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Chinese Measure Words





The Chinese language uses measure words to count nouns.

Unlike English and most European languages, Chinese does not distinguish between singular and plural, so nouns are simply abstract in number, with context determining whether something is singular or plural.
But when you have to specify a certain number of something, you combine the number itself with a measure word, followed by the noun.

Below is a comprehensive list of Chinese measure words and what they are used to count.

Hanzi Pinyin Use
chair, knife, umbrella, toothbrush; objects with handles
bāo pack of cigarettes; packets of objects
bēi tea, coffee, cup
bĕn book, magazine
film
chuàn for items that come in bunches or clusters, e.g.: grapes or bananas
chuáng blankets
dĭng hats
walls
duì for items that are paired (but not necessarily so)
fèn newspaper; share; portion; copies
fēng letter (written document)
sunglasses
general measure word; people
gēn bananas; other long, slender objects
guàn can (of soda or food); jar; tin
homes; households
jiā companies; buildings; households
jià bridge; airplane
jiān room
jiàn clothes; luggage
jiè events; used for events like the Olympics, World Cup, and such that occur frequently
jīn pound (actually 0.5 kilograms)
phrase; remark
juăn reel; spool; toilet paper; camera film
tree
text; lesson
kŏu family members; household
kuài soap; piece of land; Olympic medals; other things that come in hunks, chunks, or lumps; a measure of currency
liàng car; bicycle; wheeled vehicles
lún round (of talks, sports)
horses; bolt of cloth
píng bottles
cases (used for criminal case); batch, group (e.g.: visitors)
qún crowd; group (of people); flock (of birds, sheep); swarm (bees); herd (animals)
shŏu poems
shuāng chopsticks; items that necessarily come in pairs
sōu boats; ships
tái computers; televisions; radios; other machines
tào set (of furniture, stamps)
tiáo streets; rivers; fish; snakes; other long, winding objects
tóu domestic animals; head of cattle; mules; other larger animals
wèi person (polite usage)
zhāng map; bed; table; other flat, rectangular objects
zhī animal; one of a pair of body parts (hands, feet, ears); earrings; rings
zhī pencil, cigarette, pen; other long, thin objects
zhī pencil, cigarette, pen; other long, thin objects
zuò mountains; bridges; buildings

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