Beginner Lesson 17.1 – This and That

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Measure Word 位 In Chinese | This And That In Chinese

In this video lesson we'll learn how to say this and that in Chinese. We'll be able to use Measure Word 位 in Chinese and address people with Mr. and Miss in Chinese.

  • This and That in Chinese: 这  那
  • Measure Word in Chinese (II). See also (I) and (III).
  • Measure Word 位 in Chinese
  • Mr. and Miss in Chinese: 先生  小姐



Grammar 1: This and That in Chinese · HSK 1

zhè  this nà 那 that

When introducing someone or something, we can use 这 and 那 to refer to them. Here are some example sentences of using 这 and 那 to express this and that in Chinese:

  • zhè shì yí wèi xiānsheng 
    this is a gentleman
  • nàshì yí wèi xiǎojiě 
    that is a young lady


Grammar 2: Measure Word 位 in Chinese · HSK 3

wèi  a polite Measure Word for people

We've already learned that 个 is the general Measure Word in Chinese. But sometimes if you want to be polite and respectful, we use Measure Word 位 to address people. For example:

yíwèi lǎoshī ① 位老师 one teacher
yíwèi Zhōngguórén  一位中国人 one Chinese person
 yíwèi xiānsheng 一位先生 one gentleman
yíwèi xiǎojiě 一位小姐 one young lady

① The number word 一 can be pronounced in three different ways: yī, yí and yì because of its tone change rule.

However, we do not use 位 for our own family members. For example, to say "I have two big brothers", here's what we say and what we don't say:

  • wǒ yǒu liǎngge gēge
  • wǒ yǒu liǎngwèi gēge

But it is okay to introduce our own family members with 位, for example (See Grammar 2 of Lesson 18.1):

  • zhèwèi shì wǒde bàba
    this is my dad


Grammar 3: Mr. and Miss in Chinese· HSK 1

In English when addressing Mr. Li or Miss Wang., the last name goes after Mr. or Miss, but in Chinese, the last name goes before the word 先生 or 小姐, like this:

Last Name + 先生 / 小姐

For example:

  • Lǐ Xiānsheng
    Mr. Li
  • Wáng Xiǎojiě
    Miss Wang
Collapse Comments

In Lesson 16.2 quiz question 5, there was the sentence 我们有四个老师. In view of this lesson now, and the polite measure word 位, should we replace 个 with 位, and say 我们有四位老师?

ChineseFor.UsAcademic Team January 29, 2023 at 11:13 am

It is correct to use both, but the expression with 位 is more polite.

Lacey JoPremium Student July 18, 2022 at 6:07 pm

My language partner told me that 小姐 used on its own now means prostitute and that it shouldn’t be used unless paired with a name (like 李小姐). I looked it up in a few dictionaries and found that some of them even note this meaning. Can you provide clarification as to whether 小姐 is even appropriate to use now and, if not, what should be used instead?

ChineseFor.UsAcademic Team August 2, 2022 at 5:28 am

This is a commonly asked question.
We would say that what really matters is the context, for example,

  • the relationship between the speaker and the listener
  • the situation
  • the intonation
  • the facial expression
  • the body language
Erdogan SerefPremium Student February 25, 2022 at 4:41 pm


Jeff JohnsonPremium Student September 13, 2019 at 12:59 pm

In the examples above 位 is placed both before 是 and after 是。what is the rule here?


Please refer to the grammar rule of Measure Words in Chinese (I), (II) and (III).
Here’s a quick link for Measure Words in Chinese (I).

AntbitionPremium Student February 20, 2019 at 10:07 pm

What’s an example of a situation when you would use the polite measure word “wèi”?

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