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U+500B, 個
CJK UNIFIED IDEOGRAPH-500B

[U+500A]
CJK Unified Ideographs
[U+500C]
See also:

Translingual[edit]

Stroke order
個-order.gif

Han character[edit]

(radical 9 +8, 10 strokes, cangjie input 人田十口 (OWJR), four-corner 26200, composition)

Derived characters[edit]

References[edit]

  • KangXi: page 107, character 17
  • Dai Kanwa Jiten: character 758
  • Dae Jaweon: page 228, character 2
  • Hanyu Da Zidian: volume 1, page 178, character 3
  • Unihan data for U+500B

Chinese[edit]

trad. /
simp.

Glyph origin[edit]

Characters in the same phonetic series () (Zhengzhang, 2003) 
Old Chinese
*kaːls
*kaːls
*kɯ, *kas
*kaː, *kʰaː
*kaː
*kaː
*kaː
*kaː, *kaːs, *ɡaːʔ
*kaː
*kaː
*kaː, *kaːʔ, *kaːs
*kaː, *kaːʔ
*kaːʔ
*kaːʔ
*kaːʔ
*kaːʔ
*kaːʔ
*kaːʔ
*kaːs
*kaːs
*kaːɡs
*kaːɡs
*kaːɡs
*kaːɡs
*kaːɡs
*kaːɡs
*kʰaː
*kʰaː
*kʰaː
*kʰaː
*kʰaːʔ, *kʰaːs
*qʰaː, *ɡaː
*ɡaː
*ɡaː
*ɡaː
*ɡaː
*ɡaː
*ɡaː
*ɡaː
*ɡaː
*ɡaː
*ɡaː
*ɡaː
*ɡaːʔ
*ɡaːʔ
*ɡaːʔ
*ɡaːʔ, *ɡaːɡs
*ɡaːʔ
*ka
*ka
*ka
*ka, *kas, *kʰa
*ka
*ka
*ka
*ka
*ka, *ɡa
*kas
*kas
*kas
*ɡaːɡ

Phono-semantic compound (形聲, OC *kaːls): semantic  (person) + phonetic  (OC *kaːs).

Etymology[edit]

The semantics may have developed along the grammaticalisation process "bamboo stalk" () > "piece, item" > "classifier for every category of noun" > "possessive particle, generic particle". If so, it would then possibly be cognate with 竿 (OC *kaːn, “bamboo, rod”). Compare Tibetan མཁར་བ (mkhar ba), འཁར་བ ('khar ba, walking stick, staff) and Thai ก้าน (gâan, stem, stalk).

Pronunciation[edit]


Note:
  • gó̤ - literary;
  • gá - classifier.
Note:
  • kò - literary (including classifier for months);
  • ê/gê - generic classifier (the simplified form 个 is used in Taiwan);
  • ê - possessive particle (the simplified form 个 is used in Taiwan).
Note:
  • go6 - literary;
  • gai5 - classifier;
  • gai7 - possessive particle.
Note:
  • 5geq ~ 5hheq ~ 4eq - as classifier or particle;
  • 2ku - literary.

Rime
Character
Reading # 1/1
Initial () (28)
Final () (94)
Tone (調) Departing (H)
Openness (開合) Open
Division () I
Fanqie
Reconstructions
Zhengzhang
Shangfang
/kɑH/
Pan
Wuyun
/kɑH/
Shao
Rongfen
/kɑH/
Edwin
Pulleyblank
/kaH/
Li
Rong
/kɑH/
Wang
Li
/kɑH/
Bernard
Karlgren
/kɑH/
Expected
Mandarin
Reflex
Baxter-Sagart system 1.1 (2014)
Character
Reading # 1/1
Modern
Beijing
(Pinyin)
Middle
Chinese
‹ kaH ›
Old
Chinese
/*kˤa[r]-s/
English piece, item

Notes for Old Chinese notations in the Baxter-Sagart system:

* Parentheses "()" indicate uncertain presence;
* Square brackets "[]" indicate uncertain identity, e.g. *[t] as coda may in fact be *-t or *-p;
* Angle brackets "<>" indicate infix;
* Hyphen "-" indicates morpheme boundary;

