On a typical day I use a lot of Chinese measure words (a.k.a. Chinese classifiers). Some Chinese students will argue that learning measure words isn't important, but they do matter. Using measure words in Mandarin correctly says a lot about your Chinese. Don't be one of those Chinese learners that learns how to use 个 and assumes that other measure words don't matter. Here's a rundown of the measure words I run into everyday.

Learn which measure words I use in the morning.

An Afternoon and Evening of Measure Words

At noon, I'll get some lunch. I love eating ramen and wonton soup, so I often get a bowl (一 碗 拉面). Through out the afternoon I'll get up and walk around. It helps me think and gets me away from the people smoking (一 支 烟) around me.

I work on a old white MacBook (一 台 笔记本) white a cool green sticker on the front. I use it for writing code and for writing blog posts (一 篇 帖子)

As the day grows old, I decide to pack it in. On good days, my lovely wife cooks a couple of dishes (几 盘 菜) which we'll eat with a bowl of rice (一 碗 米饭) or some mantou (一 个 馒头). Other times, we'll go out to a nearby restaurant, where the wait staff will ask us how many people are in are party (几 位 ?). They always use 位 instead of saying 几 个 人 because it's more polite.

After dinner, I might read a book (一 本 书), or watch some tv (看 一些 电视), or just relax.

After a full day, I brush my teeth again--something I do twice daily (一 天 刷牙 两 次), and get ready for bed. Tomorrow will be another day of measure words.

What does your daily does of measure words look like? Leave a comment

Measure words used during my afternoon and evening:

  • 碗: 一 碗 拉面, 一 碗 米饭. 碗 is used for counting bowls of food and other items. (Examples measure word 碗)
  • 支: 一支烟. 支 is used here for rod shaped objects. 支 also has a few other uses as well. Check out more examples for the measure word 支.
  • 台: 一 台 笔记本. 台is used here for counting machines or equipment. (Examples for the measure word 台)
  • 篇: 一 篇 帖子. 篇 is used for counting written works. (Examples for the measure word 篇)
  • 盘: 几 盘 菜. 盘 is used for plates of food. 盘 also has a few other uses as well. Check out more examples for the measure word 盘.
  • 个: 一个馒头, 几 个 人. 个 is a generic measure word that can be used for counting people or things. It's the most commonly use measure word (Examples for the measure word 个
  • 位: 几 位. 位 is used for counting people. It is a polite to use 位 for guests or people with high status (doctors, teachers, etc.). (Examples for the measure word 位
  • 本: 一 本 书. 本 is used for printed materials, including books and magazines. (Examples for the measure word 本
  • 些: 看 一些 电视. 些 is a used for uncounted quantities and means "some". It can only be used with 一. (Examples for the measure word 些
  • 天: 一 天 刷牙 两 次. 天 is the unit of time for days.
  • 次: 一 天 刷牙 两 次. 次 is a verbal measure word, which are used for counting actions. (Examples for the measure word 次)

What does your daily does of measure words look like?

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