5.13

men

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

+ PERSONAL NOTE +

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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