Some of the time nouns don't require measure words.

三年,四周,五天,六秒,七日 ...

Are there any more nouns (time nouns or otherwise) that don't require a MW ?

Is there a comprehensive list somewhere ?

  • 1
    Anything that can be used as a measure word can be situationally interpreted as a noun that doesn't require a measure word, e.g. 里, 升, 杯 (A:你喝了幾杯水? B:五杯! Not: 五個杯子!)...
    – dROOOze
    Dec 10, 2019 at 13:00
  • To some extent, i think 年,周,秒,天等等 are measure word
    – sylvia
    Dec 10, 2019 at 16:15

3 Answers 3


The trick is the omission behind (again).
It is the objective that is omitted, not the MW words.

The complete words are:
三年(时间),四周(时间), etc

As you can see now, there are MW words. Just too obvious to add the objective again.

Another example, after business dinner in CN, people usually ask 刚喝了几杯,
which means 几杯(酒). But we never say 几酒.

  • Right, agree. For the question, I guess there's no such list of nouns that don't require measure word? I couldn't think of any.
    – sylvia
    Dec 11, 2019 at 16:59
  • Yup, I think so. Check more detail for this MW Chinese explanation. The main difference of MW in cn is that we use it for countable nouns and actions.
    – Shaw
    Dec 11, 2019 at 19:24

合球隊有四男四女。 In English: There are four males and four females in Korfball team.

他昨天那場打得很好,12殺1死8助攻。 In English: He played well in that round, he got 12 kills 1 death and 8 assists yesterday.


I want to say that 年,月,日,周,时,分,秒 they are do units of time,that is certainly measure word. Although they are also nouns.We can call them nominal measure words.

  • 月 doesn't count, it requires a measure word!
    – Curiosity
    Jan 8, 2022 at 4:41

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