4 Chinese Measure Words: 杯, 身, 头, 脸

by | Apr 16, 2021 | Chinese Grammar

We’ve already looked at some basic measure words before. It’s time for an upgrade!

Learn some special measure words with our new video.

Coffee 咖啡 | NihaoCafe Chinese Learning Platform

杯 Cup & 碗 Bowl

杯 (bēi) means “cup”, and 碗 (wǎn) means “bowl”, and they can work as measure words.

For example:

◾️ 一杯茶
◾️ yī bēi chá
◾️ a cup of tea

◾️ 一碗米饭
◾️ yī wǎn mǐfàn
◾️ a bowl of rice

Coffee 咖啡 | NihaoCafe Chinese Learning Platform

身 Body

身 (shēn) means “body”, but it can also be used as a measure word when talking about a “set” of clothes.

For example:

◾️ 今天我穿了一身黑色的衣服
◾️ Jīntiān wǒ chuānle yī shēn hēisè de yīfu
◾️ I’m all dressed in black today (“from head to toe”, “whole body”)
◾️ Today-I-wear-one-body-black-clothes

Head 头 | NihaoCafe Chinese Learning Platform

头 Head

头 (tóu) means “head”, but it can also be used as a measure word:
– to count cattle, 一头牛 (yī tóu niú) “one cow” 🐄
– to count garlic, 一头蒜 (yī tóu suàn) “one head of garlic”
– or it can be used with people, for example:

◾️ 今天太热了,我出了一头的汗
◾️ Jīntiān tài rèle, wǒ chūle yī tóu de hàn
◾️ Today is too hot, I’m sweating all over
◾️ Today-too-hot, I-release-one-head-sweat

Head 头 | NihaoCafe Chinese Learning Platform

脸 Face

脸 (liǎn) means “face”, but it can also be used as a measure word when it comes to facial expressions.

For example, you can:

◾️ 有一脸的问号
◾️ yǒu yī liǎn de wènhào
◾️ to be completely at a loss / to look startled
◾️ to have-one-face-question-mark

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