两个人 / 二个人

Discussion in '中文+方言 (Chinese)' started by Boyar, Oct 11, 2013.

  1. Boyar

    Boyar Senior Member

    Russia
    Russian
    Can anyone tell me the difference in meaning and/or usage between 两个人 and 二个人 ?
    In other words, when would it be appropriate to use each of these expressions (with 个)?

    Thank you
     
     
    : numerals
  2. Thime

    Thime Senior Member

    Italy (Venice)
    Italian

    I've never heard about the expression 二个人 . The character is only used for pure lists of numbers. For example, civic numbers, telephone numbers, floor numbers in a building, etc...
    is a general classifier which can be used for a wide range of things.
     
  3. stellari Senior Member

    Mandarin Chinese
    It's either 两个人 or 二人, never 二个人. Although I do not know why it's like that.
     
  4. Vampiro

    Vampiro Senior Member

    Emiratos Árabes
    Chile - Español
    The correct usage is 两个人

    二 is used only as a number.

    Regards.
    _
     
  5. SuperXW

    SuperXW Senior Member

    二人 without 个 is correct though, just like stellari said.
    二人 sounds very formal and written. In spoken Chinese, we usually say 两个人.
     
  6. Skatinginbc

    Skatinginbc Senior Member

    Canada
    Mandarin 國語
    二个人, not 两个人, is correct in phrases like 第二个人 "the second person" and 二十二个人 "twenty two persons".
     
  7. Boyar

    Boyar Senior Member

    Russia
    Russian
    Thanks for your answers and opinions!

    My textbook explains 两个人 as "two of a kind". It is quite clear when I talk about two colleagues of mine, etc.

    But what if I have to refer to two people that are not "of the same kind"? Looking out of my window, for example, I can see two different people that have no connection to each other: my neighbour (walking his dog) and a schoolgirl that is just passing by (I have no idea about who she is). Shall I still use 两个人 while describing this in Chinese?
     
  8. Skatinginbc

    Skatinginbc Senior Member

    Canada
    Mandarin 國語
    Yes, in modern Mandarin.
     
  9. Boyar

    Boyar Senior Member

    Russia
    Russian
    Thank you for your prompt response, Skatinginbc, and special thanks for :
     
  10. Ben pan Senior Member

    chinese
    二个人在某种方言中会用到。另外,“二个人”既非grammatically wrong , 也非 semantically wrong. 这就是语言习惯的问题。我们会说“一个人”,“三个人”, “四个人”,却不说“二个人”, 而说“两个人”。 但我们可以说“二位”。比如“二位(爷儿),你要点儿啥,汾酒还是二锅头?"
     
  11. happyhippo Junior Member

    Chinese
    两 is a cardinal number, while 二 is an ordinal number. That's why we say 第二,but not 第两。 And likewise in your case, 两个人 is correct, but 二个人 is not.
     
  12. sesame_fr Senior Member

    chinese
    Is that to say the people of South China use “二” instead of “两” in written chinese?Because when I translated some phrases into chinese, I wrote "两辆车"、“两条裙子”, the editors will correcte to “二辆车”、“二条裙子”
     
  13. SuperXW

    SuperXW Senior Member

    As an editor myself, I'll want to punch your editors. Seriously. :)
     
  14. Skatinginbc

    Skatinginbc Senior Member

    Canada
    Mandarin 國語
    Archaism (or style) could be one of their considerations. In 《红楼梦》, we can easily find examples like 二两银子, 二钱人参, 二升豆子, 二位爷, 煎了二和药来, 红枣二枚, 新书二部, 宝墨二匣, 银爵二只, 银锞二对, 香袋二个, etc. In the same book, we can also find 两封银子, 两间房子, 看两句书, 瞪两只眼, 两杯酒, 两个医生, 赏钱两串, etc.
     
  15. SuperXW

    SuperXW Senior Member

    A new translation, from English to Chinese, with "车" in its content, still using the archaic style? Well it's still possible, just extremely rare.
     
  16. Skatinginbc

    Skatinginbc Senior Member

    Canada
    Mandarin 國語
    The Google results show that the ratio of 二个人 to 两个人 is 0.0585 to 1. Obviously those editors are going against the majority (approximately 94% of Mandarin speakers). Their decision surely doesn't seem like a wise one. I was just saying that their justification could be style-related. Without specific contexts to judge upon, my intuition tells me that their taste for and imitation of ancient styles were probably unnatural and pretentious. Even 《红楼梦》 includes 两个医生, 两间房子, and so on.
     
  17. mandy156 New Member

    Chinese
    These two phrases all point out "two persons". But "两个人"is often used whether in colloquial language or written language.
     

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