Can't figure this out! 我有一本书 Wǒ yǒu yì běn shū I don't understand what purpose 本(běn) serves in this sentence. In addition to answering, could you also tell me if I came across something like this in the future how I might be able to figure it out on my own? I looked up various definitions and couldn't figure it out.
Jul 5, 2015 10:20 PM
Answers · 7
When you're counting things, you need a measure word. The general measure word is 个 (個), but some things have their own special measure words. 一本书 / 两本书 :one (a) book / two books 三棵树 :three trees 一条河 :a (one) river 一件衬衫 / 六件衬衫:a (one) shirt / six shirts You will gradually get a feel for when something is functioning as a measure word. If it's used to count or denominate something, and it's where you might expect to see 个,then it's probably a measure word.
July 5, 2015
本 is a measure word. It is usually used to count books or stuff with the shape of books, such as photo album. Examples: 我有两本书。 我有一本影集(photo album)。
July 5, 2015
you must use measure words between numbers and nouns in Chinese
July 6, 2015
Hi peter, it is nice to see someone who really want to get a clear understanding of Chinese. To explain such words, we call “量词” or “数量词” in Chinese, and people put it before almost EVERY noun. So if you gradually increase your vocabulary in "量词", you will see that it is there for a good reason-to be more descriptive in terms of the specifc noun. For example, you can use 本 for both a book, and also a dictionary and even an album; you can use 辆 (another量词) for both car and motor cycle... The list goes on, and there are many gramatic rules concerning such 量词. You can add me as friend, and I will answer your questions when I am available! Jacob
July 14, 2015
Hi Peter It's Shawn here. I'm a native Chinese speaker with two years online English hosting experiences in English corners. Hopefully we can help each other to improve language learning together. You can contact me via msg in the forum or skype ID: shawn_loveenglish
July 6, 2015
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Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English, Spanish
Learning Language
Chinese (Mandarin)