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タクシーの全部{ぜんぶ}が白い{しろい}。

Would that be a natural way to say: all the taxis are white. ?

3 Answers 3

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No, it would not be a natural way to say "all the taxis are white."

You're looking for:

1 タクシーはみんな白い。

2 タクシーは全部白い。

3 タクシーはすべて白い。

4 全部のタクシーが白い。

5 すべてのタクシーが白い。

As was mentioned above タクシーの全部 means "the entirety of the taxi(s)" which requires a very narrow, specific context, although keep in mind that examples 2 and 3 (2 more than 3, though) can also mean "the taxi is entirely white." Lacking grammatical number, Japanese requires extra information/context to clarify part/whole distinctions which are very easy to make in languages like English, which do have grammatical number.

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It sounds unnatural to me. If a native speaker hears the sentence, he/she will imagine an unrealistic taxi which is completely white (including body, wheel, sheets, and so on).

Instead, you should say: 「全部のタクシーが白い。」or「タクシーは全部白い。」. But the latter may be ambiguous depending a context, which may again mean "The taxi is completely white.".

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  • Would using 白色 be better?
    – user3169
    Jan 31, 2015 at 23:52
  • I'm afraid to say if you say "タクシーは全部白い。", that could be understood as "the whole taxis that exist in the entire world is white."
    – user7644
    Feb 1, 2015 at 0:08
  • @user3169 I don't think so. "白色" would be too formal to use in our daily conversation. Feb 1, 2015 at 2:06
  • @KentaroTomono Indeed. To be more specific, we should modify 「タクシー」 like 「**イタリアの**タクシーは全部白い。」. Feb 1, 2015 at 2:16
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"タクシーの全部が白い" There are two meanings.

① "タクシーの全部分が白い" > "All parts of the taxi is white."
② "全てのタクシーが白い" > "All taxis are white."

example
① "私は個人タクシーのドライバーだが、客寄せのための特別な塗装のため、タクシーの全部が白い。" ② "私の所属しているタクシー会社では、保有しているタクシーの全部が白い。"

In general, we use ②.

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