Are there study methods aimed in particular at Chinese measure words?

Language Learning Asked on November 7, 2021

Chinese has many measure words(*); in the HSK vocabulary, there are at least:

个 本 次 件 把 只 位 条 张 辆 包 双 层 刻 场 份 遍 台 座 节 趟 篇 棵 所 根 首 片 套 支 群 颗 顿 圈 项 顶 匹 团 幅 批 册 届 朵 壶 卷 艘 栋 枚 幢 束 粒 番 枝 株

(There are more I haven’t listed.)

I not aware of any clever way of targeting measure words for study. I still get confused between 枚, 枝, and 株 in particular.

Question: Are there study methods aimed in particular at Chinese measure words?

(*) I’m aware there are some differences in terminology which I’m going to ignore for the purpose of asking this question.

One Answer

I personally think the best way to learn measure words is the way native speakers do: by immersion and repeated exposure, hearing the words used in sentences. If you hear and read lots of the language, you will know what the appropriate measure word is because, by the time you need to use it, you will have heard it hundreds of times. The correct word will just "sound right" and other ones will not.

In the cases where you want to learn a particular measure word quickly, without a lot of exposure to its use, sometimes understanding the logic behind it can help you. For example, a lot of articles of clothing use 条 which can be translated as "strip", like a long, narrow object. If you understand the meaning of these words it can help you remember which ones go with which nouns.

Answered by cazort on November 7, 2021

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