Posted by Grace Feng on February 11, 2012
How to count basic numbers in Chinese?
If we need to talk about counting things in Chinese, then naturally we need to start with numbers in Chinese first. Please look at the table below to learn the basic 0 to 10 numbers in Chinese?
|líng零||yī一||èr二||sān三||sì四||wǔ 五||liù六||qī七||bā 八||jiǔ 九||shí十|
You also need to learn the following new words before you move on. Let’s take a few moment to make friends with them. You can always use the estroke tool below to practice the writing of each one of them:
||万 (ten thousand)
|[mp3j track=”L14-bai.mp3″]||[mp3j track=”L14-qian.mp3″]||[mp3j track=”L14-wan.mp3″]|
|亿 (hundred million)
|[mp3j track=”L14-yi.mp3″]||[mp3j track=”L14-ben.mp3″]||[mp3j track=”L14-shu.mp3″]|
|| 蛇 (snake)
|[mp3j track=”L14-ping-guo.mp3″]||[mp3j track=”L14-she.mp3″]||[mp3j track=”L14-tui.mp3″]|
|[mp3j track=”L14-ji.mp3″]||[mp3j track=”L14-lao-hu.mp3″]||[mp3j track=”L14-ge.mp3″]|
|[mp3j track=”L14-tiao.mp3″]||[mp3j track=”L14-zhi.mp3″]|
How to count numbers greater than 10 in Chinese?
Numbers greater then ten is counted this way:
11, 12, 13 ……
shí·yī, shí’èr, shísān ……
十一, 十二, 十三 ……
When it reaches the next ten, write tens and the subsequent numbers as below:
20, 21, 22, 23 …….
èrshí, èrshí yī, èrshí èr, èrshí sān …..
二十, 二十一, 二十二, 二十三 …..
When it comes to hundred:
100, 101, 102 …
yī bǎi, yī bǎi líng yī, yī bǎi líng èr ……
一百, 一百零一, 一百零二 ……
When it reaches one thousand, it becomes:
1000, 1001, …… 1039 … 1341 …
yī qiān, yī qiān líng yī, …… yī qiān líng sānshí jiǔ …… yī qiān sān bǎi sì shí·yī ……
一千, 一千零一, …… 一千零三十九 …… 一千三百四十一 ……
Whenever there’s one or more consecutive zeros in the middle of those digits, replace all zeros with “零” in Chinese.
If you move greater beyond thousand, then you’ll meet “万”:
10000 …… 10020……
yī wàn…… yī wàn líng èrshí……
If we keep going, you’ll see million and billion as well:
1 million = 1000,000
In Chinese, you say:
Then what about 1 billion?
1 billion = 1000,000,000
In Chinese, you say:
Please be aware, “billion” is NOT equal to “亿”, it equals to “十亿”. This has been an common mistake for Chinese student when they learn English.
What are Chinese quantifiers?
Now you’ve got the concept of how to count in Chinese. However, you also need to know what is the right quantifier to use when you talk about things quantified. For example, to say “five books”, you can’t just say “五书”, you need to say “五本书 (wǔ běn shū)”. “本” is the quantifier you need to know. It’s normally used for “book like” things.
There are a bunch of quantifiers in Chinese that you need to learn, but I’ll focus on this topic in a separate lesson. In this lesson, you only need to remember the most frequently used quantifiers: “个” “条” and “只”.
“个” is used for most things that can be quantified, such as “九个人(jiǔ gèrén)”, “三个苹果 (sān gè píngguǒ)”……
“条” is used for things with long shape, such as “五条蛇 (wǔ tiáo shé)”, “两条腿 (liǎng tiáo tuǐ)”
“只” is mostly used for animals, such as “六只鸡 (liù zhǐ jī)”, “四只老虎 (sì zhǐ lǎohǔ)”
As a practice, try to type any random combination of the Chinese numbers you just learned into www.google.com and search for Chinese articles that have numbers in it. See if you can figure out how much it is.
Have fun and see you next time!
Category: JLC Chinese grammar lessons
Tags: Chinese character, Chinese word order, count things in Chinese, how to speak Chinese, how to write in Chinese, learn Chinese blog, learn Chinese online, learn Chinese online FREE, learn mandarin online, numbers in Chinese
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