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Beginner Lesson 16.1 – Have Vs. Don’t Have

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Have And Don't Have In Chinese | Measure Word Ge In Chinese

Learn how to say have and don't have in Chinese. Be able to use the Measure Word Ge and ask and answer quantities in Chinese.

  • Have and Don't Have in Chinese: 有  没有
  • Measure Word in Chinese (I). See also (II)(III).
  • Measure Word Ge in Chinese: 个
  • The Number Two in Chinese: 二 vs. 两 (II). See also (I) and (III).
  • Ask and answer quantities in Chinese

VOCABULARY


GRAMMAR


Grammar 1: 个 Measure Word Ge in Chinese · HSK 1

ge 个 the most commonly used Measure Word

Having Measure Words is one of the characteristics of Chinese language. When naming the quantity of something, we say:

Number + Measure Word + Noun

There are many different measure words for different kinds of objects. And the Measure Word Ge in Chinese is the most commonly used one. It is for anything that doesn't have a special Measure Word. (Also it can be used as a casual universal measure word in colloquial language.)

Generally, if you are not sure about which Measure Word to use, using 个 is good enough for people to understand you. Even though they can tell right away that you're not a native speaker.

Below are examples of Measure Word Ge in Chinese.

  • yíge lǎoshī
    一个老师
    one teacher
  • sānge gēge / jiějie / dìdi / mèimei
    三个哥哥 / 姐姐 / 弟弟 / 妹妹
    three big brothers / big sisters / little brothers / little sisters
  • sìge Zhōngguórén
    四个中国人
    four Chinese people
  • wǔge péngyou
    五个朋友
    five friends
  • yíge 'érzi / nǚ'ér 
    一个儿子 / 女儿
    a son / a daughter
  • yíge míngzi
    一个名字
    a name

 

Grammar 2: Have and Don't Have in Chinese · HSK 1

yǒu 有 to have (something)méiyǒu 没有 to not have (something)

When we have, possess, or own something, we use the verb 有. And if we don't have, possess, or own something, we use the verb 没有. So have and don't have in Chinese are expressed by 有 or 没有.

  • wǒ yǒu yíge píngguǒ
    我有一个苹果。
    I have one "ge" apple
  • wǒ méiyǒu gēge
    我没有哥哥。
    I don't have big brother

In English we can say "I don't have an apple" or "I don't have a teacher". But in Chinese, when using 没有, no number is used after 没有.

  • wǒ méiyǒu píngguǒ
    我没有苹果。
    I don't have apple
  • wǒ méiyǒu yíge píngguǒ
    我没有一个苹果。
    I don't have an apple

 

Grammar 3: The Number Two in Chinese 二 VS. 两 (II) · HSK 1

We learned in Lesson 14.1 that to say 2 o'clock we must say 两点, instead of *二点. When saying the quantity of objects / things, we also need to use 两 instead of 二.

  • liǎngge píngguǒ
    两个苹果
    two apples
  • èrge píngguǒ
    二个苹果
    two apples

 

Grammar 4: Ask and Answer Quantities in Chinese· HSK 1

When asking about the quantity of something, we need the Question Word 几 again, and here's the structure we use:

+ Measure Word + the Object

Q: nǐ yǒu jǐge píngguǒ
      你有几个苹果?
      how many "ge" apples do you have
A: wǒ yǒu liǎngge píngguǒ
      我有两个苹果。
      I have two "ge" apples

 

Q: nǐ yǒu jǐge jiějie
      你有几个姐姐?
      how many "ge" big sisters do you have
A: wǒ yǒu liǎngge jiějie
      我有两个姐姐。
      I have two "ge" big sisters

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