30 October 2013

Classifiers special uses

Classifiers sometimes change their usual behavior when are placed in another position, or may not be accompanied by a noun. What are these behaviors that are out of the general rule?

Noun is omitted
If we know the noun that accompanies the classifier, we can omit it, so the classifier will be classifier and substitute for it.

Nǐ kàn nà liàng (qìchē) ma?
Have you seen that (car)?

Classifier placed after the noun
We can see the case that the classifier is after the noun. This happens when there is an amount greater than one unit of that noun, but we do not know how many and we don't care.

Zhuōzi shàng yǒu píngguǒ gè
There are apples on the table

No classifier
Certain substantives are never accompanied by classifier.

Wǔ tiān
Five days

Sān nián
Three years