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I've realized that I still don't fully understand the placement of "多“ a relatively common word. Can you never place 多 before a measure word?

A friend recently corrected my "四多快美金“ into 四块多美金” but does that apply for all measure word 比如, 三十多条蛇 should be "三十条多蛇?“ (that doesn't sound right either)

Any clarification would be super helpful!

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Here's a sample of 多 before measure word: 他一个人半辈子就打了两百多只野猪 from 秦牧 《赞渔猎能手》 –  user3306356 Sep 4 at 4:33
    
You can say 四十多块美金,but not say 三条多蛇 so, here 多 means a little more, there is a little more mantissa number that you don't want to describe it clearly, but no mantissa number after single number. 四块多美金,here 多 means there is decimal mantissa part that you don't want to describe. So where to put 多 after number or after measurements, it's decided on the mantissa part you want to ignore. Of course, snakes can't be measured by decimal part, so never say 三条多蛇,but you can say 三斤多蛇肉,because weight can be measured by decimal part. –  user6269 Sep 5 at 2:40

4 Answers 4

up vote 7 down vote accepted

is used for approximate number, which is one-tenth of the measure unit prior to .

四块多美金 means 4.0-4.9 dollars. 四多块美金 is not correct, should be placed after the measure word for unit digit.

三十多条蛇 means 30-39 snakes, and 三十条多蛇 is not correct, because the measure unit of could not be decimal.

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+1, this is explained beautifully :) can I ask ... I once wrote 三千万多人, but was corrected to 三千多万人 ... and I don't really understand why. –  Ming Sep 4 at 6:27
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@Ming 三千多万人 means 3000-3999万 people, and 三千万多人 means 3000万0000-3000万9999 people. So if it is what you mean exactly, it's OK in theory. Anyway it's a little weird because no need to be so accurate when your measure unit is 千万 in general. –  songyuanyao Sep 4 at 6:37
    
Oh thanks that makes sense now!! –  Ming Sep 4 at 6:41

It's correct for

「三十多条蛇」means "30 something snakes"

「四块多美金」 means "4 point something USD"

We say 「百多人」 for "Hundred something people",「五十多元」 for "Fifty something dollars"

It's a little special way for talking about decimal point.

For example 「外面只有三度多」means "It's 3 point something degree outside only."

But 「外面有三十多度」means "It's 30 something degree outside."

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So would 「五十元多」 be correct if I meant I had fifty dollars plus some change? –  Rob Watts Sep 4 at 21:35
    
both 五十元多 and 五十多元 are correct. –  user6269 Sep 5 at 6:48
    
Depends on whether you mean "$50.5"(五十元多) or "$55"(五十多元) –  David Ng Sep 10 at 8:40

多 is based on the words you wanted to talk. You can replace "x" (unknown) with it.

You don't always use measure word to depend where to put it in, it is based on how much is it. Normally, it filled up the empty space you were talking about.

for decimals:

  • 三块多 = 3.x (local currency here you are talking about)
  • 十五点八多公斤 = 15.8x kg
  • 一点二五多公里 = 1.25x km

for larger number:

  • 一千多单位 = 1xxx unit
  • 十多亿美币 = 1,x00,000,000 (亿 = hundred million)

for both:

  • 一万两千多点五八多公里 = 12xxx.58x km
  • 十多点多度 = 1x.x degree

if you don't know how much is the number but how large is it (thousand, hundred, million etc), you can use 几 as an unknown (same use as 多, but much wider usage, normally used for asking)

for asking/telling:

  • 那至少要几万元! = that cost at least x0000 (local currency here)! (normally more than 10000)
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Chinese A Comprehensive Grammar;2。5。1。。。when the number is associated with a noun or measure and noun,多comes after the number and before the measure or noun: 八十多个人, 三百多张纸 (三十多条蛇) 多can also be used with single digit numbers up to ten when they occur with standard measures or with temporal nouns, which are de facto measures. In these cases comes after the standard measure and before the noun if there is one:四公升多(汽油),六英里多(路),五年多(时间),两点多(钟),三个多月.(四块多美金) somewhat different rule :实用现代汉语语法,120页:2。[多]"多"表示比前面的数词所表示的数目略多。如"二十多个(人)","五百多斤(米)"。"多"的位置以及用法与"来"一样: A 式:数词(以0结尾)+"多"+量词(各种量词)+(名词) B 式:数词(以1。。。9结尾及10)+量词(表示连续量)+"多"+名词 A Practical Chinese Grammar For Foreigners 外国人实用汉语语法 agrees with Answer 2:86页:1。表示多于"十、百,千、万"等的概数时,"多"紧接在整数后边,用在量词或本身带量词性的名词前边。例如:(1)整数(个位数为"0")--"多"--量词--(名词):这双皮鞋要三十多块(钱)。今天食堂买了三百多公斤(肉)。又如:一千多吨(煤)。一万三千多个(人)。(2)整数(个位数为"0")--"多"--带量词性的名词:马丽二十多岁了。我们三十多年没见面了。又如:三百多天,六十多课。 2。表示不满"一"的概数时,量词要放在整数和"多"之间。例如:(1)整数(个为1-9)--量词--"多"--(名词)他们走了两个多小时。十二点多钟他才到家。又如:五分多(钟)一个(多)月,三公斤多(西红柿)二十三块多(钱)(2)整数(个位数为1-9)--带量词性的名词--"多":我工作两年多了。今年小明八岁多。又如:五天多,四课多。

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