Centre for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language University of Oxford
Basic Spoken Mandarin 5. shopping
The most important expression when doing shopping in China is "how much is it?". The expression is very simple in Chinese: this one (ge) how much? zhè ge duōshao qián 这个多少钱？By the way, ge is the most commonly used measure word. A measure is like the word "bottle" in "a bottle of beer". Chinese use measure words when specifying or quantifying objects.
Another new particle in this lesson is de, which is used to describe objects. In a Chinese sentence the description of an object is placed before de which is followed by the object. An object can be omitted in a conversation, if it is known by the speakers. For example, in a shop you might specify an object by saying "...that big one". In Chinese it is that one (ge) big de... nà ge dà de... As you can see the object is omitted after de in the above sentence.