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why is the measure word for ship is difference ,such as these sentences,please?

一艘大船。
一只小船。

For learning: Chinese (Mandarin)
Base language: Chinese (Mandarin)
Category: Language

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    Best Answer - Chosen by the Asker
    I believe ship can take a few measure words.
    Smaller boats use 叶”and“只.
    Larger boats use 条
    Warships and really really large boats use 艘.

    It also I believe because China is so big and words can vary across the country, for example some places in China use 土豆 for potato and other places might use 马铃薯 or 薯.

    when we describing a small ship we use '只'as measure word, but in terms of big ship such as steamer we ues '艘' ; it's just phrase, no clear reason :D

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