Complete vs. Whole


Sometimes, “complete” and “whole” are interchangeable but sometimes they are not.


In the cases where they are interchangeable, they mean “containing all components, having all parts or elements and lacking nothing”, 包含所有部分, 不缺少任何部分


For example:

My daughter has a complete wardrobe of “Hello Kitty” dresses.  一完整衣櫃不缺少任何凱蒂貓 的服飾
My daughter has a whole wardrobe of “Hello Kitty” dresses. 


A complete makeover 全面(不缺少任何, 每個)改變造型

A whole makeover



Listed below are cases where they are not interchangeable.



1.  thorough, total, entire 徹底的

A complete failure.  徹底的失敗

I heard that the electrician says we should have a complete overhaul of the wiring.  佈線的徹底詳細的檢


2.  absolute, perfect, 絕對的, 完美無缺的, 無限制的

A complete politician 完美無缺的政治家

A Complete silence 絕對沈默



1. all pieces, 整個, 完整的

He ate a whole apple  一整蘋果


2.  undivided, unbroken, in one piece, 未分開的, 未被打破的

The archeologists just found a whole dinosaur.


3.  including every constituent or individual, 包括每一個組成或個人

The whole country was devastated by Typhoon Morakot.  


4.  from the beginning to the end,  從頭到尾的

My daughter chatted the whole morning.   



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