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Classifier of Chinese

In the modern Chinese languages, words called classifiers or measure phrases are utilized along with numbers to define the amount of a given object, or with demonstratives like "this" and "that" to identify specific objects. Classifiers are bound morphemes: they don't have any meaning by themselves and are constantly utilized together with a noun or an additional articles word. Anytime a noun is preceded by a quantity or a demonstrative, a classifier has to come in between. The decision whether to use an amount or demonstrative at all, even so, is up to the speaker; classifiers might usually be prevented by using a bare noun. Phrases consisting of a number, a classifier, along with a noun, like 一个人(yi ge ren; one person), are called "classifier phrases". Some linguists have proposed that the use of classifier phrases might be guided less by grammar and more by stylistic or pragmatic considerations on the portion of the speaker who could possibly be looking to foreground new or critical data. Eventually, moreover to these employs, classifiers could be utilized in variant approaches: when positioned after a noun rather than prior to it, or when repeated, a classifier signifies a plural or indefinite quantity.
 
Most nouns have one particular or even more particular classifiers associated with them. For instance, a lot of flat objects such as tables, chairs, and beds utilize the classifier 张 (zhang), whereas several long and thin objects use 条(tiao). The way speakers choose which classifiers to use-and, by extension, how nouns are categorized-has been the topic of debate. Some propose that classifier-noun pairings are primarily based on innate semantic features of the noun (for instance, all "long" nouns take a certain classifier simply because of their inherent longness), and others claim that they're motivated by analogy to more prototypical pairings (eg., "dictionary" takes the same classifier as the more frequent word "book"). Moreover to these certain classifiers, there exists a basic classifier 个(ge), that might frequently (but not constantly) be employed in place of other classifiers; in informal and spoken language, native speakers often use this classifier much more than any other, even though they know which classifier is "correct" when asked. Finally, Chinese also has mass-classifiers, or words which are not specific to any one object; for instance, the mass-classifier 盒 (he; box)might be utilized with boxes of objects, such as lightbulbs or books, although these nouns also have their own special classifiers. In all, Chinese has anywhere from a couple of dozen to several hundred classifiers, depending on how they may be counted; there is also variation in which classifiers are paired to which nouns, with speakers of various dialects typically making use of diverse classifiers for the same item.
 
List of Idiomatic Count/Measure Words
 
Chinese Pinyin Main uses Example
Ba3 "handful" — objects that can be held, relatively long and flat objects knife 一把刀, scissors, sword, key 一把钥匙, umbrella 一把伞, fan 一把扇子, spoon 一把勺子, handful of rice 一把米, handful of sand 一把沙, teapot 一把茶壶
Ban1 scheduled services (trains, etc.), group of people, a class as in pupils  
Bao1 packet, package, bundle sweets, cigarettes , sugar , cookies
Bei1 "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
Ben3 "volume" — bound print matter book 一本书, magazine 一把杂志, novel 一本小说, scripture 一本经文, dictionary 一本字典, notepad 笔记本, textbook 课本
Bi3 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
Bu4 machinery, vehicles; productions mobile phone, telephone, car 一部轿车, play 一部话剧, novel 一部小说, movie/film/motion picture 一部电影, opera 一部歌剧, literary work 一部著作
Ce4 volumes of books  
Ceng2 "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
Chang3 short duration event; precipitation public spectacle, game, crisis, war, catastrophe, an illness 一场病, performance, play ; a rainfall/rain shower 一场雨
Chuan4 sets of numbers a cell phone/mobile number 一串手机号码
Dai4 sackfuls, pouchfuls, bagfuls, pocketfuls sugar, flour 面粉, rice 大米
Di1 "droplet" water, blood, other such fluids  
Dian3 ideas, suggestions; "a bit"/"some" (only with 一) a bit of work 一点点工作
Ding3 objects with protruding top, something to put over one's head hat 一顶帽子, tent, mosquito net 一顶蚊帐
Dong literally "pillar" (smaller building, house)  
Du3 encompassing fixtures (wall without roof)  
Dui4 "couple", "matched pair" (for certain things) couplets a (married) couple 夫妇, earrings, vases 花瓶
Dun4 short duration actions a meal 一顿饭, conflict, beating, quarrel, scolding
Duo3 flower-like things a flower 一朵花, a cloud 一朵云彩, a mushroom 一朵木耳
Fen4 portions, multi-page documents serving of food, a newspaper 一份报, a job 一份工作
Ge4 individual things, people — general, catch-all measure word (usage of this classifier in conjunction with any noun is generally accepted if the person does not know the proper classifier) person 一个人, elder brother 一个哥哥, student 一个学生, relative 一个亲戚, way of thinking 一个想法, suggestion 一个建议, question 一个问题, nation 一个国家