I came across 家医院 in example sentences in an anki deck I downloaded. I know that 医院 means hospital. I tried to look up 家医院 in two dictionaries but could not find it.

What is 家医院? Is it equivalent to 医院?

It appears for example in the following sentence:


5 Answers 5


家 is the measurement word for 医院


The phrase is 那家医院(that hospital). more examples: 一家医院; 这家医院; etc.

那医院 is not natural. We say 那家医院. 家 is probably a measure word. E.g 一家,两家,三家,开一家商店,... ...


"家医院" alone does not make sense. From your sentence, you should break it into

他 在 那家 医院 工作

He works in that hospital.

那家 is a function word, which you can replace with "that" in English.

Equivalently, you can also use 那个=那家


hihi... thanks for your question. I have same case with you after reading a sentence as "我妈妈是护士,在一家医院工作”

  • 家 is a measure word for counting how many 医院。 That is a reason why in this example they used 一家医院。

Note, "那" is a 多音字 that has two tones. Each tone makes the same sentence sounds different.

John: 他在"那家"医院工作? Which hospital he's working for? (那 - tone 3)

Mary: 他在"那家"医院工作. He's working for that hospital. (那 - tone 4)

From 汉典

● 那

nǎ ㄋㄚˇ

 ◎ 同“哪”(一)(中国大陆地区已不用)。

  • I wonder do the downvoters truly understand the explanation provided here. It does not try to define 家, which has already been adequately answered by the others. It meant to point out the interesting phenomenon that the tone of the same Chinese word can manipulate the meaning of the sentences associated with it. So please be understandable that this is not an answer but a bonus out of the right occasion.
    – r13
    Commented Sep 9, 2021 at 0:10
  • disclaimer: I did not downvote this answer. I would like to say this answer is totally wrong, it is indeed a 多音字, but the tone 3 one is wrong, it should be 哪 rather than 那
    – Steve Lau
    Commented Nov 24, 2023 at 9:05

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