Classifiers

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Uktom
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Classifiers

Post by Uktom » Thu Apr 26, 2012 6:06 pm

How do you guys get on with memorizing and using all of the different classifiers related to their nouns? The Thai language seems to use them a lot more than English does.
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Bamboo Grove
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Re: Classifiers

Post by Bamboo Grove » Thu Apr 26, 2012 6:33 pm

Classifiers are typical to most East- and South-East Asian languages. Usually thinking of their shape can give some help, for example if the things is round (look) or long (lum if I remember correctly) etc, they often have the same classifier.
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barrys
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Re: Classifiers

Post by barrys » Thu Apr 26, 2012 7:47 pm

Uktom wrote:How do you guys get on with memorizing and using all of the different classifiers related to their nouns? The Thai language seems to use them a lot more than English does.
The main reason they're needed is because you can't pluralise nouns in Thai.

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Re: Classifiers

Post by Uktom » Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:44 pm

I remember a quite a few of them, I guess as with the language itself it will come as second nature with time. Anybody had dreams in Thai before?
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Korkenzieher
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Re: Classifiers

Post by Korkenzieher » Sun Oct 21, 2012 10:03 pm

Classifiers are really quite simple, but people continue to struggle.

In English we make a distinction between countable nouns and non countable nouns.
For instance, "apple" is a countable noun, so you can ask for 3 apples.
Note that the 'apple' becomes the plural 'apples'
Bread isn't countable. You need more information. So you ask for 3 loaves, slices, 'whatevers' of bread.
Note that the 'bread' stays singular. Instead, we make the noun into a compound noun in order to avoid the problem with pluralisation where the nouns are non countable.

Oddly, if we switch to ham, another non-countable noun, you might also ask for 3 slices.

Slice(s) here is in no way related to the slice of bread - but we accept the usage, and can even drop the noun and still be understood - "ham Sir? Yes please, three slices". Slice is here functionally *identical* to a classifier as used in Thai. The only difference is, as was mentioned above, that you cannot pluralise nouns in Thai, so ALL nouns have to have an associated classifier.
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Dannie Boy
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Re: Classifiers

Post by Dannie Boy » Mon Oct 22, 2012 3:10 pm

Korkenzieher wrote:Classifiers are really quite simple, but people continue to struggle.

In English we make a distinction between countable nouns and non countable nouns.
For instance, "apple" is a countable noun, so you can ask for 3 apples.
Note that the 'apple' becomes the plural 'apples'
Bread isn't countable. You need more information. So you ask for 3 loaves, slices, 'whatevers' of bread.
Note that the 'bread' stays singular. Instead, we make the noun into a compound noun in order to avoid the problem with pluralisation where the nouns are non countable.

Oddly, if we switch to ham, another non-countable noun, you might also ask for 3 slices.

Slice(s) here is in no way related to the slice of bread - but we accept the usage, and can even drop the noun and still be understood - "ham Sir? Yes please, three slices". Slice is here functionally *identical* to a classifier as used in Thai. The only difference is, as was mentioned above, that you cannot pluralise nouns in Thai, so ALL nouns have to have an associated classifier.
Thanks for the "easy" guide, but I'm still struggling!!

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Korkenzieher
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Re: Classifiers

Post by Korkenzieher » Mon Oct 22, 2012 6:32 pm

Just think 'Bread, 3 slices' when you use a noun in Thai:

Bahn saam lang
Nangseu ha lem
Som hok luuk

You'll soon get used to it. If you don't know the right classifier just use 'an', which is similar to 'of them'. Thais will almost automatically tell you what the correct classifier is:

"Som saam an"
"saam LUUUUK!!!!!!!"
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