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The dictionary lists two classifiers for window (窗户) 个 and 扇. Are both of these in common usage? If so is there any difference in the register? Does one sound more formal, etc?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

一扇窗户 refers to a window on the wall, while 一个窗户 refers to the object (frame and glass) of the window.

In most cases, 一扇窗户 is the only correct choice, 一个窗户 should not be used even in everyday speaking.

However, 一个窗户 is more appropriate when:

  • the window is not installed on the wall yet.
  • the window refers to something in computer interface (窗口).
  • the window refers to a car window.
  • the window (窗口) refers to a counter (in a bank etc.).
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When you say "almost"... Does it mean there are cases where you can use it? – Alenanno Mar 11 '12 at 21:47
If you Google "一个窗户" (with the quotes), you can find results. People use it when they do not care the grammar. I just realized that it is the correct one when "窗户" refers to a window in your computer interface. – Jfly Mar 11 '12 at 21:59
Why don't you include that in your answer and maybe you expand on it? – Alenanno Mar 11 '12 at 22:01
I made some changes. – Jfly Mar 11 '12 at 22:03
Not really, 窗户 is invalid for computer interface window, use 窗口 for that. – Mengdi Gao Mar 12 '12 at 5:49

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