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How to Say Numbers in Mandarin (Chinese Numbers 1-1000)

How to Say Numbers in Mandarin (Chinese Numbers 1-1000) - WuKong Education Blog

How to Say Numbers in Mandarin (Chinese Numbers 1-1000)

Ever felt stuck trying to say numbers in Mandarin? Picture yourself in a busy Chinese market or making important deals, struggling to express numbers correctly. That’s where our guide, “How to say numbers in Mandarin,” comes in.

We understand the problems you might face, and our guide has your back. Whether you’re traveling, doing business, or just love learning languages, we’ve got an easy solution for you. Our guide will make sure you can speak Mandarin numbers confidently so you can handle any situation where clear numbers matter. Let’s make talking numbers in Mandarin Chinese simple and fun!

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Part 1. What’s the Chinese Term for Counting Numbers?

How to Say Numbers in Mandarin (Chinese Numbers 1-1000) - WuKong Education Blog

In Mandarin Chinese, counting numbers are referred to as “数数” (shǔ shù) or “计数” (jì shù). These terms encompass the act of counting or numbering objects, digits, or quantities in general.

When specifically referring to counting numbers as a concept or a sequence of numbers, you might hear “数数” or “计数” used in conversation or educational contexts.

To count numbers in Chinese, you generally follow a pattern similar to English. Here are the basic counting numbers from 1 to 10:

●  一 (yī) – One

●  二 (èr) – Two

●  三 (sān) – Three

●  四 (sì) – Four

●  五 (wǔ) – Five

●  六 (liù) – Six

●  七 (qī) – Seven

●  八 (bā) – Eight

●  九 (jiǔ) – Nine

●  十 (shí) – Ten

For numbers above ten, you combine the words for the tens and units. For example:

●  11: 十一 (shí yī) – Ten and one

●  23: 二十三 (èr shí sān) – Two tens and three

●  56: 五十六 (wǔ shí liù) – Five tens and six

To count beyond 99, you include the word for hundred (百, bǎi). For example:

●  101: 一百零一 (yī bǎi líng yī) – One hundred and one

●  234: 二百三十四 (èr bǎi sān shí sì) – Two hundred and thirty-four

Practice these, and you’ll become more comfortable with counting numbers in Chinese!

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Part 2. Mandarin Numerical System is Simpler than that of English

In contrast to English, the Chinese number system is notably logical and straightforward. Unlike English, it doesn’t involve unique words for multiples of ten, such as twenty or thirty, and avoids adding “-teen” after numbers exceeding ten. For instance, twenty-five is expressed as 二十五 (èrshíwǔ), literally “two-ten-five.” Similarly, “Fourteen” is 十四 (shísì), meaning “ten-four.”

Beyond zero to ten, mastering the Chinese number system requires familiarity with larger numbers, starting with hundred 百 (yībǎi), thousand 千 (yīqiān), ten thousand 万 (wàn), and a hundred million 亿 (yì). Notably, Chinese numbers are grouped by four zeroes, unlike English, which uses groups of three zeroes.

Additionally, Chinese characters for numbers are simplistic, leading to intricate versions used on banknotes to deter counterfeit bills.

Part 3. 5 Tips for Pronouncing Chinese Numbers Aloud

Getting comfortable with the Chinese number system can be challenging! It may seem deceptively simple, but with the added hurdle of Chinese tones, saying numbers aloud becomes tricky. “一 (yī)” means “one,” yet “亿(yì)” means “hundred million.” Both are just one tone apart.

Here are some tips:

●  If there’s a zero in the middle, say it, like in 一百零一 (yībǎilíngyī) for 101.

●  In formal Chinese, always express the number of tens, e.g., 一百一十 (yībǎiyīshí) for 110.

●  Colloquially, say “一百二 (yībǎièr)” for “120,” and “一百三 (yībǎisān)” for “130.” But “103” is “一百零三 (yībǎilíngsān).”

●  “一 (yī)” for “one” can also be “yāo,” especially in phone numbers.

●  Once you’re comfortable with 1-10, practice with random numbers instead of counting in order. This enhances listening and speaking skills, covering most tone combinations from 1 to 99.

Part 4. How to Count / Write Chinese (Mandarin )Numbers

Chinese numbers are incredibly simple, with the characters for each number being even easier to write. If we take a closer look at the characters for numbers one to three, we can see that the number of lines in the character matches the number itself.

To make it easier to remember, let’s use a trick. How do we write the number one? With just one line. Number two? Two lines. And number three? Three lines.

But what about number four? Well, of course, it has four lines!

Remember, the “line” writing changes after three. Before you start practicing, here’s a tip for writing numbers two and three:

●  For number two, make the line below longer.

●  For number three, the middle line should be shorter than the top line, and the bottom line should be the longest.

