 'everything = 都 = all'

Subject is a vague concept and remains undefined. For any definition of subject it is easy to find exceptions.

  • Could you provide some other example where 满意 means (something is) satisfactory without using 都? I tried to look in some dictionaries and could not find this meaning, they all meant (someone is) satisfied.
    – Puco4
    Commented Aug 14, 2020 at 8:35
  • Someone is 'satisfied', something is 'satisfactory' in ‘ 都很满意。’ 都 refers to, as you said "all aspects" (except 1). The aspects are not 'satisfied', people can be 'satisfied'. "all aspects" are 'satisfying' or 'satisfactory'. Chinese often builds that this way: 令人十分满意的 because a person can be satisfied. 她的答复令人十分满意。= 'Her answer is most satisfactory.' or 'I am very satisfied with her answer.' depending on how you want to express this. The listener here is 'satisfied' with the answer, but the answer is 'satisfactory'. 'a satisfactory answer', not 'a satisfied answer'.
    – Pedroski
    Commented Aug 14, 2020 at 21:02

I just realized my interpretation 1 is correct. An example from Expressing "except" and "in addition" with "chule… yiwai":


Chúle jiàgé yǐwài, qítā fāngmiàn wǒmen dōu hěn mǎnyì.

We're satisfied with all aspects except for the price

where the subject 我们 is explicit, 其他方面...都 (all other aspects) is the topic and 满意 indeed means satisfied.

  • Yes, this is the answer I'd give.
    – dan
    Commented Aug 13, 2020 at 23:56

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.