Would you like to explore Chinese numbers 0-10, 11-100, and beyond? Having read this article, you’ll have a solid understanding of counting in Chinese. You’ll learn all numbers in Chinese today, from 1 to 10, 10 to 100, as well as thousands and millions.

I’ll also talk about words for measurements in Chinese if you’re interested. Moreover, we need to learn how to pronounce “Chinese numerals” first. So here it is \(中文数字\ (zhōngwén\ shùzì)\) – “Chinese numerals” / “Chinese numbers”.

Now that we have your attention, are you ready to begin? Let’s get started! When translating the text, I’ve written both a number and a word that represents it. For example, “forty-five (45).”

Before we begin, a note from the Fluent in 3 Months team: You can chat away in Chinese for at least 15 minutes. It only takes 90 days. Click here to learn more.

Chinese Numbers With Symbols And Pinyin Translation

Chinese Numbers 0-10

Even numbers are written in Chinese characters. Chinese numerals are also not uncommon nowadays.

Chinese Numbers
Chinese Numbers

My goal is to teach you how to count \(1-10\) in Chinese, including both Chinese characters and pinyin. (Pinyin is the romanization of Chinese characters in English.)

\(\color{red}{\mathbf{1\longrightarrow 一\longrightarrow yī}}\\
\color{red}{\mathbf{2\longrightarrow 二\longrightarrow èr}}\\
\color{red}{\mathbf{3\longrightarrow 三\longrightarrow sān}}\\
\color{red}{\mathbf{4\longrightarrow 四\longrightarrow sì}}\\
\color{red}{\mathbf{5\longrightarrow 五\longrightarrow wǔ}}\\
\color{red}{\mathbf{6\longrightarrow 六\longrightarrow liù}}\\
\color{red}{\mathbf{7\longrightarrow 七\longrightarrow qī}}\\
\color{red}{\mathbf{8\longrightarrow 八\longrightarrow bā}}\\
\color{red}{\mathbf{9\longrightarrow 九\longrightarrow jiǔ}}\\
\color{red}{\mathbf{10\longrightarrow 十\longrightarrow shí}}\)

It’s also super easy to say “zero” in Chinese.

It’s very common to see this Chinese character: \(〇\ (líng)\) for “zero (0)”, but you might still run into this one: \(零\ (líng)\ –\ “zero (0)”\) as well.

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Note that \(二 (èr,\ “two\ (2)”)\) mostly refers to counting or giving out a phone number.

When referring to a quantity of something, such as saying “both” or “two of something” rather than just “two”, \(两 (liǎng)\) is the one you want to use.

For example:

\(二十块钱\ (èrshí\ kuài\ qián)\) – “twenty (20) renminbi”

\(两本书\ (liǎng\ běn\ shū)\) – “two (2) books”

When you speak quickly, especially when sharing a phone number, use

\(幺\ (yāo)\ –\ “one\ (1)”\ instead\ of\ 一\ (yī)\ –\ “one\ (1)”.\)

In Chinese,

\(一\ (yī,\ “one\ (1)”)\) sounds too similar to \(七\ (qī,\ “seven\ (7)”)\), so it can get easily confused when speaking fast.

You’ll also need to remember that the number \(“four\ (4)”\ –\ 四\ (sì)\ -\) symbolizes bad luck in Chinese. That’s because it sounds similar to \(死\ (sǐ)\ –\ “death”.\)

Number \(4\) in Chinese is like number \(13\) in the Western world. Chinese people will not be happy if you give them four of something, such as flowers or fruits, because the 4th floor is often left out in buildings and hotels.

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Chinese Numbers 11-20 And Above

The Chinese numerals \(11-20\) are quite easy – all you need to know is how to count \(1-10\) and you’ll just combine these characters as you go further. You can think of it as stacking the numbers.

Numbers 30, 40, and so on are the same.

\(\color{red}{\mathbf{11\longrightarrow 十一\longrightarrow shíyī}}\\
\color{red}{\mathbf{12\longrightarrow 十二\longrightarrow shí’èr}}\\
\color{red}{\mathbf{13\longrightarrow 十三\longrightarrow shísān}}\\
\color{red}{\mathbf{14\longrightarrow 十四\longrightarrow shísì}}\\
\color{red}{\mathbf{15\longrightarrow 十五\longrightarrow shíwǔ}}\\
\color{red}{\mathbf{16\longrightarrow 十六\longrightarrow shíliù}}\\
\color{red}{\mathbf{17\longrightarrow 十七\longrightarrow shíqī}}\\
\color{red}{\mathbf{18\longrightarrow 十八\longrightarrow shíbā}}\\
\color{red}{\mathbf{19\longrightarrow 十九\longrightarrow shíjiǔ}}\\
\color{red}{\mathbf{20\longrightarrow 二十\longrightarrow èrshí}}\\
\color{red}{\mathbf{30\longrightarrow 三十\longrightarrow sānshí}}\\
\color{red}{\mathbf{40\longrightarrow 四十\longrightarrow sìshí}}\\
\color{red}{\mathbf{50\longrightarrow 五十\longrightarrow wǔshí}}\\
\color{red}{\mathbf{60\longrightarrow 六十\longrightarrow liùshí}}\\
\color{red}{\mathbf{70\longrightarrow 七十\longrightarrow qīshí}}\\
\color{red}{\mathbf{80\longrightarrow 八十\longrightarrow bāshí}}\\
\color{red}{\mathbf{90\longrightarrow 九十\longrightarrow jiǔshí}}\)

Numbers \(11-19\) are just a combination of the number \(10\ +\) the following number.

