Plural marker

Added to individual characters to indicate "a collective"

我 (wǒ) I/Me 我们 (wǒ men) We/Us
你 (nǐ) You 你们 (nǐ men) You (all)
他 (tā) He / Him 他们 (tā men) Them
她 (tā) She / Her 她们 (tā men) Them (Women)
它 (tā) It / Its 它们 (tā men) Them (Animals / Things)
孩子 (hái zi) Child(ren) 孩子们(hái zi men) Children
朋友 (péng yǒu) Friend(s) 朋友们 (péng yǒu men) Friends
小猫 (xiǎo māo) Kitten(s) 小猫们 (xiǎo māo men) Kittens


This is the most generic way of referencing a collective, yet, it is not always common practice. In daily conversations, it is fine to omit 们 when telling someone that you are Picking up Children (接孩子), Meeting Friends (见朋友) or Feeding Kittens (喂小猫).

Very importantly, when classifiers () and quantity are indicated, 们 becomes unnecessary. For examples: Three Children (三个孩子), Two Friends (两个朋友) or Five Kittens (五只小猫).

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