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Chinese Phrasebook: Numbers and Counting

How to count in Chinese

Although we show you the Chinese character for the numbers here, in China the Arabic numerals we use in the West are far more widely used.

In Chinese, when counting, or when part of a compound number (eg 22) two is èr (二), but when referring to two of something, you say liăng (两).

Chinese Numbers 0-20
Numeral Pinyin Chinese
0 Líng
1
2 Èr/liăng 二/两
3 Sān
4
5
6 Liù
7
8
9 Jiǔ
10 Shí
11 Shíyī 十一
12 Shíèr 十二
13 Shísān 十三
Chinese Numbers 20-100
20 Èrshí 二十
21 Èrshíyī 二十一
22 Èrshíèr 二十二

then..

30 Sānshí 三十
31 Sānshíyī 三十一
32 Sānshíèr 三十二

You can probably guess the rest:

40 Sìshí 四十
50 Wǔshí 五十
60 Liùshí 六十
70 Qīshí 七十
80 Bāshí 八十
90 Jiǔshí 九十
Chinese Numbers 100 and above
100 Yībăi 一百
101 Yībăilíngyī 一百零一
102 Yībăilíngèr 一百零二
110 Yībăiyīshí 一百一十
111 Yībăiyīshíyī 一百一十一
120 Yībăièrshí 一百二十
200 Èrbăi 二百
300 Sānbăi 三百
1000 Yīqiān 一千
10000 Yīwàn 一万

When counting large numbers, whereas we ascend by the 1000, e.g. 1000, million, billion, trillion, the Chinese ascend by 10000.

So the next ‘round number’ is 100,000,000 – one hundred million -Yīyì 一亿

999999999999 = Jiǔbbǎijiǔshíjiǔyìjiǔqiānjiǔbbǎijiǔshíjiǔwànjiǔqiānjiǔbbǎijiǔshíjiǔ = 九百九十九亿九千九百九十九万九千九百九十九


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