Today we’ll talk about Chinese classifiers.
Classifiers, descriptors, or words of measurement in Chinese that are often confusing to beginners.
For example, “a fan of”
Here is a sentence: “A fan of window”, is a window that can be opened or closed like a foldable fan.
We could also say “A fan of ribs” refers to a large slab of ribs. It wouldn’t open this time, but an arrangement of the slab of ribs resembles an open fan.
There are many measure words in Chinese, so today we will only talk about ten words related to body parts. We will explain them in order from head to toe. The numeral word “one” below often describes “all, full.”
“一头雾水” literally means one head full of mist; to be baffled, confused, to describe confusion, incomprehension.
Sentence: Molly speaks English with a strong accent and often confuses everyone.
“一脑门子官司” literally means it’s written all over the forehead in lawsuits. The word “lawsuit” here means trouble, worry; a lot of trouble.
Sentence: Molly has been having a hard time lately and her troubles are written all over her face.
“一脸无奈” literally means a face full of frustration, to describe helplessness written on the face.
Sentence: Molly looked helpless when she saw that the price of gasoline had gone up again.
“一鼻子灰” literally means the nose covered in grime, to describe being frustrated or rejected.
Sentence: Molly hit a brick wall when John turned down her request for a date.
“一嘴脏话” literally means a mouth full of profanity.
Sentence: Molly swears, but she’s a very kind person.