Nciku tells me the proper measure word is 类, but a quick search on Google garnered mostly results like "哪类角色更容易赢“小金人”?“ implying that for the most part 类 is used when inquiring about a particular type of role. Does that mean that 个 is fine in most general statements?

  • 3
    I wouldn't equate the two at all. 哪类 = which type, which has a completely different meaning to 哪个 = which. Would you consider the question 'which type of role do you play' the same as 'which role do you play'? The distinction in English is the same as the distinction in Chinese. Jul 30, 2012 at 23:01

3 Answers 3


Same as English,角色 is a noun. For example,when there are only one person,we use "is"after words which express that,when there are many,we use "are". "角色" is the same as what I described,when you want to express many "角色",use"类",it won't be wrong,when you just want to say one "角色",use "个"

  • "类" is used for describing a type (a class) of 角色.
  • "个" is used for referring to a particular 角色.
  • I think you should explain it is not a matter of singular versus plural, For three particular roles you would say 三个角色, and for three kinds of roles you would say 三类角色.. Mar 30, 2016 at 0:51
  • Yes, you are right, 个 and 类 are not classifiers and they are not relevant to the quantities. But 个 is more about the specific/particular ones and 类 is more about the general type/scope/class ones.
    – j5shi
    Mar 30, 2016 at 2:13

Yes, you are right on 类. 个 is more general for 角色.

Example: 你扮演哪个角色? you can also ask 哪类... but the two sentences will have different meanings.

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