Measure words in quantity questions
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)
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？
- 他 有 几 个 孩子？How many kids does he have?
- 你 家 有 几 个 房间？ How many rooms are there in your house?
- 他们 在 这里 住 几 个 星期？ How many weeks are they staying here?
- 你 带 了 几 件 衣服？ How many pieces of clothing have you brought?
- 老板 每 天 工作 几 个 小时 ？ 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).
Subj. + Verb + 多少 + Measure Word + Noun ？
- 你 去 过 多少 个 国家？How many countries have you been to?
- 你们 班 有 多少 个 学生？How many students are there in your class?
- 你 大学 的 时候 看 了 多少 本 书？How many books did you read when you were in college?
- 他们 昨天 请 了 多少 个 朋友？ How many friends did they invite yesterday?
- 上海 有 多少 个 外国 公司？ How many foreign companies are there in Shanghai?