* Period "." indicates syllable boundary.
Zhengzhang system (2003)
Character
Reading # 1/1
No. 4208
Phonetic
component
Rime
group
Rime
subdivision
1
Corresponding
MC rime
Old
Chinese
/*kaːls/
Notes

Definitions[edit]

  1. piece; item; individual
    /   ―  rén  ―  an individual; personal
    /   ―    ―  individuality
  2. size; height
    /   ―  zi  ―  height; stature
    /   ―  r  ―  size
  3. separate; respective; separately; individually
    /   ―  bié  ―  individual; separate; some; a couple of
  4. single; alone
  5. (dialectal) one
  6. The generic classifier for people or for things lacking specific classifiers.
    /   ―  ge rén  ―  one person
    • /   ―  měi ge rén  ―  every person; everyone
    問題 / 问题  ―  Wǒ yǒu yī ge wèntí.  ―  I have a question.
    / [Taiwanese]  ―  nn̄g ê lâng [Pe̍h-ōe-jī]  ―  two people
  7. Classifier for hours and months.
    鐘頭 / 钟头  ―  ge zhōngtóu  ―  one hour
    /   ―  jiǔ ge yuè  ―  nine months
    / [Taiwanese]  ―  saⁿ goe̍h [Pe̍h-ōe-jī]  ―  two months
  8. Alternative classifier, for nouns having specific classifiers. Often colloquial and regional. Usage varies greatly between different topolects.
    學校 / 学校  ―  ge xuéxiào  ―  one school
  9. (Cantonese) Classifier for yuan, dollars, etc., used when followed by cents.
    / [Cantonese]  ―  saam1 go3 gau2 hou4 gau2 [Jyutping]  ―  three dollars and ninety-nine cents
  10. (Mandarin, colloquial) Particle, placed between a verb and numbers, showing that the following numbers are approximate, not accurate.
  11. (Mandarin, Cantonese, colloquial) Particle, placed between a verb and its object or complement, adding a sense of ease, swiftness and one-offness to the action.
  12. (Mandarin, colloquial) Particle used after (xiē).
  13. (dialectal Mandarin) Particle used in some time-related words.
  14. (obsolete, Wu, Xiang, Gan, dialectal Cantonese, dialectal Min) (= ) this; that
  15. (Cantonese, Wu) Word-initial particle, serving as the definite article.
  16. (Cantonese, Wu, Teochew) Possessive particle. Equivalent to Mandarin (de).
    (ge3) (Cantonese), (kaq) (Wu)
  17. (dialectal) Sentence-final declarative, affirmative, or prohibitive particle. Equivalent to Mandarin (de), (le).
  18. (often dialectal) Emphatic particle between a pronoun and a noun, usually to highlight some negative quality of the person.

Synonyms[edit]

Dialectal synonyms of (“classifier for people”) [map]
Variety Location Words
Formal (Written Standard Chinese)
Mandarin Beijing
Taiwan
Jinan
Xi'an
Wuhan
Chengdu
Yangzhou
Hefei
Cantonese Guangzhou
Hong Kong
Taishan
Yangjiang
Gan Nanchang
Hakka Meixian
Jin Taiyuan
Min Bei Jian'ou
Min Dong Fuzhou
Min Nan Xiamen
Chaozhou
Wu Shanghai
Suzhou
Wenzhou
Xiang Changsha
Shuangfeng

Compounds[edit]

Descendants[edit]

Sino-Xenic ():
  • Japanese:  () (ko)
  • Korean: (, gae)
  • Vietnamese: ()

Others:


Japanese[edit]

Kanji[edit]

(grade 5 “Kyōiku” kanji)

Readings[edit]

Counter[edit]

(hiragana , rōmaji -ko)

  1. item, article, thing
    あの (えだ) (さくら) () (じゅう) () ()だけあります。
    Ano eda ni sakuranbo ga jūni-ko dake arimasu.
    There are only twelve cherries on that branch.

Usage notes[edit]

This is the most generic counter in Japanese. It can be used to count just about anything.


Korean[edit]

Hanja[edit]

(gae) (hangeul , McCune-Reischauer kae)

  1. a piece
  2. a unit
  3. an item.

Vietnamese[edit]

Han character[edit]

(, cái)

  1. generic classifier

References[edit]