Image 2 (Some of the most important numbers to learn in Chinese. Mastering these foundational Chinese numbers unlocks the door to writing numerals up to trillions with ease)

Part 5. Chinese Numbers 10-100 Pronunciation

In Mandarin Chinese, saying numbers from ten to one hundred follows a logical pattern. Here’s a breakdown:

10 – 十 (shí)

11 – 十一 (shí yī)

12 – 十二 (shí èr)

13 – 十三 (shí sān)

14 – 十四 (shí sì)

15 – 十五 (shí wǔ)

16 – 十六 (shí liù)

17 – 十七 (shí qī)

18 – 十八 (shí bā)

19 – 十九 (shí jiǔ)

20 – 二十 (èr shí)

For numbers between 21 and 99, you combine the words for the tens and ones digits. For example:

21 – 二十一 (èr shí yī)

36 – 三十六 (sān shí liù)

49 – 四十九 (sì shí jiǔ)

58 – 五十八 (wǔ shí bā)

67 – 六十七 (liù shí qī)

74 – 七十四 (qī shí sì)

85 – 八十五 (bā shí wǔ)

99 – 九十九 (jiǔ shí jiǔ)

Practice these, and you’ll become more comfortable saying numbers in the tens to one hundred range in Chinese!

Part 6. How to Say Numbers in Mandarin Chinese from 10-999

Understanding how to pronounce numbers in Chinese involves certain rules resembling English but with distinct cases for hundreds and tens multiples. Here’s a summary:

●  For multiples of a hundred (100, 200, 900), State the first digit + 百.

●  100 = 一百

●  200 = 二百

●  900 = 九百

●  For numbers with a hundred and a single digit (101, 205, 904): Say the first digit + 百 + 零 + last digit.

●  101 = 一百零一

●  205 = 二百零五

●  904 = 九百零九

●  Numbers with a hundred and a multiple of ten (110, 530, 490): State the first digit + 百 + second digit (+ 十).

●  110 = 一百一

●  530 = 五百三

●  For numbers with a hundred and numbers in the teens (118, 319, 716): Say the first digit + 百 + 一十 + last digit.

●  118 = 一百一十八

●  319 = 三百一十九

●  716 = 七百一十六

●  For the rest (224, 673, 592), Mention the first digit + 百 + the standard way to say the two-digit number.

●  224 = 二百二十四

●  673 = 六百七十三

●  592 = 五百九十二

These guidelines help articulate numbers effectively in spoken Chinese!

Part 7. How to Say Numbers 1000 and Greater in Chinese

Mastering numbers beyond one thousand in Chinese follows similar principles to those used for hundreds. Here’s a unique guide:

●  千 (qiān) stands for a thousand. Use 一千 for one thousand, 两千 for two thousand, and so forth, akin to the rules for hundreds.

●  Note: 一千一 (1100) means one thousand and one hundred, not one thousand and ten (110). Differentiate this from 一百一 (110), read as one hundred and ten.


●  1100 = 一千一(百)

●  3600 = 三千六(百)

Apart from the mentioned cases, when there’s a zero before the last digit:

●  1001 = 一千零一

●  1010 = 一千零一十

●  7045 = 七千零四十五

Moving beyond 千:

●  万 (wàn) is 10,000.

●  亿 (yì) is 100,000,000 (not a billion, despite Google Translate’s insistence).

In a nutshell, large numbers in Chinese might pose a challenge, especially when relying on online translation tools. But hey, let’s be real, you probably won’t be counting such enormous figures in everyday Chinese conversation!


Q1: What does the number 666 mean in China?

Answer: In Chinese numerology, 666 is deemed lucky, often showcased in shop windows and neon signs. In China, 666 symbolizes “everything goes smoothly,” as the pronunciation of six resembles 溜, meaning “smooth.”

Q2: When to employ: 二 (èr) vs. 两 (liǎng) in Mandarin(Chinese)?

Answer: In Chinese, we’ve got two ways to say “two.”

●  Use 二 (èr) when counting or indicating a sequence of numbers.

Example: 一, 二, 三 (yī, èr, sān)

●  Use 两 (liǎng) when specifying a quantity of two.

Example: 两个苹果 (liǎng gè píngguǒ) – Two apples

●  It works for big numbers, too, like two hundred (两百) or two thousand (两千). But “twenty” is always “二十 (èrshí).”


All in all, learning how to say numbers in Mandarin (Chinese) is like unlocking a key to smoother communication. This guide makes it easy, breaking down rules and tricks for pronunciation. Whether it’s basic numbers or bigger ones, this article helps you express them with confidence. It’s like a friendly companion, guiding you through the Chinese number journey, making sure you get it right. With tips, examples, and cultural nuggets, it turns a potentially tricky task into a breeze. So, if you want to speak Mandarin numbers effortlessly, this guide is your go-to friend, cheering you on every step of the way.