How to Count in Chinese - dummies

# How to Count in Chinese

Learning numbers and counting in Chinese is simplified because the Chinese number system is extremely regular. The entire number system is based on counting the number of tens and then adding the ones. For example, 11 is shíyî, which is 10 (shí) plus 1 (yî); 21 is èrshíyī, which is 2 (èr) times 10 (shí) plus 1 (yî).

 yî 1 èr 2 sân 3 sì 4 wŭ 5 liù 6 qî 7 bâ 8 jiŭ 9 shí 10 shíyî 11 shíèr 12 shísân 13 shísì 14 shíwŭ 15 shíliù 16 shíqî 17 shíbâ 18 shíjiŭ 19 èrshí 20 èrshíyî 21 èrshíèr 22 èrshísân 23 sânshí 30 sânshíyî 31 sânshíèr 32 sìshí 40 sìshíyî 41 sìshíèr 42 wŭshí 50 liùshí 60 qîshí 70 bâshí 80 jiŭshí 90 jiŭshíjiŭ 99 yìbãi 100 yìqiân 1,000

In Chinese, numbers are read the same way they are in English. You would say how many hundreds, how many tens, and then how many ones. For example, you would say 135 by saying, yìbãi (one hundred) sânshí (three tens, or thirty) wŭ (five). So, 6,427 would be read as liùqiân sìbãi èrshí qî.

The following phrases can show how numbers can be used in conversation.

Chen: nĭ duó dà? (for people older than 10); nĭ jĭsuì? (for children) (How old are you?)

Michael: wŏ èrshíwŭ suì. (I am 25 years old.)

Chen: shuāngrénfáng shì duōshăo qián? (How much does a double room cost?)

Michael: shuāngrénfáng shì yìbăiérshí kuài. (It costs \$120.)