Toll Free - U.S.& Canada:  1-800-791-9386   Hong Kong:  800-930-623   Australia:  1-800-779-835
Free online Chinese learning support
  • Follow us on Facebook!
  • Watch Our YouTube Videos!
  • Follow us on Twitter!
  • Follow us on WeChat!
    Follow Us in WeChat by Scanning!
    Follow Us in "WeChat"
    by Scanning
  • Follow us on LinkedIn
  • Explore Our Instagram Videos & Photos!
United Kingdom:  0-800-086-8969   Germany:  0-800-180-0341   Singapore:  800-130-1652
France:  0-805-080-689   Spain:  900-838-906    

Answer to “只(zhī)” vs. “支(zhī)”: Same Pronunciation but Different Usages

Mar. 5, 2015

Correct Answer: B

In the Chinese language, both “只(zhī)” and “支(zhī)” are commonly used measure words which are placed before nouns. However, they should be used with different kinds of nouns.

Firstly, “只(zhī)” is the measure word for most animals, such as “一只猫(yìzhī māo) a cat,” “两只老虎(liǎngzhī lǎohǔ) two tigers,” “几只小鸟(jǐzhī xiǎoniǎo) several birds,” etc.

Examples

Linda: Nǐ xǐhuan xiǎo dòngwù ma?
Linda:你 喜欢   小      动物    吗?
Linda: Do you like small animals?

Wáng Míng: Xǐhuan. Wǒ jiā  lǐ yǎng le liǎngzhī māo hé wǔzhī xiǎoniǎo.
王        明:   喜欢。  我  家 里  养  了    两只    猫   和   五只    小鸟。
Wang Ming: Yes, I like them. I have two cats and five birds at home.

Nà zhī xiǎo tùzi zhēn kěài!
那  只   小  兔子 真   可爱!
That little rabbit is so cute!

Additionally, “只(zhī)” can be also used with some appendages of the body, such as “一只手(yìzhī shǒu) one hand,” “两只耳朵(liǎngzhī ěrduo) two ears.” “一只脚(yìzhī jiǎo) a foot,” and so on.

Examples

Tā de yìzhī shǒu shēnjìn le shàngyī kǒudài.
他  的  一只   手     伸进   了    上衣     口袋。
One of his hands went down into his coat pocket.

Zuówǎn méiyǒu shuì hǎo, yǒu yìzhī yǎnjing zhǒng le.
昨晚        没有     睡    好, 有  一只   眼睛      肿    了。
I didn’t sleep well last night, because one of my eyes was swollen.

As a measure word, “支(zhī)” can be used with long, thin, inflexible objects, such as “一支香烟(yī zhī xiāngyān) a cigarette,” “两支笔(liǎngzhī bǐ) two pens,” “五支匕首 (wǔzhī bǐshǒu) five daggers,” etc.

Examples

Lǎopo: Nǐ zěnme yòu zài chōuyān? Nǐ yǐjīng chōu le wǔzhī xiāngyān le!
老婆: 你  怎么    又   在    抽烟?   你 已经    抽   了 五支     香烟    了!
Wife: Why are you smoking again? You have already smoked five cigarettes!

Lǎogōng: Qīnàide, zhè shì zuìhòu yìzhī.
老公:      亲爱的,这   是   最后   一支。
Husband: This is the last one dear.

Wǒ de wénjùhé lǐ yǒu wǔzhī qiānbǐ.
我   的   文具盒 里 有   五支  铅笔。
There are five pencils in my pencil box.

“支(zhī)” can also be used with words related to the military, like “一支部队(yìzhī bùduì) an army,” “两支海军(liǎngzhī hǎijūn) two navies,” etc. Or it can be used with songs and dances, such as “一支歌曲(yìzhī gēqǔ) a song,” “几支舞(jǐzhī wǔ) several dance,” and so on.

Nà zhī duìwu zhēn zhěngqí!
那  支   队伍    真      整齐!
The troops are so orderly!

Wǒ kěyǐ qǐng nǐ tiào dìyì zhī wǔ ma?
我   可以  请  你  跳 第一 支 舞  吗?
May I have the first dance with you?


In our test, pen should be used with “支(zhī),” so the answer is B.

<<Back to “‘只(zhī)’ vs. ‘支(zhī)’: Same Pronunciation but Different Usages”

Got questions? Take a free 1-to-1 lesson with one of our professional teachers by signing up below:
Name: 
E-mail: 
Country/Region: 
-select-

search no result

Tel: 
By clicking Submit, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.
Your email address and phone number
will be kept STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL.
Submit

Write a comment

Your Name: 
Your Email:  Your email address will not be published.
Comments: 
Verification Code:  Verification Code Unclear? Try another one
By clicking Submit, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.
Email This Article
Recipients' email addresses:
(separate recipients with comma)
Your name:
Your e-mail address (optional):
Your message (optional):
Verification Code:
By clicking Send, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.


Get 11 FREE Mandarin E-books
Sign up for a free trial now!
Get more information about our Chinese lessons through live chat
Get a FREE live 1-to-1 lesson and FREE e-books. Complete the form below:
Name:
E-mail:
Country/Region:
-select-

search no result

Tel:
By clicking Submit, you agree to our
Terms of Service
and Privacy Policy.
Your email address and phone number
will be kept STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL.