How to use the indefinite article in Chinese

How to use the indefinite article in Chinese

You want to learn how to use the indefinite article in Chinese? You've come to the right place! Scroll down and see the short Chinese lessons complete with useful examples. An apple, a house, a book... we explain it all to you in short, easy to follow lessons.

The Chinese indefinite article

The indefinite article is what we call the words 'a' and 'an' in English. The English indefinite article 'a' is '' in Chinese. Nouns in Chinese are usually accompanied by a socalled classifier or measure word. A classifier (or measure word) is a word which accompanies the noun. It is similar to the use in English in phrases like 'a flock of birds' or 'a head of cattle'.


yī zhāng zhuōzi
a table
yī bĕn shū
a book
yī zhāng chuáng
a bed
yī zuò fángzi
a house
yí gè érzi
a son
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About Chinese

About Chinese

Mandarin is spoken mainly in China, but also in Singapore and Taiwan. If you are planning on doing some travelling, learning Chinese would be a great way to make the most of your trip.

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Basic words and phrases in Chinese

Learn to get by in Chinese with these useful words and phrases. The phrases below will help you to greet people in Chinese, introduce yourself in Chinese and even hold a conversation in Chinese after you have met someone.

Yǒu yī zuò qiáo.
There is a bridge.
Yǒu yī jiā shāngdiàn.
There is a store.
Yǒu yī tiáo lù.
There is a road.
Yǒu yī zuò shān.
There is a mountain.
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You can learn Chinese in just 9 easy steps.

If you want to go from beginner to fluent in Chinese in a reasonable amount of time, you'll need a proven study method and daily dedication. Our nine-step Chinese learning guide will show you how to teach yourself Chinese in a structured,effective way. The steps below will take you through the progression of skills needed to learn to speak, read and understand Chinese.

Step 3 : The indefinite article in Chinese

The indefinite article is what we call the word a in English. The indefinite article is used with nouns. To learn to use the indefinite article in Chinese, pick just 3 important nouns. We suggest you learn the nouns shū, and (book, chair, door). Then learn how to use each noun with the indefinite article. The nouns together with the indefinite article are yī bĕn shū, yí bă yĭzì and yī shàn mén (a book, a chair, a door). You can scroll to the top of this page to see a short lesson about the indefinite article in Chinese including useful examples. Once you have learned to use the indefinite article with the Chinese nouns shū, and , you're ready to move on to Step 4 (the definite article in Chinese).

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