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I was studying Chinese grammar from a textbook. Somewhere in the book, it explains the difference between 几 and 多少. The book says that 几 needs a classifier. But using a classifier with 多少 is optional. It also gives some examples, like 多少(张)照片,多少(个)朋友,多少(个)系 But when it reaches 人, it writes: 多少人 not 多少(个)人

I wonder if 多少个人 is incorrect or obsolete?

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3 Answers 3

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Both are correct. 多少个人 = 几个人. The latter is the same as 多少人, which is more common in daily use. 多少个人 is more of formal use.

Note that "个" shouldn't be used when you say/ask "多少位", which is identical to "几位". This phrase is more polite, especially for people in the position that provide services.

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多少个人 is not incorrect, just less common. The "个" is indeed optional, so you can say either 多少人 or 多少个人. Probably just an editing oversight in the textbook.

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Depending on context.

E.g. 多少人活着却如同死去. It's stilted to say 多少个人活着却如同死去.

你家里有多少人? It's ok to say 你家里有多少个人?

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