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  5. 这个 vs 这?


这个 vs 这?

I know 这个 means "this one" and 这 just means "this," but it looks like they're used interchangeably a lot of the time. No amount of Google was especially helpful, so anyone have any idea when to use 这个 vs. 这 (or if they're just interchangeable)?

December 14, 2017



'這' requires a numerary adjunct when it is a specifier that modifies a noun; '這個' is an extension of this usage, in which noun is implied. '這' doesn't need a numerary adjunct when it is a stand-alone demonstrative; I think the only difference is, as in English, the latter usage doesn't carry the connotation of the thing in question being one-out-of-many, whereas the former does ('this is my house' vs. 'this one is my house').

I am not a native speaker, however, so there might be more to it than this.


"Numerary adjunct." That's a pretty fancy way of translating "量詞".


Measure word is "Chinglish". And I supposed it' because whoever translated that word to English just looked at the character's general meaning and not the change in meaning from its tonal variation.

The pinyin is liàngcí (simplified 量词, traditional 量詞), which can be directly translated as "quantity word" ( 量 having the fourth tone ), not "measure word" (量 having a second tone).


If, by 'pretty fancy', you mean 'accurate and descriptive', then yes. I'm not going to call them 'measure words', as they don't actually measure anything, and as for 'classifiers', what class of things exactly does ‘個’ classify? (So far as the learner is concerned it might as well classify all barbers who do not shave themselves.) Naturally, as I don't know what the OP knows, I try to be as unambiguous as possible.


Accurate and descriptive words are great as long as everyone understands them. For often novice language learners, your phrase (which, may I mention, turned up few useful results with a shallow Google search) may not be the most useful here.


I didn't invent the term, and it's used in lots of books I've read.
I don't know who came up with the term 'measure word', but it sounds rather as if it was trying to calque '量詞' and failing; if so, a much better calque would be 'quantity word'.


Yeah, I'll get in on this one, since I have the time. "這" is a determiner, and it needs a noun. "個" is a noun, but what are classified in Chinese as a "measure word" ("量詞"). The difference? Only a handful of nouns in Chinese naturally go together with determiners and numbers in Mandarin.

Basically, when we say something like "this person" in English, we don't think about measuring people in terms of units. However, we would with, say, mass nouns or plural nouns (e.g., "cups of tea", "gaggles of geese", etc.)

A pretty controversial hypothesis, but one that's pretty workable, is to think of Chinese as containing way more mass nouns than English does. The few count nouns that it does have get called "measure words," but really just distinguishes something that other languages do already.

So "這個人" would more like "this individual (of) person," transliterated, but since we Anglophones don't automatically think that way (thanks, soft linguistic determinism!), it's a bit hard to grasp.

And it extends when counting, as well, so "這三個人" is "these three individuals (of) person," transliterated.

The trick, especially for beginners, is finding out what these measure words are, and what they can all imply. So for instance, *"這個魚" would be a pretty sloppy way to say "this fish," since fish are measured in "條" ("strips, or strip-looking things"), not "個".

The five most common, however, are "個", "次", "天", "年", and "種" (probably), but there are probably a few hundred in total, some of which are really specific, like "名" (for mega-celebrities or royalty) or "匹" (for horses and bolts of cloth).

Oh, and it's also worth noting that most "measure words" also connote the worth of something, so if I say something like “三天工作" I can translate it as "three days of work" or "three days' worth of work".

Otherwise, yeah, kind of a pain at first, but kind of funzies once you get into it.


Translated to Dutch 这 means, “dit” to point out something in a question (“wat is dit”/what is this?), in Dutch you cannot add a word after “dit”! 这个 means, “deze” and after “deze” you can add a word! Like, “deze kip” this chicken!

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