So the pattern to say these numbers are \(10+1\) for \(11\), \(10+2\) for \(12\), and so on.

Numerals \(20,\ 30,\) and the following, are the same, except the other way around: \(20\) is two tens, \(30\) is three tens, and so on.

For numbers in between, like \(21,\ 22,\ 45,\) and others, the pattern of “two tens” continues. You’ll just add the last number at the end.

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It goes like this:

\(二十五\ (èrshíwǔ)\) – “twenty-five (25)”
\(三十三\ (sānshísān)\) – “thirty-three (33)”
\(九十六\ (jiǔshíliù)\) – “ninety-six (96)”

As long as you learn Mandarin numbers \(1-10\), you can master all the numbers. And when you get to \(100\), you’ll need to learn a new character, but it’s still quite easy.

Learning Chinese is easy when it comes to counting!

Chinese Numbers 100-999

You can get away with the knowledge of just \(1-10\) until you get to \(100\), but even after that, it’s not that hard.

To say “One hundred (100)” in Chinese, you need a new word \(– 百\ (bǎi)\) or \(一百\ (yìbǎi)\).

The difference is the same as it is in English: \(百\ (bǎi)\) means “a hundred” and \(百\ (yìbǎi)\) is “one hundred”. Both of them are correct, but when counting, it’s more common to use \(百\ (yìbǎi)\) – “one hundred”.

When you count from \(101-109\), there’s a slight difference compared to English. In English, you would say “one hundred and one”, but in Chinese, you would say “one hundred zero and one”. A different number appears if the “zero” is omitted.

Here’s what you need to know:

\(一百零一\ or\ 一百〇一\ (yìbǎi\ líng\ yī)\) – “one hundred and one (101)”
\(一百零二\ or\ 一百〇二\ (yìbǎi\ líng\ èr)\) – “one hundred and two (102)”

From \(110\), there are two possible ways to express a number.

There is no change in the pattern:

\(一百一(十)\ (yìbǎi\ yī\ (shí))\) – “one hundred and ten (110)”
\(一百三(十)\ (yìbǎi\ sān\ (shí))\) – “one hundred and thirty (130)”

You’ll notice that in both cases, \(十\ (shí,\ “ten\ (10)”)\) is in brackets. This is because it can be completely omitted.

That’s the reason why \(101-109\) always needs to be said with a zero – otherwise, they’d sound the same as \(120-190\).

As long as the number ends with a zero, this rule applies. Otherwise, you can’t leave \(十 (shí)\) – “ten (10)” out.

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A good example of that would be:

\(一百三十五\ (yìbǎi\ sānshíwǔ)\) – “one hundred thirty-five (135)”

Here are some examples of how we can combine the numbers we already know into bigger, more complicated ones. Take a look at these numbers and test yourself

\(\color{red}{\mathbf{129\longrightarrow 一百二十九\longrightarrow yìbǎi\ èrshíjiǔ}}\\
\color{red}{\mathbf{145\longrightarrow 一百四十五\longrightarrow yìbǎi\ sìshíwǔ}}\\
\color{red}{\mathbf{175\longrightarrow 一百七十五\longrightarrow yìbǎi\ qīshíwǔ}}\\
\color{red}{\mathbf{188\longrightarrow 一百八十八\longrightarrow yìbǎi\ bāshíbā}}\\
\color{red}{\mathbf{191\longrightarrow 一百九十一\longrightarrow yìbǎi\ jiǔshíyī}}\)

The concept of hundreds is similar to that of tens. When you count, you’re adding:

\(\color{red}{\mathbf{二百\longrightarrow (èrbǎi)\ or\ 两百\longrightarrow (liǎngbǎi)\longrightarrow “two\ hundred\ (200)”\ (both\ are\ right)}}\\
\color{red}{\mathbf{三百\longrightarrow (sānbǎi)\longrightarrow “three\ hundred\ (300)”}}\\
\color{red}{\mathbf{四百\longrightarrow (sìbǎi)\longrightarrow “four\ hundred\ (400)”}}\\
\color{red}{\mathbf{五百\longrightarrow (wǔbǎi)\longrightarrow “five\ hundred\ (500)”}}\\
\color{red}{\mathbf{六百\longrightarrow (liùbǎi)\longrightarrow “six\ hundred\ (600)”}}\\
\color{red}{\mathbf{七百\longrightarrow (qībǎi)\longrightarrow “seven\ hundred\ (700)”}}\\
\color{red}{\mathbf{八百\longrightarrow (bābǎi)\longrightarrow “eight\ hundred\ (800)”}}\\
\color{red}{\mathbf{九百\longrightarrow (jiǔbǎi)\longrightarrow “nine\ hundred\ (900)”}}\)

There is one thing you should remember connected to number \(250\). Use this number with caution, especially when interacting with Chinese people. In China, what is called \(“250”\) is an insult – basically, you’re calling the person you’re speaking to an idiot.

