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Mandarin Numbers

Essential Vocabulary


The Mandarin numbering system is a bit different from English. For example, the number '2' has two forms - èr for counting and liǎng when used with a measure word. Measure words are used extensively in Mandarin, and specify the 'type' of the thing being discussed. The most common 'all purpose' measure word is .

Note: The pronunciation spellings used here are Pinyin.

Large Numbers

Large numbers also present a challenge. The next major division after 1,000 is 10,000 (yī wàn), so numbers above 10,000 are expressed as 'one ten thousand' 'two ten thousands' etc, up to 100,000,000, which is a new character pronounced as yì.

The only vocabulary needed for all the numbers up to 100 are 0 (ling) to 10 (shí­). The numbers from 10 to 19 are expressed as '10-1' (11), '10-2' (12) etc.

Twenty is expressed as '2-10', thirty is '3-10' etc.

When there is a zero in a number, such as '101', it must be stated: for example one-hundred zero one (yī bǎi líng yī).

Mandarin Numbers

2 èr
3 sān
6 liù
9 jiǔ
10 shí­
11 shí­ yī 十一
12 shí­ èr 十二
13 shí­ sān 十三
14 shí­ sì 十四
15 shí­ wǔ 十五
16 shí­ liù 十六
17 shí­ qī 十七
18 shí bā 十八
19 shí­ jiǔ 十九
20 èr shí ­ 二十
21 èr shí ­ yī 二十一
22 èr shí èr 二十二
30 sān shí­ 三十
40 sì shí­ 四十
50 wǔ shí­ 五十
60 liù shí­ 六十
70 qī shí­ 七十
80 bā shí­ 八十
90 jiǔ shí­ 九十
100 yì bǎi 一百
101 yì bǎi líng yī 一百零一
102 yì bǎi líng èr 一百零二
1000 yì qiān 一千
1001 yì qiān líng yī 一千零一
10,000 yì wàn 一萬

Test Your Knowledge

Feeling confident about your Mandarin numbers? Test your knowledge of Mandarin numbers from zero to ten with this audio quiz:

Audio Quiz - Zero to Ten

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