In my little bit of Mandarin experience, I have got that the classifier for 房子 is , and also felt that is usually used to refer to a building. However, I have just read that someone here over Chinese Language Stack Exchange says the classifier is , and so I wonder which should be used to refer to 房子.

Later I found that the classifier for 房子 may include more; in this online dictionary, it shows , , , and . So I wonder how I can decide which to use and also like to know why.

Also, even if the proper classifier for 房子 is , could I still use in that context? Or do they give two totally different meanings?

  • 2
    It's not really a matter of "correct classifier" as it is "when is which classifier appropriate?" Maybe see chinese.stackexchange.com/a/1795/3561 for some help. I like thinking about it like water: a drop of water, a cup of water, a bottle of water: when do you use which?
    – Ming
    Commented Nov 26, 2014 at 4:17
  • isnt 所 also used? 一所房子 Commented Dec 22, 2014 at 19:52

3 Answers 3


All of them are OK to use to classify 房子, it depends on the type of house itself, which one is considered the more adequate.

  • 幢 is preferred when speaking of large and tall buildings
  • 栋 tends to be used to refer to buildings that are wide
  • 座 is used for buildings that are “stable and steady", e.g. palace, temple, large mansions (mostly with public purpose)

Source: Chinese University of Hong Kong

As for 套 I have no reference, I suppose it has its own specific set of buildings it can classify.

  • 4
    And 一处房子, usually used together with a place indicator: 我在柏林有六处房子。 Commented Nov 26, 2014 at 3:48
  • 1
    And 一间房子, usually used with small houses with a single room, but the meaning is broadened and you can see it being used with any kind of room: 我住在这间小房子十年了,现在我要买一间大房子。 Commented Nov 26, 2014 at 3:52
  • 3
    套 is referring to the logical aspect (a 'set' of rooms that function as one home) and is not necessarily a building, 一套房子 can be an apartment unit.
    – NS.X.
    Commented Nov 26, 2014 at 3:52
  • @NS.X. Correct, I would use 一套房间 in this case to refer to a suite of rooms/flat.
    – imrek
    Commented Nov 26, 2014 at 3:53
  • 2
    套,is use to describe a set of things,so 一套房,means it has bedroom,livingroom,kitchen....in short it emphasizes this house of a suite of room.for example:我买了一套家具,It means i bought a whole set of furniture.
    – user6857
    Commented Nov 26, 2014 at 6:17

in china,

房子's classifier depend on what it is using for,

like I want to describe my family rooms,i will use 一套房子

if I describe my room, use 一间房子

if I describe some buildings, always 一幢房子,一栋房子, these same meaning


Only describe the number of property who owns can use 套: Tom has 3套房子 in Beijing. He want to sell one of them for operation cost.

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