Sunday, November 6, 2011

Measure words: 张 (zhāng) and 条 (tiáo)

As promised earlier, today we will look at two more measure words in Chinese language, (zhāng) and (tiáo) in more detail. So here we go:


(zhāng) is a measure word most commonly used for objects with flat surfaces. Few examples:

一张纸 (yī zhāng zhǐ): a piece of paper

一张桌子 (yī zhāng zhuōzi): a table

一张床 (yī zhāng chuáng): a bed

(zhāng) can also be used with objects that can be opened and closed:

一张嘴 (yī zhāng zuǐ): a mouth

一张弓 (yī zhāng gōng): a bow


(tiáo) is a measure word most commonly used for elongated objects. Few examples:

两条腿 (liǎng tiáo tuǐ): two legs

一条路 (yī tiáo lù): a road

一条河 (yī tiáo hé): a river

(tiáo) is also used to quantify some animals

两条鱼 (liǎng tiáo yú): a fish

一条蛇 (yī tiáo shé): a snake