"She has four older sisters."


November 21, 2017



is it not more accurate to use 四位 instead of 四个 since we are talking about humans here?

November 21, 2017


Both is valid, but 四位 would be a bit strange here.

Just as you know, 位 is a more polite measure word for human, but the politeness is not required everywhere. For family members, 位 is commonly used for elders in formal occasions.

我曾经有一位母亲。In the past I had a mother.

Note I use 母亲 instead of 妈妈 to add some solemnity.

But for people in the same generation, this becomes a bit weird:

我有一位弟弟。I have a younger brother.

Acceptable, but uncommon. If the family member is younger, it could be hilarious:

我有一位孩子。I have a child.

Definitely uncommon.

Besides, using 个 instead of 位 would not be considered as disrespectful except in some idioms like 各位 (ladies and gentlemen).

November 21, 2017
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