Grammar Lesson 3:Measure Words
Chinese makes frequent use of so-called "classifiers" or "measure words".
Measure words also exist in the English language (even if they are not so frequently used).
Examples for measure words in the English language:
- a cup of coffee
- a box of cereal
- a loaf of bread
- a tube of toothpaste
- a flock of birds
In these examples cup, box, loaf, tube and flock act as "measure words".
Here is a list of frequent Chinese measure words:
隻 / 只 / zhi1 = a measure word for animals and insects
間 / 间 / jian1 = a measure word for rooms, flats, houses, schools, restaurants, hotels, companies
張 / 张 / zhang1 = a measure word for flat objects like paper, tickets, stamps, records, tables
部 / 部 / bu4 = a measure word for works of literature, films, movies, machines, cars
首 / 首 / shou3 = a measure word for poems, songs
輛 / 辆 / liang4 = a measure word for vehicles like cars, motorbikes, truck, vans
位 / 位 / wei4 = a measure word for people
(The order on the left is: Traditional Chinese / Simplified Chinese / Pinyin)
If in doubt use the most common classifier, which is "ge" (Traditional: 個, Simplified: 个). This measure word is used for people or objects.
Learn Chinese and other languages online with our audio flashcard system and various exercises, such as multiple choice tests, writing exercises, games and listening exercises.
Click here to Sign Up Free!
Or sign up via Facebook with one click:
Watch a short Intro by a real user!