- To recap:
A measure word 量词 ((liàng cí), also known as a classifier, is used along with numerals to define the quantity of a given object or with words such as “this” and “that” to identify specific objects. e.g.:
一张纸 。(a piece of paper)
那一张纸。(that piece of paper)
- In terms of measure words, the main difference between English and Chinese is that Chinese requires a measure word for most objects. In English, one can say “two books”. In Chinese, we do not say “两书”, but “两本书”. (本 is a measure word for book 书)
- However, when a noun is not counted or introduces with “this” or “that”, a measure word is not necessary. e.g. : We do not say “我的本书”, but “我的书”.
- Most nouns have one or more particular measure words associated with them. The usage depends on personal preference and dialects. e.g: For car, some people use 那辆车 and others may use 那部车 or 那台车 to mean three cars.
- Today we are going to learn the most obvious use of measure words for animals : 头 条 只 匹 群
|Measure Word||Pinyin||Main Uses||Example|
||used for something with big head or something stupid||一头牛 (cow)
||used for something with long figure||三条鱼 (fish)
||used for most of the animals||一只老虎 (tiger)
||used for horse or camel||一匹马 (horse)
||used to a group of beings||一群羊 (sheep)|