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In the following sentence from an answer on 知乎:

我们四个人没有一个会说西班牙语,感觉这像文盲一样。

What does 个 mean in this context and how does it function grammatically? Is it safe to assume it is an abbreviation of 我感觉这像一个文盲的人一样...?

Also, if it is an abbreviation of 一个, then why does the former clause use 一个 while the latter doesn't?

  • The former omitted 人, the latter omitted 一. – dan Oct 22 '17 at 0:54
  • @dan So in the latter it is the abbreviation of 我感觉这像一个文盲的一样...? – Blaszard Oct 22 '17 at 0:55
  • yes, but I would probably put 感觉 像文盲一样。because we have 4 people. – dan Oct 22 '17 at 1:00
  • @dan Then what does the "一个文盲的" mean? I feel it is an abbriviation of "一个文盲的人", so I wonder why "一" is omitted here. – Blaszard Oct 22 '17 at 1:05
  • 文盲 , a noun word, means illiterate – dan Oct 22 '17 at 1:09
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文盲 (illiterate) can be a noun on its own, no need to add 的人

illiterate

  1. an illiterate person (noun)

"我们四个人(之中)没有一个" = "no one (among) the four of us"

"会说西班牙语"= "can speak Spanish"

"感觉这像个文盲一样。" = "Felt like an illiterate"

There are many problems with this sentence, Since the subject is not mentioned, it can either be "all four of us" or "I".

  • If the subject was "all four of us" then the singular "一个文盲" (an illiterate) would have to be changed to "一群文盲" (a group of illiterates)

  • If the subject was "I", it should not be omitted because people would get confused by "我们四个" (we four) at the beginning.

  • "我感觉像个文盲一样" (I felt like an illiterate) lacks an object after the verb, therefore we should add

    (1) "自己" (myself) as the object to clarify "I myself" is the object that I felt like an illiterate -- The sentence would then become "我感觉自己像个文盲一样"

    (2) "我们" (we) as the object to clarify "we four" is the object that I felt like a group of illiterates-- The sentence would then become "我感觉我们像群文盲一样"

We can replace 感觉(feel) with 觉得(feel), because 感觉 can also be a noun, but 觉得 is clearly a verb

The sentence should then become "我觉得自己像个文盲一样" (I felt I was like an illiterate) or "我觉得我们像群文盲一样" (I felt we were like a group of illiterates)

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Since it refers to 4 people, it is necessary to quantify how many of them cannot speak Spanish. Therefore, 一个. It's not all four of them, not 3 and not 2.

The second part of the sentence is a bit tricky. Strictly speaking, the feeling of being an illiterate is the feeling of the 'subject', i.e. all four of the people (我们四个人). In this case, 个 in "感觉这像个文盲一样" is not needed. (我们四个人)感觉这像文盲一样. However, if the sentence is constructed in the first persion, 个 is needed to make it singular - "(我)感觉这像个文盲一样". 一个 is redundant because 我 already implies 一.

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