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Chinese Numbers: A Complete Guide from 0 to 100+

Imagine you’re chatting with a Chinese friend in a lively market, but the numbers confuse you. That’s where this guide comes in! It’s your ticket to understanding Chinese numbers from 0 to 100+ without hassle. We’ll help you grasp how to count, tell time, shop, and handle everyday situations using Chinese numbers. This easy-to-follow guide breaks down each step, making joining in conversations and activities involving numbers in Chinese simple. Get ready to feel confident using Chinese numerals in your day-to-day life!

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Unlock the world of Chinese numbers! Learn to count effortlessly with our beginner-friendly guide.

Exploring Chinese Numbers: Starting from 0 to 9

Understanding Chinese numbers from zero to nine forms the cornerstone of mastering numeric communication in Mandarin. Let’s break it down:

Counting Numbers in Chinese- Learning Mandarin Chinese - AT Translation

Unlocking the Basics: Dive into Chinese Numbers from Zero to Nine!

  • Introduction to Chinese Numerals: In Mandarin, numbers are termed “shùzì,” meaning “counting words.” These foundational numbers pave the way for handling more extensive numeric systems.
  • Simplicity in Characters: Chinese characters representing these numbers are notably simple. Notably, the symbols for one, two, and three visually match their numerical value, making them intuitive to remember.
  • Memorization Techniques: A nifty trick aids in recalling how to write these numbers: envision drawing lines! One has a single line, two comprises two lines, and three aligns with three lines. However, things alter slightly with the character for four.
  • Mastering the Basics: Here’s a quick rundown of the foundational numbers:

0 – (líng)

1 – (yī)

2 – (èr)

3 – (sān)

4 – (sì)

5 – (wǔ)

6 – (liù)

7 – (qī)

8 – (bā)

9 – (jiǔ)

Mastering these initial numerals forms a solid base for comprehending and progressing to more intricate numbers in Chinese. Familiarity with these numbers facilitates basic counting and serves as a stepping stone for navigating more complex numeric expressions and conversations in Mandarin.

Exploring Numbers from 10 to 100

Let’s dive into numbers from ten to one hundred in Chinese! This set of numbers follows a pattern that combines the base number with a word for “ten”:

  • Starting with Ten:

10 – (shí)

20 – 二十 (èr shí)

30 – 三十 (sān shí)

40 – 四十 (sì shí)

50 – 五十 (wǔ shí)

60 – 六十 (liù shí)

70 – 七十 (qī shí)

80 – 八十 (bā shí)

90 – 九十 (jiǔ shí)

100 – 一百 (yī bǎi)

  • How It Works: When learning these numbers, remember that they’re formed by combining the numbers you know with the word “ten.” For example, 三十 (sān shí) represents thirty, combining “three” and “ten.”
  • Everyday Use: These numbers are really helpful for telling ages, prices, amounts, and more in Chinese conversations. Learning these makes chatting about numbers in Chinese much easier!

Numbers Up to 1000: Expanding Horizons

Let’s explore Chinese numbers up to one thousand! These numbers follow a similar pattern to the ones we’ve already learned, continuing to combine smaller numbers to form larger ones.

  • Building on Hundreds:

200 – 二百 (èr bǎi) [formal]

300 – 三百 (sān bǎi)

400 – 四百 (sì bǎi)

500 – 五百 (wǔ bǎi)

600 – 六百 (liù bǎi)

700 – 七百 (qī bǎi)

800 – 八百 (bā bǎi)

900 – 九百 (jiǔ bǎi)

  • Breaking It Down: These numbers are composed of the hundreds, like 三百 (sān bǎi) for three hundred, combining “three” and “hundred.”

For numbers like 536, you express them by stating the individual numbers in order: 500, 30, and 6, making it 五百三十六 (wǔ bǎi sān shí liù).

  • Practical Applications: Knowing these numbers is valuable for discussing larger quantities, sums, and sizes. Whether talking about amounts or expressing figures, these numbers are essential in everyday conversations.

Exploring Bigger Numbers: From 1000 to 10,000 in Chinese

Let’s venture further into Chinese numbers, taking steps beyond a thousand up to ten thousand and more.

  • Moving into Thousands:

1000 is “yī qiān” in Chinese.

2000 is “liǎng qiān.”

The pattern continues, associating the “qiān” part with numbers 3-9.

