Was kann man alles am "Büdchen" kaufen?

What does "alles" mean here? Is it used as a modal particle?


1 Answer 1


No, it's not a modal particle, it means just "all" or "everything".

Was kann man hier alles kaufen? - What all can you buy here?

This is a combination of

Was kann man hier kaufen? - What can you buy here?
Nennen Sie alles was man hier kaufen kann. - Name everything you can buy here.

With the question »Was kann man hier alles kaufen?« you ask for a list of all items that are sold here. (But in fact nobody really expects to get a complete list.)

You use this construction also in these questions:

Sie sind also Gruppenleiter. Was müssen Sie da alles machen?
So you are a group leader. What do you have to do?

Here you want to get a list off all tasks the group leader has to do.

Ich habe erfahren, dass Sie Trompeten herstellen. Was muss man alles machen, bis so eine Trompete fertig ist?
I learned that you make trumpets. What do you have to do until such a trumpet is finished?

Here you want to know all steps that the trumpet maker has to do to build a trumpet.

  • 2
    I don't think "What all can you buy here?" is grammatically correct, though there are varieties of English where it's allowed. (See Wiktionary def. 4.) It's a bit confusing since "all" can be used as a modal adverb in English; per Wiktionary: "It suddenly went all quiet." I think you're trying to say something like "What are all the things you can buy here?" But the difference in meaning between that and "What are the things you can buy here?" seems very subtle.
    – RDBury
    Nov 12, 2021 at 12:57

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