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[Grammar] Problem with « 个 »
Posted by: Lordarithon (IP Logged)
Date: February 04, 2009 12:00PM
OK I'm having a little bit of a problem with 个.

I know that that word isn't the only one of it's kind. I know there are a lot of other ones just like it. My problem is that there hasn't been anyone to give me any real explanation of this word... I just need a good explanation. And not be told I have to just use it and remember to put it in the certain spots that I need to put it in...I just want a real good explanation of it. THe more detailed the explanation is the better for me.

I'll appreciate any help anyone can give me.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/05/2009 06:40AM by Olive.

Re: Chinese grammar help
Posted by: Enricobrasil (IP Logged)
Date: February 04, 2009 05:34PM
Yeah, I know what you mean... a bunch of Chinese just tell us "you just have to keep practicing". "Keep practicing" my ***!

Try to understand 个 and other measure words (that's their name) as "unity":

人 - 1 unity of person
学生 - 2 unities of students
老师 - 3 unities of teachers

It may sound strange, but, in fact, even in English there are some "measure words":

1 glass of water
2 bottles of milk
3 boxes of apples

Note that in English we use "measure words" to specify uncountable nouns. In Chinese they use measure words for both countable (person, student, etc) and uncountable (water, milk, etc).

The Chinese structure of measure words is:

Demonstrative pronoun + number + measure word + noun

这一个人 - This one unity of person
这两个人 - These two unities of person

I hope this helps... measure words are a pain in the neck...

Re: Chinese grammar help
Posted by: Lordarithon (IP Logged)
Date: February 04, 2009 08:52PM
I had to read this a few times but it makes a little more sense. It's still a little bit unclear...and I wish I wasn't falling under the category of typical westerner not understanding...Anyway this helps a little better. I understand now to just consider it unity. I now have to memorize where it goes now...

How many measure words are there in total???

Re: Chinese grammar help
Posted by: Lordarithon (IP Logged)
Date: February 04, 2009 09:02PM
OK I am still a little confused about when it is used in lesson 5.

OK it's used like this 哪个国家. It's between the words which and country. I don't exactly understand why it's there.

Re: Chinese grammar help
Posted by: Enricobrasil (IP Logged)
Date: February 04, 2009 10:15PM
As I said, the structure is as follows:

Demonstrative pronoun + number + MEASURE WORD + noun

So, it's there just because it HAS TO BE!

Anything sentece you use either number or demonstrative pronoun, you just have to put the measure word there... Maybe you're still confused 'cause you're thinking too much in English, and since English doesn't have it you're messing things up... =/

That X country - 那国家
This X man - 这
Three X countries - 三国家
Three X men - 三
Those three X countries - 那三国家
These three X men - 这三

Try checking the structure with the examples I gave. Remember:

Demonstrative pronoun + number + MEASURE WORD + noun

Re: Chinese grammar help
Posted by: Enricobrasil (IP Logged)
Date: February 04, 2009 10:20PM
About the number, I have a measure word book, and once I tried counting them and there were over 600 of them. But don't worry, you won't need all of them. And most of them are both (everyday use) nouns and measure words, like:

杯子/杯 - glass (noun)/measure word
瓶子/瓶 - bottle (noun)/measure word

Re: [Grammar] Problem with « 个 »
Posted by: Enricobrasil (IP Logged)
Date: February 04, 2009 10:22PM
Oh, I forgot to say that measure words are also used between 哪,多少,几 and nouns, sorry!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/05/2009 06:40AM by Olive.

Re: [Grammar] Problem with « 个 »
Posted by: Lordarithon (IP Logged)
Date: February 05, 2009 07:38PM
Ah you made it easier to understand now. I kinda missed it in your first post but the later ones made more sense. I see it now..it's still a little confusing but I just need to get used to it, and yes I need to stop thinking in English.

I guess it is kinda right, I will have to use these measure words a little more before I'm more comfortable. But now I understand why people say 一个人。

Thanks so much for the help.

Re: [Grammar] Problem with « 个 »
Posted by: Enricobrasil (IP Logged)
Date: February 05, 2009 10:17PM
It's 10 bucks... spinning smiley sticking its tongue out

Just kiddin'! winking smiley

Take care...

Re: [Grammar] Problem with « 个 »
Posted by: Hugelizard83 (IP Logged)
Date: February 06, 2009 06:50AM
Enricobrasil is really a good teacher!!!

