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Measure words in quantity questions

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Quantity questions are phrases for asking questions like "how much?" or "how many?" You'll need to use the question word 几 (jǐ) with measure words for this.

Asking About Small Numbers with 几 (jǐ)

Structure

You can use the quantity question word 几 (jǐ) instead of a number to ask about quantity with measure words.

Subj. + Verb + 几 + Measure Word + Noun?

Examples

  • 他 有 个 孩子?Tā yǒu gè háizi?How many kids does he have?
  • 你 家 有 个 房间? Nǐ jiā yǒu gè fángjiān?How many rooms are there in your house?
  • 他们 在 这里 住 个 星期? Tāmen zài zhèlǐ zhù gè xīngqī?How many weeks are they staying here?
  • 你 带 了 件 衣服? Nǐ dài le jiàn yīfu?How many pieces of clothing have you brought?
  • 老板 每 天 工作 个 小时 ? Lǎobǎn měi tiān gōngzuò gè xiǎoshí? How many hours does the boss work every day?

Asking About Big Numbers with 多少 (duōshao)

When the number is not certain but you assume it's definitely more than ten, it's better to ask the question with 多少 (duōshao) instead of 几 (jǐ).

Structure

Subj. + Verb + 多少 + Measure Word + Noun ?

Examples

  • 你 去 过 多少 个 国家?Nǐ qù guo duōshao gè guójiā?How many countries have you been to?
  • 你们 班 有 多少 个 学生?Nǐmen bān yǒu duōshao gè xuéshēng?How many students are there in your class?
  • 你 大学 的 时候 看 了 多少 本 书?Nǐ dàxué de shíhou kàn le duōshao běn shū?How many books did you read when you were in college?
  • 他们 昨天 请 了 多少 个 朋友? Tāmen zuótiān qǐng le duōshao gè péngyou?How many friends did they invite yesterday?
  • 上海 有 多少 个 外国 公司? Shànghǎi yǒu duōshao gè wàiguó gōngsī?How many foreign companies are there in Shanghai?

See also

Sources and further reading

Books