I have always seen, when referring to plural nouns, the word 些 is used after demonstrative pronouns (这,那). For example, 这些书:these books.

Does it mean that if we say 这本书, it can only have singular meaning? Or it can have both singular and both plural meaning?

I mean, which one of the following is correct?

  1. 这本书 can only mean "this book" and not "these books"
  2. 这本书 can both mean "this book" and "these books".

Thanks for your help

  • 1
    Think of 這本書 (this book) as being equivalent to 這一本書 (this one book). It can only mean in the singular sense.
    – L Parker
    Jun 19, 2021 at 15:28

2 Answers 2


The first one is correct. 这本书 only has the singular meaning.

这本书 This book

这一本书 This book alone

这几本书 These few books

这两本书 These two books

这些书 These books

这堆书 This pile of books

这包书 This bag of books


Since Chinese word does not have the plural form, so a numerical indicator must be provided immediately in front of the subject noun to identify the quantity the speaker is referring to. However, the lowest possible quantity "一" is usually dropped for convenience.

这本书 = 这"一"本书

那個人 = 那"一"個人

那顆樹 = 那"一"顆樹

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