Level 1 Lesson 13.1 – One Table; Two Chairs

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Measure Word 张 | Measure Word 把 | Suffix 子 in Chinese

In this video lesson we'll learn how to use the Measure Word 张 and 把 in Chinese in Chinese. And we'll also learn how to use the Suffix 子 in Chinese to make nouns.

  • Measure Words in Chinese IV. See also (I), (II) and (III).
  • Measure Word 张
  • Measure Word 把
  • Suffix 子 in Chinese



Grammar 1: Measure Words in Chinese (IV) · HSK 1

We've learned the usage of Measure Words in Chinese with two structures:

There are more than just a few Measure Words in Chinese. The two we're going to discuss today Measure Word 张 zhāng and Measure Word 把 bǎ, can sometimes also be used as verbs.

张 zhāng can also mean "to spread". 把 bǎ can also mean "to grab". Their meaning as verbs help form their usage as Measure Words.

Grammar 2: Measure Word 张 · HSK 1

Measure Word 张 zhāngs can be used for things that have a flat surface such as table, desk and bed.

  • yì zhāng zhuōzi 一张桌子 a "zhang" (of) table
  • yì zhāng chuáng 一张床  a "zhang" (of) bed
  • yì zhāng yǐzi 一张椅子  a "zhang" (of) chair


Grammar 3: Measure Word 把 · HSK 1

Measure Word 把 bǎ can be used for things that have a handle or a handle-like part that's easy to grab.

  • yì bǎ yǐzi 一把椅子  a "ba" (of) chair
  • yì bǎ dāo 一把刀 a "ba" (of) knife

NOTES: ① 椅子 can be used with both Measure Word 张 and 把, because 椅子 usually has a flat surface and for chairs that are easy to grab, 把 is also okay to use.

Grammar 4: Suffix 子 in Chinese · HSK 1

Suffix 子 in Chinese is a very common and useful building element of Chinese words. Words with Suffix 子 are most likely nouns.

We mentioned that 2-syllable words are pervasive in Chinese.

Even though 子 does not really mean anything, it comes quite handy to build 2-syllable words.

For example in the following words, the character in front of 子 already contains the meaning of the word and 子 mostly function as: (1) to make the word 2-syllable (2) to make the word a noun.

  • zhuōzi 桌子 table; desk
  • yǐzi 椅子 chair
  • fángzi 房子 house; apartment
  • yèzi 叶子 leaf
  • yǐngzi 影子 shadow
  • běnzi 本子 notebook
Collapse Comments
pentatonikaPremium Student August 6, 2018 at 6:55 am

I notice that 椅子 (yizi) (chair) can take either 张 (zhang) or 把 (ba).
That’s because it has both a flat surface and a handle, right?

adaminshPremium Student July 23, 2021 at 6:07 am

See “Grammar 3” above.

pentatonikaPremium Student August 4, 2018 at 8:56 am

I understand that 老 (lao) means “old.”
I understand that 虎 (hu) means “tiger.”
I understand that 老虎 (laohu) is a synonym for 虎 (hu), also meaning “tiger.”
I can understand why teachers are perceived as being old, but I don’t understand why tigers are perceived as being old.
Tiger cubs aren’t old, are they?

A Chinese character can be used similarly as a “root”, a “prefix” or a “suffix” in English. When used in a word, as a “root”, a “prefix”, or a “suffix, usually the character carries a meaning but sometimes they don’t.

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