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While learning new vocabulary, I began to notice that there are many vocabulary that more or less all mean "everybody/everyone". Here is the list:

誰も 全員 各位 各自 万人 人々 面々 皆

I'm pretty sure that all these words don't always mean the exact same thing and can't always be used, so my question is, what can be differences in meaning between them, what are the different contexts in which they get used and how frequently are they used compared with each other?

And also, the word 万人 seems to have two different pronunciations (ばんにん ばんじん). I guess there is no difference in meaning but are both variants equally often used?

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  • Note that many of the [INTERROGATIVE PRONOUN] + も pronouns are pretty much only used in negative constructions. Things like [誰]{だれ}も・[何]{なに}も・どれも. Jun 17 at 16:22
  • @EiríkrÚtlendi: 誰もが〜する is a correct construction for saying everyone (or anyone) does something. Maybe the OP meant this.
    – aguijonazo
    Jun 19 at 11:44
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This is SO hard to answer but I'll try it...

全員/皆 is literally everyone so I'll just ignore them.

各位 and 各自 looks very similar but AFAIK 各自 is asking for everyone but not actually everyone.

e.g. "昼食は各自で食べて下さい。" -> "Please eat lunch on your own."

各自 is asking something to oneself, not everyone. But still saying for everyone in the room/office or anywhere. this is SO confusing to me but it's just like that.

on the other hand, 各位 is asking something for everyone.

e.g. "各位で昼食を取るようにして下さい。" -> "Each of you should take your own lunch."

万人 is used like "この車は万人受けするだろう。" -> "This car will be universally accepted."

万人 is used when something is being universally accepted or not. (万人受け(universally) する(accepted) or しない(not accepted) ). ​I think there's no difference between ばんにん/ばんじん but I've never heard someone using this as ばんじん so I don't know.

人々 is almost same as 全員/皆 but it's not actually everyone, it's used like "組織の人々" -> "People in the organization". It's used for people that is in some organization, region... used for something limited.

面々 is almost same as 各自/各位. It can be used either as "各自" or "各位", but unlike "各自" / "各位", it is not a 敬語(honorific?) and is used in more casual situations.

I'm not sure if this can help you understanding those. I wish I was good at english...

ask me if you've got further questions, I don't know if I can answer that but I'll try it.

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  • i guess 全員 is often used to mean "all members" (looking at the kanji), but it can also be used to just mean "everyone" like 皆, right? so maybe a slight difference in usage to 皆?
    – Orbit
    Jun 19 at 18:24
  • I've checked if I was thinking right, and I was wrong- 全員 is used only for peoples, 皆 can be used for something, so "everybody" and "everything" -> 皆. as for 全員, it's mostly same as 人々. but it's used for smaller things: for example, a team.
    – Skye-AT
    Jun 20 at 9:41

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