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Title basically says it all. I think meanings are very close. Are they interchangeable? Are they appropriate for different contexts or situations? Can one be applied to animate objects and other can't? So far I can't figure out when to use one over the other. Thank you.

marked as duplicate by istrasci, cypher, Dono, Darius Jahandarie, snailcar Mar 13 '13 at 18:48

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Looking at the kanji, one says "all" and the other "all parts". In that sense one can distinguish them philosophically as 全て meaning "everything" (universally) and 全部 "all" (part by part).

I think you can make out that difference when looking at examples (for example on Space ALC: 全て and 全部.)

For example,

Everything is your fault.

The person is blamed for everything (every single thing) they did. Whereas,


sounds like everything he did, is doing, and will do would be his fault, by default.

Universal statements, like

He who owes, is in all the wrong.

use 全て.

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