# 3.7.2: Measure word "ge"

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## Counting Nouns

### Structure

The general structure for 个 (gè) and measure words in general is:

Number + 个 + Noun

Any time you want to state how many of a noun in Chinese, you probably need a measure word. First get used to how they are used with 个 (gè).

### Examples

• 人yī rénone person
• 朋友sì péngyoufour friends
• 苹果 手机sān Píngguǒ shǒujīthree iPhones
• 星期wǔ xīngqīfive weeks
• 月liù yuèsix months
• 老婆liǎng lǎopotwo wives
• 男人， 七 傻， 八 坏。A line from a songShí nánrén, qī shǎ, bā huài.Ten men: seven are fools, and eight are bad.

## Omitting the Number

### Structure

Verb + 个 + Noun

If the number is one (1), you can omit it and use 个 (gè) by itself. This is similar to "a" or "an" in English, for example in "a person" or "an idiot." (The tone on 个 (gè) is normally somewhat de-emphasized in this usage, but still written as fourth tone. You don't need to stress about it, though.)

### Examples

• 他 是 老外。Tā shì lǎowài.He is a foreigner.
• 我 有 儿子。Wǒ yǒu érzi.I have a son.
• 她 是 好 老师。Tā shì hǎo lǎoshī.She is a good teacher.
• 你 想 吃 包子 吗？Nǐ xiǎng chī bāozi ma?Would you like to eat a stuffed steamed bun?
• 老师 ， 我 有 问题。Lǎoshī, wǒ yǒu wèntí.Teacher, I have a question.