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Chinlingo Chinese words: 几 VS 多少

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Both "几" and "多少"can be used to inquire about the quantity. Is there any difference between them?



"几" (jǐ): used to inquire about an uncertain and small quantity, which is generally less than 10.

"多少" (duō shǎo): used to inquire about an unlimited quantity. 

几(jǐ ):询问不定的数量,且数量不大,一般在十以内。

多少(duō shǎo):询问数量时,数目不受限定。


1. "几" should be followed by a measure word, while "多少" doesn't have to.


√ 你们班有几个学生?(nǐ men bān yǒu jǐ ɡè xué shenɡ?)

√你们班有多少(个)学生?(nǐ men bān yǒu duō shǎo (ɡè) xué shenɡ?)

  How many students are there in your class?

2. "几" can be preceded by the interrogative pronoun "哪", while "多少" cannot.


√ 哪几个人需要救生衣?(nǎ jǐ ɡè rén xū yào jiù shēnɡ yī)

  Which of you need the life jackets? 

X 哪多少人需要救生衣?

3. "几" can be used to indicate an approximate number, while "多少" cannot be used in this way. 


√ 我想休息几天。(wǒ xiǎnɡ xiū xi jǐ tiān。)

I'd like to take a few days off. 

X 我想休息多少天。

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