Learn Chinese: Measure Words and classifiers 1

In English, we can say things like (i) one table or (ii) two houses.  Here, a cardinal number (one, two) immediately precedes a common noun (table, house).  This is such an obvious fact about English that we probably take it for granted.  We may even assume that all other languages work in the same way.  But Chinese is different.  In Chinese, (i) is yi zhang zhuozi and (ii) is liang ge fangzi.  In both cases, there is a classifier (underlined) that appears between the number and the noun.  Table is a flat object and so we use the classifier zhangHouse is a general building and so we use the classifier ge. 

Read the full PDF here: Learn Chinese #4

 

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