About classifiers, a number is necessary if we want to use classifier in Chinese. There are three types of classifiers in Chinese: “Count-classifier,” “Mass-classifier,” and “Verbal classifier” (Li, 2000).
For count-classifier, it is used to name countable nouns like “本” and “個” for “一本書” and “一個人.” However, we cannot use a count-classifier with uncountable nouns, for example:
We cannot use “個” with “水” (water) to “一個水” as water is an uncountable noun.
We cannot use “‘個” with “空氣” (air) to “一個空氣” as air is an uncountable noun.
For mass-classifier, it is used to group uncountable nouns into the countable unit.
I. “水” (water) is uncountable, but “一瓶水” (a bottle of water) is countable.
II. “糖” (sugar) is uncountable, but “一包糖” (a pack of sugar) is countable.
We can also use mass-classifier with countable nouns, while count-classifier cannot use with uncountable nouns.
“包” can use with “一包糖果” (a pack of candy) or “一包薯片” (a pack of potato chips). Nevertheless, when these countable nouns are counted in separately, they have to use different count-classifier such as “一顆糖果” and “一塊薯片.”
For verbal classifier, it is used to count the number of times that the action occurred, but not the number of objects. Such as "次," "下," "回," example:
Also, some types of verbal classifiers can show the tools or objects you used for the actions. For example, “我給了他一腳” or “我插了他一刀.” From the sentence, we know that I use my ‘腳’ for the kicking action and a “刀” for the stabbing action.