1. “Number + 多 + Measure word” is used to indicate a number that is more than the given number. Usually, the number must be ten or integers that end with a zero.
十多个人 (shí duō gèrén) more than ten people
二十多本书 (èrshí duō běn shū) more than twenty books
三百多斤米 (sānbǎi duō jīn mǐ) more than 300 jin of rice
四千多块钱 (sìqiān duō kuài qián) more than four thousand dollars
“Number + Measure word + 多” is used to indicate a number that is more than the given number. Usually, the number must be a single place or multi-digit with a single place.
三倍多 (Sān bèi duō) more than three times
七公斤多 (qī gōngjīn duō) more than seven kilograms
四十五米多 (sìshíwǔ mǐ duō) Over forty-five meters
2. Using two sequential numbers in a row can be used to express approximate numbers.
屋子里有三四个人，你都认识吗？(Wūzi li yǒu sānsì gèrén, nǐ dōu rènshi ma?) There are three or four people in the house, do you know all of them?
他今年应该十四五岁了。(Tā jīnnián yīnggāi shísìwǔ suìle.) He should be fourteen or fifteen years old this year.
这里有六七十本书，太多了。(Zhè li yǒu liùqīshí běn shū, tài duōle.) There are sixty or seventy books here, too many.
我的钱包里还有八九百块钱。(Wǒ de qiánbāo lǐ hái yǒu bājiǔbǎi kuài qián.) I still have eight or nine hundred dollars in my wallet.
3. The adverbs like “大概” “大约” can be used to indicate the estimated quantity or time.
大概/大约 + number + measure word
这本书大概二十块钱。(Zhè běn shū dàgài èrshí kuài qián.) This book is about twenty yuan.
我大概九点到你家。(Wǒ dàgài jiǔ diǎn dào nǐ jiā.) I will arrive at your house about nine o’clock.
我的老师大约三十岁。(Wǒ de lǎoshī dàyuē sānshí suì.) My teacher is about thirty years old.
这个班大约有四十个人。(Zhège bān dàyuē yǒu sìshí gèrén.) There are about forty people in this class.
4. “几” can be used to indicate approximate number, which means “a few, much, more” and etc. “几” is usually followed by a measure word and a noun.
我只会说几句汉语。(Wǒ zhǐ huì shuō jǐ jù hànyǔ.) I can only speak a few words in Chinese.
我在书店买了几本书。(Wǒ zài shūdiàn mǎile jǐ běn shū.) I bought a few books in the bookstore.
你写几个汉字给我看一看。(Nǐ xiě jǐ gè hànzì gěi wǒ kàn yī kàn.) You write a few Chinese characters to show me.
5. “来” can be used to indicate an approximate number, which indicates a number that is close to the given number.
Number + Measure + 来 + Noun / Adjective
Usually, the measure word can be only “个” or the metrology measure word. The succeeding nouns or adjectives can’t be left out.
他等了差不多三个来小时。(Tā děnɡle chàbùduō sān ɡè lái xiǎoshí.) He has been waiting for about three hours.
那袋大米有四斤来重。(Nàdài dàmǐ yǒu sìjīn lái zhònɡ.) That bag of rice weighs about 2 kilos.
Number + 来 + Measure
Usually, the number must be ten or integers that end with a zero.
这些书一共有五十来斤。(Zhèxiē shū yíɡònɡ yǒu wǔ shí lái jīn.) These books weigh about 25 kilos in total.
我们学校有十来个中文老师。(Wǒmen xuéxiào yǒu shí lái gè Zhōngwén lǎoshī.) There are about ten Chinese teachers in our school.
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