List of Chinese measure words:
A measure word (liàngcí 量词 量詞), also known as a classifier or a count word, is used along with numerals to define the quantity of a given object or objects, or with “this”/”that” to identify specific objects.
Usage depends on personal preference and dialects. For example, some people use 三部车 (三部車) and others use 三台车 (三台車) to mean three cars. Still others use 三辆车 (三輛車) or in Cantonese 三架车 (三架車), with all of these measure words serving the same purpose.
List of Idiomatic Count/Measure Words
Chinese Pinyin Main uses Examples
把 bǎ (ba) “handful” — objects that can be held, relatively long and flat objects knife 刀, scissors, sword, key 钥匙, umbrella 伞, fan 扇子, spoon 勺子, fork, toothbrush, hammer, padlock, pair of scissors, pistol, rifle, chair 椅子, handful of rice 一把米, handful of sand 一把沙, bunch of flowers, handful of seeds, bunch of chopsticks, skeleton, fire, teapot 茶壶
班 bān (ban) scheduled services (trains, etc.), group of people, a class as in pupils
包 bāo (bao) packet, package, bundle sweets, cigarettes 烟, sugar 糖, cookies
杯 bēi (bei) “cup”, “glass” — drinks/beverages tea 茶, wine, alcohol 酒, water 水, milk 牛奶, fruit juice 果汁, soda 汽水, Coca -cola 可口可乐
本 běn (ben) “volume” — bound print matter book 书, magazine 杂志, novel 小说, scripture 经文, dictionary 字典, notepad 笔记本, textbook 课本
笔 (筆) bǐ (bi) strokes of characters; large quantities of money 12 strokes 十二笔; a large quantity of money 一笔钱; a deal 一笔交易
部 bù (bu) machinery, vehicles; productions mobile phone, telephone, car 轿车, play 话剧, novel 小说, movie/film/motion picture 电影, opera 歌剧, literary work 著作
册 cè (ce) volumes of books
层 (層) céng (ceng) “floor”/”story”; “layer” 9 stories (in a building) 九层楼; layer of dust 一层灰, seven layer cake 七层蛋糕, coat of paint 一层油漆
For the complete list of Chinese measure words see: http://digchinese.com/measure-words
Chinese measure words flash cards with enable audio
As a friend who recently arrived in China said, “Yes but do they really USE all of those measure words?” I don’t know about all. But yes, unfortunately, they do use a great deal of them.
These are all the measure words I have heard in natural conversation. Maybe not worth memorizing, but as one learns to speak Chinese, and especially for listening, they’re certainly worth being able to recognize (I can get stumped pretty easily when I hear a seemingly out of place word). ll also give the context I heard the word used in.
If you want to know what other things that measure word applies to, I suggest consulting the back of Chubby or some other measure word reference.
Measure word > for what kind of thing
- bǎ 把> stuff with handles (knives), chairs
- qǐng lái sān bǎ sháozi 请来三把勺子= please bring 3 spoons
- bān 班> scheduled transportation
- zhè bānxiào chē shì bú shì zuì hòu yì bān? 这班校车是不是最后一班？= Is this the last school bus?
- běn 本> bound stuff (books, magazines)
- wǒ yǒu sān běn cídiǎn 我有三本辞典= I have 3 dictionaries
- bǐ 笔> sums of money
- wǒ bìxū huā yì bǐ qián 我必须花一笔钱= I have to pay a sum of money
- bù 部> cell phones, sequels of a book/movie
- nǐ wèishénme yǒu liǎng bù shǒujī? 你为什么有两部手机？= Why do you have 2 cell phones?
- duàn 段> sections of long stuff, parts of songs
- yí duàn fěnbǐ 一段粉笔= a piece of chalk
- duǒ 朵> flowers
- I can’t remember the sentence, but it was definitely about flowers.
- fèn 份> bundles/batches (servings of food, multi-page documents)
- yào jǐ fèn? 要几份= How many servings (do you) want?
- jiā 家> stores
- zhège chéngshì yǒu jǐ jiā wòěrmǎ? 这个城市有几家沃尔玛？= How many Walmarts does this city have?
- jiān 间> rooms, houses (one room)
- zhège xuéxiào de sùshè jǐ gè rén yì jiān? 这个学校的宿舍几个人一间 = How many people are there in one dorm room at this school?
- jiàn 件> shirts
- yí cì zuì duō zhǐ néng ná sān jiàn 一次最多只能拿三件= the most you can take at one time is 3 (shirts)
Continue reading this article at: http://laowaichinese.net/which-measure-words-do-they-really-use.htm
Top ten measure words
Top 10 measure words to know
Besides “gè 个,” there are the ones I use most frequently in my daily life (I’m a teacher):
- jié 节 > for 1 hour class periods
- běn 本 > for bound stuff (books, magazines)
- zhāng 张 > flat stuff (pieces of paper, tables, CDs)
- fèn 份 > for bundles/batches (servings of food, multi-page documents)
- wèi 位 > for people (polite)
- zhī 只 > 1 of a pair (1 chopstick, 1 shoe, 1 eye)
zhī 支 > stick-like things (pen)
- shuāng 双 > pairs (2 chopsticks, 2 shoes, 2 eyes)
- liàng 辆 > vehicles with wheels (but not trains)
- shǒu 首 > songs, poems
- tiáo 条 > for roads, long pieces of clothing (pants)
The list comes from: http://laowaichinese.net/top-10-measure-words-to-know.htm