|Pinyin||gè (fourth tone)|
|English||[general measure word]|
|Sounds like 'ger' in 'rigger'|
This very simple character probably represents a bamboo shoot. It is a general measure word. One of the important distinctions from English is that in general you must include a measure word with nouns. This helps the hearer know which are the nouns in a sentence. In English we use measure words sporadically in such cases as 'a drink of beer', 'a flock of sheep' but in Chinese there are many hundreds and you have to use the correct one to be understood. This is partly to do with the large number of similarly sounding words, adding a measure word adds confidence that the recognised noun is the intended one. For newcomers to Chinese the 'general' measure word 'ge' can be used in most cases but it will sound a little odd to a native speaker.
|one||[of]||person||= one person|
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