Evan Draper wrote:What's the difference in Chinese between "third leaf" and "three leaves"? A sentence on plucking standard is driving me batty.
UPDATE--I'm assuming they would have used 第 if they were talking about "third leaf."
Generally speaking, but not always, "three leaves" would be prefaced with the proper measure word: 三（個）葉子 or 三（個）茶葉 or 三（片）葉子。Here 個 is the general, all encompassing measure word and 片 is the more appropriate and descriptive measure word because it is used to describe smaller, flat objects. And yes for the usage of 第。If there was a wish to refer to the third leaf then the reference would generally be something like "第三（個／片）葉子。"
Edit: also forgot the possible measure word 堆 (dui1) for "heaps, piles, crowds" of things.