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把 Bǎ

For measuring things with handles

两把伞 liáng bǎ sǎn 'two umbrellas'

三把刀 sān bǎ dāo 'three knifes'

一把椅子 yì bǎ yǐzi 'a chair'

仅有的家具是一把椅子,一张桌子,和桌上的两把叉子。Jǐn yǒu de jiājù shi yì bǎ yǐzi, yì zhāng zhuōzi, hé zhuō shàng de liáng bǎ chāzi.
'The only furniture is a chair and a table with two forks on it.'

N.B.

Things such as 叉子 chāzi 'fork', 勺子 sháozi 'spoon', 茶壶 'cháhú 'tea pot', 剑 jiàn 'sword', 手枪 shǒuqiāng 'gun', 锁 suǒ 'lock', 钥匙 yàoshi 'key', 牙刷 yáshuā 'toothbrush', 梳子 shūzi 'comb' can be measured with 把.

For measuring a portion

Here a portion is an approximate amount that can be grabbed by a hand. Normally, it has a close relationship with hands. 把 in Chinese is equivalent to “a handful of” in English.

一把糖 yì bǎ táng 'a handful of sweets'

一把花生 yì bǎ huāsheng 'a handful of peanuts'

一把米 yì bǎ mǐ 'a handful of rice'

我给了那个男孩一把糖。 Wǒ gěile nàge nánhái yì bǎ táng.
'I gave the boy a handful of sweets.'

For measuring abstract things

In spoken Chinese, some abstract things can be measured by 把. It is stronger than 一点儿 yìdiǎnr 'a little bit'. Here are some examples and comparisons:

吉姆数学没有及格,但他加把劲学习,结果及格了。 Jímǔ shùxúe méi yǒu jígé, dàn tā jiā bǎ jìn xuéxí, jiéguǒ jígé le.
'Jim didn’t pass in maths, but he studied harder and as a result he passed.'

Short conversation

很高兴我没有错过。 Hěn gāoxìng wǒ méi yǒu cuòguo.
其实丹 汉弗瑞出了把力。 Qíshí Dān Hànfúruì chūle bǎ lì.
“Good to know I wasn’t missed.”
“In fact Dan Humphrey lent a hand.”

加点儿劲 jiā diǎnr jìn 加把劲 jiā bǎ jìn

出点儿力 chū diǎnr lì 出把力 chū bǎ lì

用点儿力气 yòng diǎnr lìqi 用把力气 yòng bǎ lìqi

For measuring the number of times and amount of actions

推一把 tuī yi bǎ 'give a push'

帮一把 bāng yi bǎ 'give a hand'

拉一把保罗怎么样?他需要些帮助。 Lā yì bǎ Bǎoluó zěnmeyàng? Tā xūyào xiē bāngzhù.
'How about a hand for Paul? He needs some help.'

你介意帮我推一把吗?我的车熄火了。 Nǐ jièyì bāng wǒ tuī yì bǎ ma? Wǒ de chē xīhuǒ le.
'Would you mind giving me a push? My car has stalled.'

N.B.

Most actions done by hand, such as 拉 lā 'pull', 帮 bāng 'give a hand to', 推 tuī 'push', 拽 zhuài 'drag', 抓 zhuā 'grab' may be followed by 把.

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