"Give me two loaves of bread."


December 10, 2017

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How does ”个“ mean loaf here? If I wanted to say two slices of bread, would this be "两块” ?


I think the contributor (who may be a native Chinese speaker and learned English from Chinese) has the impression that the "measure word" of bread in English is loaf, which is certainly a misunderstanding.

Well, bread comes in different shapes and sizes. So you can say:

两片(slice)面包 for toast

两条(loaf)/根(stick)面包 for baguette

两块(block, piece)面包 small piece of bread like French pain

两个(general identity)面包 for pain/croissant/other small or irregular shaped bread


However, 个 is most commonly used here, even in Chinese communities. That is generally accepted here as the sentences focuses on the whole pieces of bread.

The thing is: if you want to use classifiers other than 个, then you need to understand which one you are talking about. This seems to be more formal than casual.

This is the ongoing situation that foreigners are having when learning Chinese: they wouldn't be very certain which one to use. For me, I like to be very precise of the classifier usages. It's all up to you to how you want to express your sentence.


Thanks a lot for your explanation :D


个 is almost totally generic.

Compare: In informal English you can say "Give me two things of bread," and that could mean loaves if you're shopping in a supermarket, rolls if you're ordering at a cafe counter, slices if you're talking to someone who is slicing bread, baskets of presliced bread if you're a waiter trying to get tables set up.


This is grammartically wrong...


Now I am curious, how can you say "Give me two bags of noodles"? Like the cheap instant ramen


Use the measure word “包”(bags).

Give me two packs of instant noodles.


I would have said, "请给我两个面包", but there was no 请 button.

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