lesson 3   
how many people in your family


The verb 有 yǒu

has a few meanings. One of them is used to express existence. It is similar to-there is / there are in English.


Wǒjiā yǒu wǔ kǒu rén.

There are five people in my family.


Wánglìjiā yǒu liǎng gè dàxuéshēng.

There are two college students in Wang Li’s family.

Measure words

In Chinese there is always a measure word used between the number and the noun or pronoun. There are dozens of measure words you may hear in daily conversation. Many nouns are associated with special measure words, which often bears a relationship to the meaning of the given noun.个 gè is the most common used measure word.


Yīgè xuéshēng

a student


yīgè dìdì

a younger brother


wǔ kǒu rén

five people

The usage of 二 èr  and 两 liǎng

二 èr and 两 liǎng both mean two, but 两 liǎng is used in front of common measure words to express a quantity. And 二 èr is used when counting numbers.


liǎng gèrén

two people




The adverb 也 yě

也 yě is translated as too or also, however in Chinese, it always needs to come before the verb and after the subject.


yěshì xuéshēng.

I am also a student.


Wǒ yě bùshì lǎoshī

I’m not a teacher either.

The adverb 都 dōu

The most common way of using 都 dōu is to be an adverb, which means both or all. It always used in front of a verb.


wáng lì hé zhāng nà dōu shì xuéshēng.

Not all of them are Chinese.


Wǒ hé wǒ dìdì dōu shì zhōngguó rén.

I and my younger brother both are Chinese.

There are two different ways to negate 都 dōu . 不都 bù dōu means not all .... or not both..., and 都不 dōu bù means  none .....or neither..... When we negate 有 yǒu,we say 不都有 bù dōu yǒu means not all of ....have / has, and 都没有 dōu méiyǒu means none of ....have / has.


Tāmen bù dōu shì zhōngguó rén.

Not all of them are Chinese.


Tāmen dōu bùshì lǎoshī.

None of them are teachers.


Wǒmen bù dōu yǒu dìdì.

Not all of us have younger brother.


Wǒmen dōu méiyǒu gēgē.

None of us have older brother.