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Chinese Measure Words (Part 7): Time, Units of Measure


mesure words time

Some of the words designating units of time are “their own” measure words.  The rest are used in combination with the generic 个 (ge).

miǎosecond一秒钟 (yī miǎo zhōng) “one second”
fēnminute一分钟 (yī fēnzhōng) “one minute”
tiānday一天 (yī tiān) “one day”
day一日 (yī rì) “one day” (used in literature and journalism)


zhōuweek一周 (yī zhōu) “one week” (used in literature and journalism)
niányear一年 (yī nián) “one year”
dàiera, generation上一代 (shàng yīdài) “the previous generation”

下一代 (xià yīdài) “the next generation”


unit一个小时 (yīgè xiǎoshí) “one hour”

一个钟头 (yīgè zhōngtóu) “one hour”

一个星期 (yīgè xīngqí) “one week”

一个礼拜 (yīgè lǐbài) “one week”

一个月 (yīgè yuè) “one month”

一个年代 (yīgè niándài) “one decade”

一个世纪 (yī gè shìjì) “one century”

Units of Measure

measure words units

Units of measure generally follow the grammatical structure of other measure words.

jīnunit of weight (~0.5 kg)
dūnunit of weight (ton)
bàngunit of weight (pound)
píngunit of area (~0.6 m2)


kuàimonetary unit (1 yuan)
máomonetary unit (1/10 yuan)


an unspecified amount of money
cùnone inch (~1/30 m)
chǐone foot (~1/3 m)
unit of distance (~0.5 km)
shēng    unit of volume (1 liter)
dòu    unit of volume (10 liter)
degree, level

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Joe Varadi

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.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Do they have these measures? And could you help me and provide their translations? THANKS

    Factor Name Symbol
    yotta Y
    zetta Z
    exa E
    peta P
    tera T
    giga G
    mega M

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