Mandarin Chinese Count/Measure Words

A measure word (liàngcí 量词 量詞), also known as a classifier or a count word, is used along with numerals to define the quantity of a given object or objects, or with “this”/”that” to identify specific objects.

Usage depends on personal preference and dialects. For example, some people use 三部车 (三部車) and others use 三台车 (三台車) to mean three cars. Still others use 三辆车 (三輛車) or in Cantonese 三架车 (三架車), with all of these measure words serving the same purpose.