"I don't have a bag."


March 21, 2018

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[deactivated user]

    How do you know when to add the 子? Sometimes I see 袋 and sometimes 袋子. What is the difference?


    Maybe 袋 is the counter and 袋子 is the object。


    "我沒有一個袋子。" was rejected, but seems like a reasonable translation especially in light of the "請給我一個袋子。" exercise at https://www.duolingo.com/comment/25473940.


    When you say "I dont have a bag", you are really saying is "I dont have ANY bags". In Chinese for these situations, since you are referring to the lack of that certain thing in general, instead of the lack of one thing, you don't need 一個 .

    Unless you want to emphasis (I dont even have ONE bag), then it is 我一個袋子都没有。


    I do not see the issue with the sentence Cloud_Kupo suggests. The meaning is still correct in either way - with or without 一個.


    What is the difference between 包 and 袋子?


    包 is a backpack, handbag, etc., the sort of bag that you buy and own, usually 'sealed' with a zip etc. 袋子 is like a disposable bag with an open top that a shop gives you at checkout.


    There is no rhyme or reason with respect to whether 一个 is accepted or required in these sentences. In this very same lesson we have "Please give me a bag," and there the 一个 is required. Given this fact, the idea (suggested by Mitchell) that it hangs on whether 'one' is important just doesn't wash.

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