  • Understanding the Trend: These numbers keep a similar structure to what we’ve seen before, indicating the quantity in thousands.
  • Grasping Larger Figures: Learning these numbers equips you to discuss more significant quantities, prices, or any other situation involving large numeric values.
  • Using Numbers in Practice: Whether discussing large quantities of items in a store, expressing measurements, or dealing with numerical figures in different scenarios, these numbers become your tools for effective communication.
  • Expanding Communication Horizons: Understanding numbers beyond a thousand opens doors to fluently converse about various aspects of daily life in Chinese, ensuring clarity in expressions related to quantities, sizes, and more.
  • Cultural Insights: In Chinese culture, numbers carry symbolic meanings. For example, the number 8 is perceived as encouraging because its pronunciation resembles the word for wealth or fortune.
  • Practical Usage: Practice using these numbers in different contexts to enhance conversational skills and confidently communicate numerical information.

Understanding numbers in the thousands in Chinese empowers effective communication, enabling seamless discussions about quantities, prices, and everyday life.

Applying Numbers: Practical Scenarios in Chinese

Let’s delve into using Chinese numbers in real-life situations. Understanding numbers is one thing, but knowing how to use them practically is a new game.

  • Expressing Phone Numbers:

When stating your phone number, say, “我的号码是…” (Wǒ de hàomǎ shì) followed by your number. For instance, “我的号码是一三零九四二五零六三七” (Wǒ de hàomǎ shì yī sān líng jiǔ sì èr wǔ líng liù sān qī).

  • Describing Prices:

Understand currency terms like “元” (yuán) for “dollar,” “角” (jiǎo) or “毛” (máo) for “dime,” and “分” (fēn) for “cent.” For example, “五元” (wǔ yuán) means “five dollars.”

  • Shopping Conversations:

Phrases like “这个多少钱?” (Zhè gè duō shǎo qián?) means “How much is this?” Use “给我来五个” (Gěi wǒ lái wǔ gè) for “I want five of those.”

  • Time Expressions:

Practice saying time like “现在几点了?” (Xiàn zài jǐ diǎn le?) for “What time is it right now?” “五点半” (wǔ diǎn bàn) means “five-thirty.”

  • Negotiating Prices:

In less formal settings, bargaining is common. Use phrases like “便宜点吧” (Pián yí diǎn ba) to negotiate for a cheaper price.

  • Using Ordinal Numbers:

Combine “第” (dì) with a number for ordinals. For example, “第一” (dì yī) means “first.”

  • Days of the Week and Months:

Use “星期” (xīngqí) for “week” and “月” (yuè) for “month.” Combine with numbers for days and months, like “星期一” (xīngqíyī) for “Monday” and “一月” (yī yuè) for “January.”

Applying Chinese numbers in everyday scenarios facilitates communication and interaction, whether stating phone numbers, negotiating prices, or expressing time and dates. Practice these phrases to engage in various day-to-day situations in Chinese confidently.

FAQs About Using Chinese Numbers

Q1. How do I express my phone number in Chinese?

Answer: To convey your phone number, say “我的号码是…” (Wǒ de hàomǎ shì) followed by your number. For example, “我的号码是一三零九四二五零六三七” (Wǒ de hàomǎ shì yī sān líng jiǔ sì èr wǔ líng liù sān qī).

Q2. What are the currency terms in Chinese?

Answer: “元” (yuán) stands for “dollar,” “角” (jiǎo) or “毛” (máo) means “dime,” and “分” (fēn) indicates “cent.” For instance, “五元” (wǔ yuán) means “five dollars.”

Q3. How can I negotiate prices in Chinese?

Answer: Use phrases like “这个多少钱?” (Zhè gè duō shǎo qián?) for “How much is this?” and “便宜点吧” (Pián yí diǎn ba) to negotiate for a lower price.

Q4. What phrases can I use for shopping conversations?

Answer: Employ “给我来五个” (Gěi wǒ lái wǔ gè) to say “I want five of those” and “这个多少钱?” (Zhè gè duō shǎo qián?) for “How much is this?”

Q5. How do I discuss time in Chinese?

Answer: Use phrases like “现在几点了?” (Xiàn zài jǐ diǎn le?) for “What time is it right now?” and “五点半” (wǔ diǎn bàn) to indicate “five-thirty.”


Discovering Chinese numbers, from basic to advanced, eases conversations in daily life. This guide simplifies phone numbers, pricing, time, and shopping dialogue. It lays the foundation for smoother interactions, aiding beginners and those seeking proficiency. Mastering these numbers fosters confidence in diverse scenarios, enhancing communication effortlessly.

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