"She has four older sisters."

Translation:她有四个姐姐。

November 21, 2017

2 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/UnwbtGwI

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

November 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Cinnamon5230

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