(#9) Male Female / 男 女

Like english, there are different words describing male and female of different age.

As a gender, male vs female: 男性 vs 女性 nan2 xing4 vs nv3 xing4

Boy vs Girl 男孩 vs 女孩 nan2 hai2 vs nv3 hai2

Man vs Woman 男人 vs 女人 nan2 ren2 vs nv3 ren2

Sometimes you might hear 男生 女生 nan2 sheng1 nv3 sheng1. You can say that it is for teenages or late teens or young adults, and the terminlogy hints a young age, or there is some level of cuteness. You generally dont call an adult man or adult woman 男生 女生 nan2 sheng1 nv3 sheng1,but you can, though, call a man a ‘big boy’ 大男孩 da4 nan2 hai2 if he is child-like.

Rule of thumb is, if the man or woman is an adult, dont bother to decipher if he/she is a young adult, and call him/her 男人/女人 nan2 ren2 / nv3 ren2.

Example

一个男人 yi4 ge4 nan2 ren2 : one man
一个女人 yi4 ge4 nv3 ren2 : one woman

with “一” yi1 as the number one, and “个” ge4 is a counter. In chinese. there are LOTS of counters, and it is one of the beauty of the language. “个” ge4 is the most common of all, but even so it is only used for maybe 10% of all counters’ usage. I’ll list more and explain more in a separate post.

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