Burmese numerical classifiers

In Burmese, classifiers or measure words, in the form of particles, are used when counting or measuring nouns. They immediately follow the number, unless the number is a round number (ends in a zero), in which case, the measure word precedes the number. Nouns to which the classifiers refer to can be omitted if the context allows, because many classifiers have implicit meanings.

The only exceptions to this rule are measurements of time or age (minutes, hours, days, years, etc.), where a preceding noun is not required, as the time measurement acts as a measure word.


See IPA for Burmese for an explanation of the phonetic symbols used in this section.

Burmese IPA Transliteration Main usage
People and animals
ကောင် [kàuɴ] kaung animals
ပါး [pá] pa sacred persons (such as Buddhist monks and nuns)
ယောက် [jauʔ] yauk persons (general classifier)
ရှဉ်း [ʃíɴ] shin pairs of draught cattle
ဦး [ʔú] u people, monks and nuns
Other measure words
ကုံး [kóuɴ] koun garlands, necklaces, stringed items
ကျိုက် [tɕaiʔ] kyaik draughts gulped down
ကျိပ် [tɕeiʔ] kyeik items in 'tens'
ခါ [kʰà] kha number of times
ခု [kʰṵ] khu items (general classifier)
ခက် [kʰɛʔ] khet branches, sprays of flowers
ခင် [kʰìɴ] khin skeins of wool or cotton
ခေါင်း [kʰáuɴ] khaung skeins of yarn
ခိုင် [kʰàiɴ] khaing bunches of flowers, fruits
ခေါက် [kʰauʔ] khauk trips
ခွေ [kʰwè] khway rings, coils
ခွန်း [kʰúɴ] khun words
ချီ [tɕʰì] chi performances or shows
ချိုး [dʑó] cho components of a ratio
ချက် [tɕʰɛʔ] chet strokes, blows, hits, points
strokes of clocks, drums, gongs, etc.
ချောင်း [tɕʰáuɴ] chaung thin, long items (like pencils, sticks)
ချပ် [tɕʰaʔ] chat flat items (like tables)
ခြည် [tɕʰì] chi rings, bangles
စီး [sí] si vehicles and transport animals
စည်း [sí] si bundles
စင်း [síɴ] sin long-shaped items (like arrows, boats, cars)
စောင် [sàuɴ] saung literary pieces, documents, letters, etc.
စုံ [sòuɴ] soun sets or pairs
[sʰa̰] hsa number of times per equal amount
ဆူ [sʰù] hsu sacred objects and parabaik (Pali manuscripts)
ဆောင် [sʰàuɴ] hsaung buildings (like houses, monasteries and royal buildings)
ဆိုင်း [sʰáiɴ] hsaing work shifts, work gangs, packets of gold foil
တန် [tàɴ] tan different legs of a journey, component parts of abstract concepts
တန် [ta̰ɴ] tan bars, stripes, etc.
တုတ် [touʔ] touk carcasses of hares
တွဲ [twɛ́] twe items in pairs, bunches or clusters
တွက် [twɛʔ] twet snapping of fingers
ထပ် [tʰaʔ] htat layers, strata, storeys of buildings, etc.
ထမ်း [tʰáɴ] htan loads carried with a shoulder pole (yoke)
ထောက် [tʰauʔ] htauk stages of a journey, width of a point or tip of something
ထည် [tʰɛ̀] hte articles of clothing
ထုပ် [tʰouʔ] htout packages
ထုံး [tʰóuɴ] htoun knots, coils, etc.
ထွာ [tʰwà] htwa number of hand spans
ထွေ [tʰwè] htwei varied items; melds of playing cards
နပ် [naʔ] nat meals
ပါး [pá] pa sacred persons or objects (such as Buddhist monks)
ပေါ [pɔ́] paw bundles of seedlings
ပေါက် [pauʔ] pauk dots or drops
ပိုင် [pàiɴ] paing monk's robe; piece of silk used as headdress
ပိုင်း [páiɴ] paing part or division of something
ပတ် [paʔ] pat weeks
ပင် [pìɴ] pin tall upright things (trees, plants, poles, etc.); long strands (hair, thread, etc.).
ပိုဒ် [paiʔ] paik paragraphs
ပုဒ် [pouʔ] poud pieces of writing (such as articles,verse, songs, etc.)
ပုံ [pòuɴ] poun piles of material
ပျစ် [pjiʔ] pyit mats of palm thatching
ပြူး [pjú] pyu items in twos or pairs.
ပြိုက် [pjaiʔ] pyaik frequency of rain and snow
ပြင် [pjìɴ] pyin doctrines, concepts, dictums, etc.
ပြာ [pjàɴ] pyan number of times
ပွဲ [pwɛ́] pwe dishes; offertories
ဖီး [pʰí] hpi hands of bananas or plantains
ဖောင် [pʰàuɴ] hpaung height or depth equal to the height of a person standing with upraised hands (i.e. from the soles of his feet to the tips of his upraised hands)
ဖုံ [pʰòuɴ] hpoun things in heaps, batches or packs
ဖန် [pʰàɴ] hpan denotes frequency
ဖြာ [pʰjà] hpya denotes variety, diversity
ဖွာ [pʰwà] hpwa number of puffs (from cigarettes, etc.)
မည် [mjì] myi ingredients of a drug; kinds of dishes served
မြူ [mjù] myu pots of toddy wine
မျက် [mjeʔ] myet bundles of loops in a skein of cotton
မှုတ် [m̥ouʔ] hmout number of scoops with a dipper or ladle
မြွှာ [m̥wà] hmwa segments of fruit (such as cloves of garlic); parts of a multiparous birth (such as twins)
မြှောင် [m̥ja̰uɴ] hmyaung longitudinally divided segments (such as cloves of garlic)
ယာ [jà] ya betel quids
ယှက် [ʃɛʔ] shek thin slices of food (such as pancake, waffle, etc.)
ရန် [jàɴ] yan objects in pairs
ရပ် [jaʔ] yat itemisation; expressing things in terms of a man's height
ရေး [jé] yei stretches of sleep
ရေစီး [jè zí] yei zi leaves in a parabaik (Pali manuscripts)
ရိုက် [jaiʔ] yaik lengths measured with a bamboo pole
ရစ် [jiʔ] yit instalments, stages, chevrons, stripes, etc.
ရွက် [jwɛʔ] ywet counting sheets
လား [lá] la races in a contest consisting of a series of cart or boat races
လီ [lì] li multiples, frequencies
လေး [lé] lei used in connection with multiples or in replicate, parts of a ratio
လော [lɔ́] law number of times
လက် [lɛʔ] lek elongated items; turns in the game of dice
လုတ် [louʔ] lout mouthfuls of food
လုံး [lóuɴ] loun round, globular things
လှိုင်း [l̥áiɴ] hlaing sheaves of paddy
လွှာ [l̥wà] hlwa layers, strata, etc.
ဝါး [wá] wa handsbreadth
သား [θá] tha number of ticals or fractions of a tical or viss
သုတ် [θouʔ] thouk movements in groups or operations in shifts
သွယ် [θwɛ̀] thwe long, sinuous things (such as strands of pearls, garlands of flowers); paths, ways, methods, means, etc.

See also

For a list of words relating to Burmese numerical classifiers, see the Burmese classifiers category of words in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
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