Yes, there is a slight difference (although it appears there's no complete consensus on this).
A classifier, in linguistics (not just in Mandarin), is a word or morpheme used to express that a countable noun belongs to a semantic class. Here "semantic class" means a category of referents with some common traits; if we think about how classifiers ...
These are the standard measure words for 问题:
Normally you would use 个.
If there is a stream of questions you can use 串, for example 一大串问题.
If there are a couple of questions, you can use 些
If you are talking about kinds of questions, you have to use 类, for example 这类问题 (this kind of problem)
件 is used, but not very often, even in writing. 项 is not a ...
年 is not measure word. It is noun.
那年夏天: the summer of that year
那个夏天: that summer
They both refer to a specific summer, but the first one leaves the context on the year, while the second one solely focuses on the summer. To demonstrate the difference with follow-up questions:
那年夏天特别热。It was extremely hot in the summer of that year.
Here has been my (I think successful) strategy:
Use measure words for mass nouns accurately. This is exactly like English:
一杯水 = a cup of water
一瓶可乐 = a bottle of cola
一斤青菜 = a half-kilo of cabbage
You really have to use these in all languages, because you can refer to really different quantities depending on the measure word (a tank of water ...
General answer to disrespectful measure words
I can't recall any special disrespectful measure words in Chinese. Such disrespectful phrases are just expressed with simple measure words according to the noun. Like
一个笨蛋 [offensive level: 1]
一个饭桶 [offensive level: 2]
一个贱人 [offensive level: 4]
一个傻逼 [offensive level: 5, with profanity word 屄/逼(cunt)]
个 is a generic identifier for all objects. 这 and 那, as you know, are just specifiers for this or that.
Now, if you know the specific measure word for the object you're trying to describe, you should use it. It makes you sound more fluent/mature... you'll often hear kids in China use 个 for everything...
Like, 这条鱼 (Zhè tiáo yú) sounds much better than 这个鱼 (...
All of them are OK to use to classify 房子, it depends on the type of house itself, which one is considered the more adequate.
幢 is preferred when speaking of large and tall buildings
栋 tends to be used to refer to buildings that are wide
座 is used for buildings that are “stable and steady", e.g. palace, temple, large mansions (mostly with public purpose)
You're right that 口 is one of the measure words for 人, but 人 (people/person) and 人口 (population) are two different words. The word 人口 is mostly used for the population of a city or a country instead of a household.
You can say 几口人 (how many 'units' of people), 三口人 (three 'units' of people), but not 三口人口 (three 'units' of population).
 (measure) time (as used to indicate number of occurrence)
 (measure) piece (as used for happenings or events)
回 is a measure word for event or occurrence ; 这回事 means "this (piece of) event" or "this (time of) occurrence"
Different between 回 and 件 as measure word is:
回 measure specific course of events (how many times it happens)...
First, your are correct that 汉子 is more commonly being refer to as a man / manhood. And 条 is quantifier for refering things that are long, straight. So go figure =P.
However, 条 is not derogatory. We also use 条 for a life e.g. 一条人命, or a river 一条河, or loyalty 一条心. So it very much depends on the context.
The reason is that 天, 日, 周, 年 are themselves counter words / classifiers (so they don't need an extra one), while 星期, 礼拜, 月 are not classifiers and therefore require a classifier, which happen to be 个 for the all of them.
Note that although 月 is listed with the ones that require a classifier, it's quite frequent to hear 每月 as well (which I believe makes ...
To me, 部 is a formal classifier for 手机. 台 is usually used for a bigger machine, like computer & TV 一台电脑 & 一台电视. 一台手机 doesn't sound quite right to me.
一把手机 is not used in practice for whatever reason. I guess it might be because 我要买一把手机 could mean you want to buy a handful of 手机s, implying several 手机s, not just one.
Colloquially, sometimes I ...
No, of course. Here's a summary about the kinds of cases where 个 is inappropriate.
sth slender. e.g. 一根绳子, 一条蛇, 一条路; 一线光明, 一绺头发, 一丝细雨.
sth thin. e.g. 一张纸, 一面红旗, 一幅画.
sth solid in certain kinds of shapes. e.g. 一块砖, 一团面, 一坨泥.
sth amorphous. e.g. 一杯水, 一壶油, 一斤米, 一碗沙子.
sth forming part of a greater whole. e.g. 一层楼, 一重山, 一级台阶, 一节甘蔗, 一段木头, 一截电线.
sth where the ...
Some nouns need a classifier, some don't; 月(month) needs one but 天(day) doesn't.
一年有十二個月 - 月(month) needs a classifier
一年有十二個月份 - 月份(month) needs a classifier
一年有五十二週 - 週(week) doesn't need a classifier
一年有五十二個星期 - 星期(week) needs a classifier
一年有三百六十五天 - 天(day) doesn't need a classifier
一年有四季 - 季(season) doesn't need a classifier
一年有四個季節 - 季節 (season)...
The correct measure word or (量词) for 问题 is 个 as in 一个问题. There is no explanation for this, and the knowledge is only acquired through practice.
项 is a measure word for 工程
件 is a measure word for 事情
Other measure words include:
一尊佛像 (a statue, unit word describes a statue)
一顶帽子 (a hat)
一只猫 (a cat)
一打鸡蛋 (a dozen of eggs)
一条蛇 (a snake)
一串葡萄 (a bunch of ...
Stop reading that article - it is totally wrong.
The issue is that 书 and 书本 are both plural and singular at the same time. Which one it is depends solely on the context. For example, it is plural in 我常常讀書: "I read books often". In contrast, it is singular in 把書放下: "Put down the book."
You can specify plurals, however. How that actually works is that 本 is a ...
The other answers are absolutely correct – it’s not smart to talk about countable and uncountable nouns in Chinese. However, like many languages, Chinese does have words that express abstract concepts or that are somehow inherently plural. How are these dealt with in a system where everything must be counted/measured? Here’s how one grammar explains it.
“鸡”，“猫”，“狗”地 here works as an adverbial phrase modifying the verb 念.
“鸡”，“猫”，“狗” are basic noun words learnt by a beginner. Imagine the scene her 丈夫 following her reading these basic childish words, and you would get the idea of “鸡”，“猫”，“狗”地.
Another point is that they don't put 鸡，猫，狗地， but “鸡”，“猫”，“狗”地, because the quotation marks ...
You should learn those measure word one by one because most of native speakers don't use "個" for every nouns. But sometimes if you forget or don't know the word you should use, most people still know what you're referring to with the word "個" in most case.
Why I said in most case? Here's an example: (Actually, it's a joke.)
The foreigners usually have a ...
Your intuition is correct.「頓」and also「餐」are measure word for meals, while「碗」is a measure word for bowls (of rice).
Since「飯」refers to both meal and cooked rice, the statement of how much you ate is inferred from the measure word.
To add: I would suggest that「碗」does not really refer to plate of food, as Chinese does not present meals that way. The western ...
For apps like Duolingo, the correct answer is the best translation, not necessary any correct equivalent translation. In this case, the authors of the app have decided that Beijing is a big place is most closely translated to 北京是个大地方. It's not bad, Beijing [北京] is [是] a [个] big [大] place [地方], but such clean and direct translations are uncommon.
The long ...
Your first two examples are not proper ones, since Chinese grammar do not usually use plural or singular form, 我有房子 could mean "I have a house" or "I have houses" ; 我有孩子 could mean " I have a child" or "I have children".
As for the third example, 我不是坏人, since 坏人 is a description word for the subject, no matter the subject is singular or plural, therefore, ...