Chapter 6:Chinese numbers (1)
Chinese Grammar Updated: Sat, Oct 20, 2012 20:56 PM By HugChina
In this section we present Chinese numbers include 0-99 and higher, formal characters for Chinese numbers, Chinese ordinal numbers, and estimates and approximations numbers.
1. Mandarin numbers 0–99
1.1 Numbers 0–100 〇 or 零 líng; 1 一 yī; 2 二 èr; 3 三 sān; 4 四 sì; 5 五 wǔ; 6 六 liù; 7 七 qī; 8 八 bā; 9 九 jiǔ;10 十 shíThe number 2 occurs in two forms.• When counting without a classiﬁer, the number 2 is always èr.一 1; 2 二; 3 三; 4 四; 5 五• When it occurs in a phrase with a classiﬁer, the number 2 is 两 liǎng.两本书 two books; 两个人 two personsTelephone numbers are recited as a series of single digits from zero to 9. When reciting a telephone number, the number 2 is always 二 èr.我的电话号码是八六二二五六零二My phone number is 8 6 2 2 5 6 0 2.Number 100 and higher
1.2 Numbers 11–19Numbers 11–19 consist of the number 10 [十 shí] followed by the number 1 [一 yī]through 9 [九 jiǔ] as follows. Note that the number 12 is shí’èr and not 十两 shí liǎng.11 十一，12 十二， 13 十三，14 十四，15 十五，16 十六，17 十七，18 十八，19 十九
1.3 Numbers 20–90Numbers 20, 30, 40, etc. consist of the numbers 2 [二 èr] through 9 [九 jiǔ] followed by the number 10 [十 shí] as follows: 20 二十，30 三十，40 四十，50 五十，60 六十，70 七十，80 八十，90 九十The numbers 21, 22, etc. are formed as follows: 21 二十一，57 五十七，22 二十二，68 六十八，35 三十五，74 七十四，46 四十六，99 九十九
2. Number 100 and higher
2.1 100, 1000, 10,000 and 100,000,000Chinese has distinct words for multiples of 100, 1000, 10,000, and 100,000,000 as follows:
2.2 Forming numbers through 9,999Numbers up to 9,999 follow the same pattern as in English:352 三百五十二; 1,670 一千六百七十；3,482 三千四百八十; 9,222 九千二百二十二
2.3 ‘Zero’ as a placeholderThe word 零 líng may be used when the ‘hundreds’ place or the ‘tens’ place is empty, provided there is a number before and after 零 líng. For example, it can be used to mark the ‘hundreds’ place when thousands and tens are ﬁlled, as in the following number.7,066 七千零六十六It can be used to mark the ‘tens’ place when hundreds and single numbers are ﬁlled, as in the following number.9,102 九千一百零二When two consecutive places are empty,零 líng occurs only once.6,006 六千零六
2.4 Forming numbers 10,000 to 100,000,000Languages read numbers in terms of the categories that they distinguish. English distinguishes tens, hundreds, thousands, millions, and up. Numbers between one thousand and one million are read in terms of the numbers of thousands that they contain.Chinese distinguishes the categories of tens, hundreds, thousands, ten thousands, and hundred millions. Numbers between ten thousand and one-hundred million are read in terms of the number of ten-thousands that they contain. Compare the way that English and Chinese read the following numbers.
|100,000||one hundred thousand||shí wàn|
|1,000,000||one million||bāi wàn|
|10,000,000||ten million||qiān wàn|
|100,000,000||one hundred million||yì|
|1,000,000,000||one billion||shí yì|
3. Formal characters for numbersTo discourage forgery, Chinese numbers are sometimes written using the following special set of characters. The numerals on Chinese currency are written with these special characters.
4. Ordinal numbersTo make a number ordinal, add the preﬁx 第 dì before the number: