I know it is not easy to say why which 量词 should be used when, but this one seems strange to me. Why did the author choose ‘支’?


支 is normally for 'pens,guns, army divisions, songs and compositions.'

Maybe the liquid is in a bottle, which may be long and thin??

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    Your gut is correct. In the past, most of those stuff come with containers like these: img4.cache.netease.com/stock/2009/9/20/200909201507096e963.jpg which are long and thin, so it became a norm to count them with 支 although now there are more variety in the containers. I'd say you can justify it by the dosage of them being small the container normally having a larger opening compared to their size and this make them qualified to be qualified with 支. By the way, you can still qualified them with 瓶. Apr 7, 2015 at 2:01
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    Maybe the liquid is in a bottle, which may be long and thin?? Yes. So is the 量词 of the sort of little bottle, filled with 营养液, or medicine, etc.
    – user4072
    Apr 7, 2015 at 2:03

1 Answer 1


Since the container(bottle) of it is like a stick. We use 支 to describe all the stick-like things.

Maybe I should post a pic here to help you understand what I'm talking about: A sample of 营养液


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