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层 Céng

For measuring floors

五层大楼 wǔ céng dàlóu ‘a five-floor building’

在第三层有一间书店。 Zài dì-sān céng yǒu yì jiān shūdiàn.
‘There is a bookstore on the third floor.’

这家店在商场第几层? Zhè jiā diàn zài shāngchǎng dìjǐ céng?
‘Which floor is this shop on in the shopping mall?’

Here it's more a level than a floor:
人类活动可以分为三层,生物机能只是最低的一层。 Rénlèi huódòng kěyǐ fènwéi sān céng,shēngwù jīnéng zhǐ shì zuì dī de yì céng.
‘There are three levels of human activities; biological function is just the lowest one.’

And here it's more like a shelf:
这些文件应该放在柜子的哪一层? Zhè xiē wénjiàn yīnggāi fàngzài guìzi de nǎ yī céng?
‘Which shelf in the cabinet should these documents be put on?’

For measuring something thin which can be peeled or wiped off. Similar to “layer”.

一层油漆 yì céng yóuqī ‘a coat of paint’

一层薄冰 yì céng bóbīng ‘a thin layer of ice’

一层皮 yì céng pí ‘a layer of skin’

湖面上凝结了一层薄冰。 Húmiàn shang jiéle yì céng bóbīng.
‘A thin layer of ice formed over the lake.’

洪水过后, 地里淤积了一层泥浆。 Hóngshuǐ guò hòu, dìlǐ yūjīle yì céng níjiāng.
‘When the flood subsided, it left a layer of mud in the fields.’

大风过后, 桌上落了一层灰。 Dàfēng guò hòu, zhuōshàng luòle yì céng huī.
‘After the wind, there was a layer of dust on the desk.’

涂上一层漆会更好。 Túshàng yì céng yóuqī huì gèng hǎo.
‘It'll be all the better for a coat of paint.’
涂上 is 'to apply' (of paint)

再复制一层图层。 Zài fùzhì yì céng túcéng.
‘Duplicate the layer once more.’ (e.g. in a photo)

For measuring meanings

两层意思 liǎng céng yìsī ‘two meanings’

这个问题还有一层意思。 Zhège wèntí hái yǒu yì céng yìsi.
‘This question has another meaning.’

这句话包含好几层意思。 Zhè jù huà bāohán hǎo jǐ céng yìsi.
‘This statement has quite a few implications.’

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