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Chinese Numbers 0-1000 Posted by on Sep 6, 2011 in Uncategorized, Vocabulary

When learning a new language, one of the most important things is to get the numbers down. Whether you’re telling a new acquaintance how old you are, figuring out bus routes, ordering food in a restaurant, paying for a taxi, or bargaining in a local market, you’ll be totally lost without a firm grasp of the numbers. Here’s an easy to follow chart showing you how to count to 1,000 in Chinese:

NUMBER

CHARACTER

PINYIN

0

líng

1

2

èr

3

sān

4

5

6

liù

7

 qī

8

9

 jiǔ

10

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

21

二十一

èr shí yī

30

三十

sān shí

40

四十

sì shí

50

五十

wǔ shí

60

六十

liù shí

70

七十

qī shí

80

八十

bā shí

90

九十

jiǔ shí

100

一百

yì bǎi

101

一百零一

yì bǎi líng yī

102

一百零二

yì bǎi líng èr

110

一百一(十)

yì bǎi yī (shí)

111

一百十一

yì bǎi shí yī

120

一百二(十)

yì bǎi èr (shí)

125

一百二十五

yì bǎi èr shí wǔ

200

二百/两百

èr bǎi/liǎng bǎi

300

三百

sān bǎi

400

四百

sì bǎi

500

五百

wǔ bǎi

600

六百

liù bǎi

700

七百

qī bǎi

800

八百

bā bǎi

900

九百

jiǔ bǎi

1000

一千

yì qiān

One great thing about learning Chinese numbers is that you only need to learn 12 characters to get you all the way to 999. Let’s examine some things from the chart to give you a better understanding of how to count in Chinese.

  • Notice that 11 is 十一. That’s 十 (ten) and 一 (one) together. This will help you get up to 19, which is 十九, or 十 (ten) and 九 (nine) together.
  • Next, let’s look at 20, which is 二十, or 二 (two) and 十 (ten) together. Two tens makes twenty. If you want to count from 21-29, simply add the characters 1-9 to 二十. For 21, we get 二十一. That’s two, ten, and one together.
  • This format can be followed to get you all the way to 99. For example, 三十, or 三 (three) and 十 (ten) together is 30. What do you think 九十九 is? Well, that’s nine, ten, and nine together…. it’s 99!
  • Now we’re all the way up to 100, or 一百. One thing that should be noted with 100 is the different pronunciation of the character 一, meaning one. On its own, 一 is pronounced with the first tone (yī). However, when it precedes a character that is pronounced with a first, second, or third tone, it changes to the fourth tone (yì).
  • For the numbers 101-109, you use 一百 plus 零 (zero), and then the appropriate character for numbers 1-9. For example, 一百零一 is 101. Adding the character for zero is important, otherwise you may confuse people. This is because…
  • For 110, 120, 130, 140, 150, 160, 170, 180, or 190, Chinese usually leave out the character 十 (ten). Technically, 110 should be 一百一十, but people usually just say 一百一. That’s why it’s important to use 零 for 101-109.
  • Looking at 125, which is 一百二十五, you can see everything we’ve talked about so far together. That is 一百 (one hundred,) 二十 (twenty), and 五 (five) all together.
  • With 200, there are two different pronunciations – 二百 (èr bǎi) and 两百 (liǎng bǎi). Both are OK.
  • It’s important to note that the number 250, which is 二百五, is also an insult in Chinese. If you call someone an 二百五, you’re basically telling them that they’re a good for nothing idiot. I wrote a post about this a few months ago, check it out.
  • Armed with this knowledge, you’re ready to count all the way up to 999. Can you guess what that is??…
  • It’s 九百九十九 – 九百 (nine hundred), 九十 (ninety), and 九 (nine). It’s that easy!
  • Alright, now we’re all the way to 1000 – 一千. Now take what you’ve learned in this post, and you can figure out how to count all the way up to 9,999 on your own!
  • Speaking of learning Chinese on your own, just how good is your Chinese? Test yourself for free!

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About the Author:sasha

Sasha is a teacher, student, writer, photographer, web designer, and videographer from the great state of Michigan. Upon graduating from Michigan State University, he moved to China and spent 5+ years living, working, studying, and traveling there. He also studied Indonesian Language & Culture in Bali for a year. He and his wife run the travel blog Grateful Gypsies, and they're currently planning a trip through Central/South America.


Comments:

  1. Isabella:

    Can you please do the numbers from 0-1000 in order

  2. Alan Lee:

    Hi Sasha

    I’m an aged pensioner living in Australia and started to learn Mandarin. Your article on numbers is very interesting and easy to follow

    Thanks you

    Alan Lee

  3. keats:

    Please do the numbers 0-1000 in order. Thanks, you your blog has helped me through learning Chinese at my school.


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