Take the 2-minute tour ×
Chinese Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Chinese language. It's 100% free, no registration required.

My Chinese teacher recently introduced us to the character 只. Specifically, using it to mean "only".

However, all of the examples that she gave were things, like:



As in, to use 只 to specify only one out of a list of different things. However, I was curious, could you use 只 to indicate a smaller number of something? For example, could you say something like:



Thank you.

share|improve this question
Yes you can. It's quite right Chinese. –  songyuanyao Apr 24 '14 at 1:19
YES! Of course you can! Good thinking! –  ChineseHulu.com Apr 24 '14 at 1:31
Yes you can. not just means "only one of", but also means "only part of". eg: Q:Do you finished cooking? A:No, I 只 cooked vegetable A, vegetable B, meat C, I haven't cooked meat D, vegetable E, and the soup F. –  LiuYan 刘研 Apr 24 '14 at 2:49

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

“只” means “by no means more than”,“only”. If you add this word, this means you have no more than ……, at most I have……


1) I have no more than 2 dresses(我**只有**2件衣服)

2) I have 2 dresses(我有2件衣服,可能还有,但是未提及)

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.