1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Chinese
  4. >
  5. "可以给我一个碗吗?"


Translation:Can you give me a bowl?

November 20, 2017



Can I get a bowl? should also be accepted


May I have a bowl? should also be accepted


is it common not to mention the "you" in the chinese sentence ?


I don't think so, which is why it is common for some Chinese speakers to ask "Can give me a bowl", omitting the "you".


That does not make sense


It says in the hover hints that 给 also means bring. It sounds better and slightly less rude in english to say "can you bring me a bowl?" or even "MAY you bring me a bowl?"


You're right about "can you bring..." here. 给 can also mean bring, pass, transfer, allow, supply. But the meaning of your "MAY you..." is incorrect here. "May" indicates permission, so "May you bring me..." means "Do you have permission (are you allowed) to bring me..." The polite way to ask this is: "Could/ would you bring me..."


Why is ni not used?


Ni is implied. Like in english "can i get a bowl?" is understandable in conversation


No, but I can sell you some geese


We have seen the word 碗 used as a measure word for bowls of food, such as 一碗牛肉面 : a bowl of beef noodles, or 两碗米饭 : two bowls of rice.

In this sentence we have 个 as the measure word. Is that because we aren't asking for a bowl "of" anything but rather just a bowl, the physical object, and that the catch all measure word for objects is 个?

I'm really just guessing here, but if someone could clarify, that would be amazing.


So I had the same question because I keep seeing Duo say something like "一个杯啤" (a glass of beer), when in normal speech I am pretty sure you would just hear "一杯啤" because 杯(bei) is already the measure word.

I think maybe the issue is that Duo teaches at first in a "simplified" way, then they advance you and go more into detail. This is confusing though because it would be more simple to leave 个 out of it. The only other thing is that maybe also having 个 is a "textbook" way of speaking.

You may be right about it being just a bowl, and not a bowl of noodles for instance, but I'm not sure.


"Can I have a bowl?" is accepted.


Why not "may you?"

Learn Chinese in just 5 minutes a day. For free.