Measure Words
shùliángcí
数量词

In Chinese, a number cannot be next to a noun by itself, it must be accompanied by the measure word that is appropriate for the noun being used. Measure words can be seen as a way to divide up nouns into categories based on the nouns’ nature and physical characteristics.

Examples of Chinese measure words are as the following.

běn
本 – for books
three books
sānběnshū
三本书

diǎn
点 – used to emphasize a little of something
I can speak a little Chinese.
wǒhuìshuō diǎnZhōngwén
我会说(一)点中文.
“一” is optional.

Go back to Chinese Grammar Guide.

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