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nathanuk88

Measure Words

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nathanuk88

Hi,

I im a little confused about measure words eg. (个只etc.) because there are many different kinds but go with different words! Can anyone explaine to me how they work or any resources i can look at for more info! Thanks! :conf

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cutty

记得我小学的时候老师也说了,这些量词好象没有什么特别好的规律的,只有用多了自然就知道了.

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cefiro2

那些都是習慣用語,常用就熟悉了...

一個人

一本書

一輛車

一位先生

一個箱子

一隻狗

一碗飯

一件衣服

一條褲子,一件褲子

一雙鞋子

一封信

一瓶水

一桶水

一盆水

一碗水

...

太多了,建議你見到一個記一個...:P

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Bob Dylan Thomas

The best advice i can give is: try not to think of it as each noun having a fixed, correct measure word. Most MWs correspond to the shape or form of a noun, not the noun itself. For example, you can't say what the "correct" MW for map (di2tu4) is; if you're refering to a London A-Z then it would be yi4 ben3 di4tu2, but if you're refering to a map-of-the-world poster stuck on the wall, then it would be yi4 zhang1 di2tu4.

Another example with a good equivalent in English would be garlic, which doesn't have a "fixed" classifier in either language. A bulb of garlic is yi4 tou2 da4suan4, whilst a clove of garlic is yi2 ban4 da4suan4

Therefore, it is far more useful to learn MWs according to the form of object or concept they describe. Of course, the big shortcoming is that there isn't always a strict regular pattern - for example, tiao2 can be used for fish, trousers or a river (amongst many other things), which my teacher once tried to persuade me makes sense because they're all "wavy" - i remain unconvinced.

But it does mean that you've got a much better chance of figuring out which MW to use for a new noun without needing to learn it by rote.

(sorry for the use of pinyin here, i can't write characters on this computer at the moment).

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Claw
for example, tiao2 can be used for fish, trousers or a river (amongst many other things), which my teacher once tried to persuade me makes sense because they're all "wavy" - i remain unconvinced.

條 tiao2, is used for long objects that are flexible or "wavy," as your teacher described it. Contrast this with 枝 zhi1, which is used for long objects which are rigid (like pens, rods, or even a long-necked bottle).

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kentsuarez

You can google this and there's a ton of stuff to check out, e.g.,

http://www.chinabooks.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=CHEND1&Category_Code=21200

http://www.yellowbridge.com/language/measurewords.html

http://www.chinesemall.com/chmewowite.html

and oodles and oodles more.

BTW, DeFrancis's ABC Comprehensive CED (highly recommended!) actually lists one or more suitable measure words by many of the nouns, e.g., at 毛衣 máoyī it tells you the measure is jiàn. It puts a superscripted numeral (here, "2") by this pinyin, so if you look up the list of jiàn entries, the second one is the relevant character 件. Oddly, it doesn't list the MSR at shū (book) or bĭ (pen). So this feature is spotty, but sometimes quite helpful.

There is also a four-page index on measure words in the back, with the verbal measure words (like zhènzi for a spell of, e.g., "it rained for a brief spell, then cleared up") also listed separately. In the larger portion, the nominal measure words (like bēi, a cup of) are listed, with brief descriptions you can peruse. However, it is not really the proper format for a beginner's introduction.

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skylee
條 tiao2, is used for long objects that are flexible or "wavy"

Just remembered that 條 is also used for formulas (well long objects) like 一條算式/方程式. It is also used for 好漢/大漢 (true/brave man; big/strong man) :D , like "十八年後又一條好漢!" :mrgreen:

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kentsuarez

here's a decent lil book on the topic

Dictionary of Chinese Classifiers, with English equivalents; Wang & Wu; Heian Int’l. 153pp. np. SC. Ordered by pinyin, with between one and a dozen or so example sentences per MSR, in SC and English. Pinyin for main msr. entries only; English index in rear has SC and pinyin as well.

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