Referring to things in Mandarin Chinese

 

Chinese Grammar  Updated: Sun, Oct 21, 2012 01:27 AM   By HugChina

 

Classifiers or measure words are required for all Chinese nouns. There are numerous measure words in Chinese to be remembered but there is a measure word that Chinese people use when they conveniently forget the right one: 个 (gè).

Expressing "this" and "that" can be done as in the following example, but note that there appears an extra word that one might not have expected, this is a so-called Measure Word and is a very important feature in Chinese Grammar:

* 这所大学 (zhè suǒ dàxué) - Literal: This [MW] university - This university

* 那所大学 (nà suǒ dàxué) - Literal: That [MW] university - That university

In this case the measure word is 所 (suǒ), but there are numerous Measure Words, each can be used with a specific category of words. Those will need to be learnt by heart. However, there is a measure word that Chinese people use when they conveniently forget the right one: 个 (gè).

The use of such measure words is obligatory in many cases (such as this one).
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