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7+ Ways to Say “Everything” in Japanese

7+ Ways to Say “Everything” in Japanese

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Language is full of nuance. That’s part of what makes it so interesting to learn.

In this post, we’ll examine the many possibilities for “everything” in Japanese and explore some of the subtle differences between them.


How do you say “everything” in Japanese?

The best translation for “everything” in most contexts is likely to be 全て (subete), which has a fairly one-to-one relationship with the English word when used as a noun.

However, there are plenty of other ways to say “everything” in Japanese as well.

みんな (minna), commonly learned only as the word for “everybody,” can also mean “everything.” Likewise, 一切 (issai), 万事 (banji), 事々 (kotogoto), 万端 (bantan) and あらゆる物事 (arayuru monogoto), among other options, can stand in for this word in Japanese.

Finally, there are a number of words or phrases that begin with 何 (nani), the Japanese word for “what,” which can mean “everything” when not paired with a negative.

These include 何事 (nanigoto), 何にでも (nan ni demo), 何でも (nandemo), 何にも (nani ni mo) and 何でもかんでも (nandemo kandemo).

Although it can be useful to know all these words, unless you’re a native speaker you’re probably better off sticking with the simple 全て (subete).


全て (subete)

全て (subete) is the most common way to say “everything” in Japanese. Used as a noun, 全て means “everything” or “all.” As an adverb, it can also mean “entirely.”

The word consists of the kanji 全, which means “whole” or “all.”

If this kanji looks familiar, that’s because it’s also in words like 全部 (zenbu, “all of something”) and 全く (mattaku, “completely”).

In this word, the kanji uses one of the two possible kunyomi (native Japanese readings): “sube.” The て on the end brings us to the pronunciation of the entire word: すべて or subete.




“Everything is splendid!”


みんな (minna)

みんな is commonly taught as “everyone,” but it can also mean “everything” or “all of.”

Although you may see the kanji for this word (皆) used, it’s typically written in hiragana. Remember that it’s みんな and not みんあ, so you need to make sure you lengthen that central “n” sound.

Like 全て, みんな can be used as a noun or adverb.




“I want to eat all of these treats!”


一切 (issai)

Next up we have 一切 (issai) a compound word that begins with the kanji 一 (ichi), or “one.”

It may seem odd to use a word for a small number to imply “everything,” but the kanji can also mean something like “unity” or “the entirety of” in compound words.

In 一切, the kanji 切 means “cut,” so if it helps you can think of the English expression “cut from the same cloth.” If everything is made in a single cut, it’s all one cut.

Keep in mind that this is just a device to help you remember the word. The actual translation is just “everything.”




“Then I woke up. It had all been a dream.”


Words for “everything” that contain 事 (koto)

The word 事 means “thing,” so perhaps it’s unsurprising to see that there are several compound words that contain it and mean “everything.”

To start with, there’s 事々 (kotogoto).

々 is the “repeater” kanji. It means something like “ditto.”

事々, then, basically means “things things.” In other words, everything.

万事 (banji) combines 事 with 万 (man), a kanji we’ll see more of later on that can mean “10,000” or an uncountably large number.

Again, if you have that many things you have everything.

あらゆる物事 (arayuru monogoto) is the word 物事 (monogoto, “things”) combined with the word for various, あらゆる (“arayuru”).

In context, it often makes sense to interpret the word as “everything.”

Finally, 何事 (nanigoto) combines 事 with 何 (nani), the kanji for “what” and another popular source of words that mean “everything.”

What thing is it? It’s “everything.”




“He can do all sorts of things.”


Saying “everything” with 万 (man / yorozu)

万 (man) is the kanji for the number 10,000, but it can also mean an arbitrarily large number.

You can use the kanji by itself to mean “everything,” although it’s archaic and is pronounced “yorozu” in that case.

It also produces the words 万事 (banji), already discussed above, and 万端 (bantan), both of which mean “everything.”

While the 事 in 万事 means “thing,” the 端 of 万端 is the word for “edge.” If you reach “a large number of edges,” you’ve seen everything.




“I have made all the preparations.”


What can you do with 何 (nani)?

Our last group of “everything” words come from 何 (nani), the Japanese word for “what.”

We’ve already been introduced to 何事 (nanigoto).

Outside of that word, there are several words using 何 and some variation of でも. 何にでも (nan ni demo), 何でも (nandemo), 何でもかんでも (nandemo kandemo) and 何にも (nani ni mo) all literally translate to something like “no matter which things” but mean closer to “everything” in actual usage.




“Wow! I want everything!”


“Everything’s awful!”


Idiomatic ways of saying “everything”

As a bonus, check out these idiomatic sayings or 四字熟語 (yojijukugo) that can be used to mean “everything.”

Yojijukugo are a type of idiom consisting of four kanji.

They aren’t a phrase or sentence, but rather a set of kanji treated like a word, the meaning of which is pieced together from the individual characters’ meanings.

万事万端 – banjibantan

Recognize those kanji? This is “every thing and every edge,” a nicely poetic “everything.”

事々物々 – jijibutsubutsu

Literally “Things things things things.” That’s a lot of things!

諸事万端 – shojibantan

諸 means “various,” so here we have “various things and every edge.”

Although these sayings are cool, don’t use them unless you want to impress or confuse your friends.