I really like “几”

Okay, I love 几. I love that, to ask the day of the week, the time, or someone’s age you can simply use 几.




I just think it’s the coolest thing, and I’m having fun learning more places it shows up. We don’t have an equivalent word in English so, to me, it almost seems like shorthand for “an undefined thing” that makes for easy and to the point question asking.

How do you feel about 几? Do you like it? Does it confuse you? What are your favorite uses for it? If you’re a native Chinese speaker, how do you feel not having this word in English?

April 22, 2019


As you see, the character 几 can be used in questions to ask the number. It can also be used in statements, meaning "some".

April 22, 2019

Wow I guess I've never realized just how versatile 几 is... Glad you're having fun w/ it :)

April 22, 2019

What is the difference between 几 and 多少, which I have also seen used to mean "how many"/"what number"?

April 22, 2019

If you browse some info on the Internet, you might see something like "Usually we use 几/幾 when the quantity is below 10, while 多少 is used to ask about any quantity or number. "

But, in my humble opinion as a native speaker... actually they are the same (to me at least).

Usually it means "how many", and it sometimes comes with measure words (like 几个), and specific words like 几点、星期几、几岁 (literally "What hour", "What weekday", "How many age"). However, most of those are not interchangeable with "多少", otherwise the meaning might change or simply not make sense.

几点 (What hour?) ; 多少点 (How many points?)

星期几(What weekday?); 星期多少 (N/A)

几岁(How many age?); 多少岁(How many age? << This is equivalent to 几岁 and it's acceptable too, I think)

Hope this helps!

April 22, 2019

Also upvote for breezecccp! Agree that 几 can also be used in statements, meaning "some".

April 22, 2019


我们不能说“你有几个水?” 正确的是,“你有多少水?”或者“你有几杯水?”,但是这两句话用不同的方面来提问水量。

April 25, 2019



April 25, 2019


虽然英语也有这在口语化随便的语法但是在写文章时需要区别出来可不可数的语法 (也就是:how many 几个,how much 多少 那个区别)。


April 26, 2019

我同意您提到的英語的這一點。在我們的教育是 How many + countable noun / How much + uncountable noun,但實際說話的時候也常常誤用(混用)在一起。

關於「多少 + 量詞」,我想應該不至於是一個「錯誤」(畢竟我們從小到大接觸到的就是這樣,覺得挺自然的)。我想學校老師批閱作文的時候,不論量詞的後面是抽象或實體的名詞,也不會認為這是錯誤的。

你或許也可以試試看用「多少 + 量詞」這個組合,換上不同的量詞,在網路上搜尋搜尋,就會看到其實這樣的用法很普遍。






April 26, 2019

Actually, a perfectly fine equivalent exists in English:

几 means how many

多少 means how much

It basically depends on whether you'll use a 量词 after you say 几. If not, then use 多少。

April 25, 2019

Indeed. an excellent point.

April 26, 2019

Someone say what that means.

April 27, 2019
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