Chinese Measure Words

Essential Chinese Measure Words For Daily Life

In Chinese Grammar by Angel Huang

One of the unique aspects of Mandarin is the use of measure words

In this blog post, we will explore the importance of Chinese measure words, share some tips and tricks for mastering them, and provide examples to help you use them effectively in your conversations!

What are Chinese Measure Words?

In Chinese, measure words (also known as classifiers) are used to specify the quantity or unit of a noun. They are similar to words like "a piece of" or "a cup of" in English. Measure words are an integral part of the Chinese  and are used in both spoken and written forms.

Tips and Tricks for Mastering Chinese Measure Words

1. Learn the most common measure words first: Start by familiarizing yourself with the most frequently used measure words, such as 个 (gè), 只 (zhī), and 条 (tiáo). These measure words can be used with a wide range of nouns, making them versatile and essential for beginners.

2. Practice with real-life examples: Incorporate measure words into your daily conversations and practice using them in context. This will help you become more comfortable with their usage and improve your overall fluency.

3. Group similar measure words together: Many measure words are used for specific categories of nouns, such as animals, objects, or units of time. By grouping them together, you can more easily remember which measure word to use for a particular noun.

4. Use flashcards or spaced repetition: Create flashcards with a noun on one side and its corresponding measure word on the other. Review these flashcards regularly using spaced repetition techniques to help commit them to memory.

Summary Of the "Top 10 Essential Chinese Measure Words for Everyday Life"  From The Video Above

1. 个 (gè)

Host: "First up is 个 (gè), 个 (gè) is the most common and versatile measure word in Chinese. You can use it for people, objects, and even abstract concepts. For example:

- 一人 (yī rén) - one person

- 三土豆 (sān tǔ dòu) - three potatoes

- 一想法 (yī xiǎng fǎ) - one idea

2. 只 (zhī)

Next, we have 只 (zhī), 只 (zhī) is used for animals and certain objects with a pair. For example:

- 一猫 (yī zhī māo) - one cat

- 两手 (liǎng zhī shǒu) - two hands

- 八耳朵(bā zhǐ ěr duo) - eight ears

3. 本 (běn)

The third measure word is 本 (běn), 本 (běn) is used for books and other bound items. For example:

- 一书 (yī běn shū) - one book

- 三杂志 (sān běn zá zhì) - three magazines

- 五笔记本 (wǔ běn bǐ jì běn) - five notebooks

4. 辆 (liàng)

Moving on to number four, we have 辆 (liàng), 辆 (liàng) is used for vehicles with wheels. For example:

- 一车 (yī liàng chē) - one car

- 九救护车 (jiǔ liàng jiù hù chē) - nine ambulances

- 十自行车 (shí liàng zì xíng chē) - ten bikes

5. 件 (jiàn)

"At number five, we have 件 (jiàn), 件 (jiàn) is used for clothing and matters. For example:

- 一衣服 (yī jiàn yī fu) - one piece of clothing

- 五毛衣 (wǔ jiàn máo yī) - five sweaters

- 三事情 (sān jiàn shì qíng)- three matters

6. 条 (tiáo)

At number six, we have 条 (tiáo), 条 (tiáo) is used for counting long, narrow, and flexible objects, as well as some abstract concepts. For example:

- 一香蕉 (yī tiáo xiāng jiāo) - one banana 

- 五路 (wǔ tiáo lù) -five roads

- 三建议 (sān tiáo jiàn yì)- three pieces of advice

7.  杯 (bēi)

The seventh measure word is 杯 (bēi), 杯 (bēi) is used for counting liquids in cups or glasses. For example,

- 一咖啡 (yī bēi kā fēi) - one cup of coffee

- 两水 (liǎng bēi shuǐ) - two glasses of water

- 三茶  (sān bēi chá) - three cups of tea

8.  把 (bǎ)

The eighth measure word is 把 (bǎ) , 把 (bǎ) is used for counting objects with handles or objects that can be held in hand. For example,

- 一伞 (yī sǎn) - one umbrella

- 三椅子 (sān yǐ zi) - three chairs

- 五刀  (wǔ dāo) - five knives

9. 张 (zhāng)

At number nine, we have 张 (zhāng), 张 (zhāng) is used for counting flat objects, such as paper, cards, tickets, or tables. For example:

- 一纸 (yī zhāng zhǐ) - a piece of paper

- 两电影票 (liǎng zhāng diàn yǐng piào) - two movie tickets

- 八桌子 ( bā zhāng zhuō zi) - eight tables

10. 台 (tái)

The tenth measure word is 台 (tái),  台 (tái) is used for counting machines, appliances, or vehicles. For example,

- 一电脑 (yī tái diàn nǎo) - a computer

- 两咖啡机 (liǎng tái kā fēi jī) - two coffee machines

- 五手机 (wǔ tái shǒu jī) - five cell phones

Alright, we’ve covered the top 10 Chinese measure words for daily life. These words will help you communicate more precisely when speaking Chinese. So, let's do a quick recap of what we've learned:

Chinese Measure Words

1. 个 (gè) - for general counting

2. 只 (zhī) -  for animals and certain objects with a pair

3. 本 (běn) - for books and other bound items

4. 辆 (liàng) - for vehicles with wheels

5. 件 (jiàn) - for clothing and matters

6. 条 (tiáo) - for counting long, narrow, and flexible objects

7.  杯 (bēi) - for counting liquids in cups or glasses

8.  把 (bǎ) - for counting objects with handles or objects that can be held in hand

9. 张 (zhāng) - for counting flat objects

10. 台 (tái) - for counting machines, appliances, or vehicles

I hope this lesson has been helpful in expanding your Chinese vocabulary and understanding of measure words.

Mastering Chinese measure words is an essential step in becoming. If you have any questions or suggestions about Chinese measure words, please leave a comment below. I'd love to hear from you and help you on your language learning journey.

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