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Chinese Measure Words (Part 6): Speech & Writing, Machines & Vehicles

Speech & Writing

speech and writing

sentence 一句话 (yī jù huà) “a spoken sentence”

A written sentence: 一个句子 (yīgè jùzi)

shǒu poem, song 一首诗 (yī shǒu shī) “a poem”

一首歌 (yī shǒu gē) “a song”


chǎng speech 一场演说 (yī chǎng yǎnshuō) “a speech”

场 refers to a large public event. (Check the Events category.)

tōng phone call 接到三通电话 (jiē dào sān tōng diànhuà) “receive three phone calls”
piān written piece 一篇文章 (yī piān wénzhāng) “a newspaper article”


advertisement, news report, story 一则广告 (yī zé guǎnggào) “an advertisement”

一则新闻(yī zé xīnwén) “a piece of news”

一则故事 (yī zé gùshì) “a story”


chū a play 一出戏 (yī chū xì) “a play, a drama”

The character’s left side is the symbol for tooth.

a movie 一部电影 (yī bù diànyǐng) “a movie”

Machines and Vehicles

machines and vehicles

tái machine 一台电视 (yī tái diànshì) “a television”

一台电脑 (yī tái diànnǎo) “a computer”


liàng road vehicle 一辆汽车 (yī liàng qìchē) “a car”

一辆摩托车 (yī liàng mótuō chē) “a motorcycle”

The character’s left side is the symbol for car or cart.  In all cases it can be substituted with部.

jià airplane 一架飞机  (yī jià fēijī) “an airplane”
sōu ship 一艘帆船 (yī sōu fānchuán) “a sailboat”

一艘游艇 (yī sōu yóutǐng) “a yacht”

Ships can also be counted with 条 (tiao2), to emphasize their long slender shape.

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Joe Varadi lived and studied in Shanghai and Taiwan, in a simpler time before blogs and smartphones got big. He is the creator of Trasee! for Chinese Trasee, a mobile app for Chinese reading and handwriting that incorporates many of the techniques he developed while learning Mandarin.

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