“个”is one of the mostly used measure words in Chinese language, and here are some other interesting measure words, hope this can help you dealing with them:

"只" mostly used when dealing with animals.

猫-----one cat
鸟-----one bird

"头" mostly used when dealing with big animals and livestocks.

大象------ one elephant(big enough....)
牛————one ox

this is because "头" means "head" in Chinese, if a Chinese farmer wants to know how many sheep he has in his farm, he will count their heads~~~~~

however, we use "匹" dealing with horses, we never say "一头马", we say:

马————one horse

Re: [Grammar] Problem with « 个 »
Posted by: Enricobrasil (IP Logged)
Date: February 06, 2009 09:22AM
Maybe it would be nice to start a new thread with the most used measure words...

Re: [Grammar] Problem with « 个 »
Posted by: Lordarithon (IP Logged)
Date: February 06, 2009 01:31PM
Yes, if a thread for the most used measure words was started I'd recommend that it be done exactly like how it was done above. The only difference is that the measure word should also be written in pinyin so that way I know what it sounds like and can type in the character on the computer, and pronounce it.

Re: [Grammar] Problem with « 个 »
Posted by: Hugelizard83 (IP Logged)
Date: February 06, 2009 09:57PM
Umm, I'll try to start a new thread.

Re: [Grammar] Problem with « 个 »
Posted by: Lordarithon (IP Logged)
Date: February 07, 2009 02:17AM
No worries Hugelizard. It's all up to you.

Re: [Grammar] Problem with « 个 »
Posted by: Hugelizard83 (IP Logged)
Date: February 07, 2009 09:00AM
"双(shuang1)" is a different measure word which means "pair of", for example:
手:one pair of hands(sounds a little weird in English....)
眼睛:one pair of eyes
鞋:two pairs of shoes
but we never say "一双裤子"(a pair of trousers), cause we Chinese consider "a pair of trousers" as a singular numn, insteadly, we say "一(tiao2)裤子".

Attention: “双”is only used to describe things which always appear in pairs.
Everyone has a pair of eyes and a pair of hands, so we use "双" to describe them. Umm...for example, if there are two apples, we say "两个苹果" instead of "一双苹果",cause apples do not always appear in pairs(get me??Excuse my poor English....)

Re: [Grammar] Problem with « 个 »
Posted by: Enricobrasil (IP Logged)
Date: February 07, 2009 10:48AM
Yes, I have a question:

What's the difference between 双 and 对 (as a measure word)?

Re: [Grammar] Problem with « 个 »
Posted by: Hugelizard83 (IP Logged)
Date: February 08, 2009 03:23AM
Umm...this is a difficult one, cause the difference is very delicate and I'm not a professional teacher.Generally speaking,"双" is more formal, in my hometown, a small village in northern China, elder people who don't speak Mandarin always say "一鞋" instead of "一双鞋". However, "对"(both in Mandarin and other dialects) has the special meaning of "couple(female and male,mostly dealing with animals)", for example, "一对夫妇(fu1fu4)" means "a wedding couple(wife and husband)", "一对兔子" means “a couple of rabbits(female and male)”. Also,the word "一对" can be used to describe romantic relationships, for example, A is B's BF or GF, we can say "A 和 B是一对". Be careful when using "一对" to describe romantic relationships, cause this is not a formal word and it sounds not so polite.

Re: [Grammar] Problem with « 个 »
Posted by: Zagan.Engelsein.Sanscoeur (IP Logged)
Date: February 08, 2009 10:34AM
It is so complicated, just practice and you will be using all of them and even you won't notice at all...just like chinese says PRACTICE! and please do not translate, try to associate words with images....and learn that way...

Salu2

Re: [Grammar] Problem with « 个 »
Posted by: Enricobrasil (IP Logged)
Date: February 08, 2009 04:50PM
Huge Lizard, do you think "一对手" and "一对椅子" sound strange (since they are not male/female)?

Thx for your help! It's really nice to have a native speaker to explain how he/she "feels" the language... smiling smiley

Re: [Grammar] Problem with « 个 »
Posted by: Hugelizard83 (IP Logged)
Date: February 09, 2009 08:30AM
"一对手" and "一对椅子" are right, but sounds a little weird......

Re: [Grammar] Problem with « 个 »
Posted by: Yj (IP Logged)
Date: February 19, 2009 07:18AM
天生一对。 (:

Re: [Grammar] Problem with « 个 »
Posted by: Ohhlive (IP Logged)
Date: February 20, 2009 05:35AM
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