How to say 'some' of some item
Hi, everyone ...
I'm confused about how to say 'some' of something - as in 'I want to buy some fruit'.
One of the textbooks I'm working with seems to indicate that you communicate this with 几个 (or whatever measure word) - so the sentence above would be '我要买几个水果'. But what if I just dropped the 几个? Wouldn't '我要买水果' work also?
veronique21July 27, 2013, 05:42 AM
I think your analysis is good. You can use 几个 or 一些 yīxiē, I guess. But I'm not clear about the difference between these two words (is there a bigger amount for one of them ?).
I feel though 几个 is a bit more specific, kind of equivalent to "a few" in English, which usually refers to around 2-5 of something. To me, 一些 is less specific, also meaning "a few", but the range is probably bigger.
If you picture the fruit as a collection of individual items that you might want to count, then I believe 几个 applies. So if you intend counting out the apples one at a time into a bag, I think you would probably use 几个.
But if you think of the collection of fruit as a unit, for example sticking your hand into a tray of nuts before placing them on the scales for weighing, then I think you would use 一些.
But this is just a gut feeling, and my gut is feeling a bit off after last night at the pub.
bodaweiJuly 27, 2013, 08:27 AM
I'm not saying that you will never say 'I want to buy some fruit' but it is less information than your average fruit selller requires.我要买六个香蕉 。。 给我十块的草莓 。。 等等。 You vendor is not into such preliminaries, and he/she sells only fruit. And sausages in Winter.
zhenlijiangJuly 27, 2013, 09:33 AM
I say general stuff like "I want to buy some fruit" quite frequently. Not to the vendor. To a friend for instance, if I'm shopping with her and want to tell her which section of the market I want to go off to.
I'd go with darkstar's suggestion of 我要买点水果. I think he addressed Tim's question best, if the sense of "some" being asked about is the same as what I'm thinking.
Maybe also 我要买些水果 ?