You don’t even need to refer to a person as \(“250”\); just mention the number when discussing price or bargaining, and you’ve insulted someone.

Numbers in French – The Ultimate Guide

Chinese Numbers 1,000 And Above – The Big Numbers

You don’t have to be scared of the “big” Mandarin numbers.

These numbers in Chinese have their own characters, so rather than saying “ten thousand” or “a million”, you will need to remember their names and how many zeros they represent.

Just like with the numbers I’ve already shown you, the rest is straightforward.

The following are all Chinese numbers with three or more zeros:

\(\color{red}{\mathbf{1,000\longrightarrow 一千\longrightarrow yīqiān}}\\
\color{red}{\mathbf{10,000\longrightarrow 万\longrightarrow wàn}}\\
\color{red}{\mathbf{100,000\longrightarrow 十万\longrightarrow shí\ wàn}}\\
\color{red}{\mathbf{1,000,000\longrightarrow 一百万\longrightarrow yìbǎi\ wàn}}\\
\color{red}{\mathbf{10,000,000\longrightarrow 一千万\longrightarrow yīqiān\ wàn}}\\
\color{red}{\mathbf{100,000,000\longrightarrow 亿\longrightarrow yì}}\\
\color{red}{\mathbf{1,000,000,000\longrightarrow 十亿\longrightarrow shí\ yì}}\)

There is a difference between forming big numbers in English and Chinese.

Instead of “ten thousand (10,000)”, Chinese have \(万\ (wàn)\) and instead of “a million (1,000,000)”, Chinese have \(一百万\ (yìbǎi\ wàn)\), which literally means “one hundred of ten thousand”.

It’s a bit math-heavy, but you can see that it adds up.

After reading this guide, you’ll be able to say these numbers in Chinese:

\(两万三百零九\ (liǎng\ wàn\ sānbǎi\ líng\ jiǔ)\) – “twenty thousand three hundred and nine (20,309)”
\(一百万三十万二十五\ (yìbǎi\ wàn\ sānshí\ wàn\ èrshíwǔ)\) – “one million three hundred thousand and twenty-five (1,300,025)”

Do you enjoy learning about Chinese numbers? We’re not done yet, so don’t worry. You still have a bonus to look forward to!

Check out this brief guide to Chinese ordinal numbers, days of the week, and months of the year before we get to our Chinese measure words:

First, Second, and Once – Chinese Ordinal Numbers

This isn’t the catch you’re looking for and can’t believe how easy Chinese numbers are!

Chinese ordinal numbers are simply a combination of the word \(第\ (dì)\) and a number just the way you learned it.

It goes like this:

\(\color{red}{\mathbf{第一\longrightarrow (dì\ yī)\longrightarrow “first\ (1st)”}}\\
\color{red}{\mathbf{第二\longrightarrow (dì\ èr)\longrightarrow “second\ (2nd)”}}\\
\color{red}{\mathbf{第五十四\longrightarrow (dì\ wǔshísì)\longrightarrow “fifty-fourth\ (54th)”}}\)

And if you want to say something happened once, twice, or three times, you simply add \(次\ (cì)\) – “times” after the number:

\(\color{red}{\mathbf{一次\longrightarrow (yīcì)\longrightarrow “once”}}\\
\color{red}{\mathbf{两次\longrightarrow (liǎng cì)\longrightarrow “twice”}}\\
\color{red}{\mathbf{三次\longrightarrow (sāncì)\longrightarrow “three times”}}\)

Chinese Days of the Week and Months of the Year

\(天\ (tiān)\) means “day” in Chinese, \(星期\ (xīngqí)\) is “week” and \(月\ (yuè)\) means “month”.

Can you guess why I told you these?

With the last two out of these three words and the numbers from this article, you’ll be able to name all the days and months of the year.

Least to Greatest Calculator

Here is the pattern of Chinese days:

\(\color{red}{\mathbf{星期一\longrightarrow (xīngqíyī)\longrightarrow “Monday”\ (literally:\ “day\ of\ the\ week\ one”)}}\\
\color{red}{\mathbf{星期二\longrightarrow (xīngqí’èr)\longrightarrow “Tuesday”\ (literally:\ “day\ of\ the\ week\ two”)}}\\
\color{red}{\mathbf{星期六\longrightarrow (xīngqíliù)\longrightarrow “Saturday”\ (literally:\ “day\ of\ the\ week\ six”)}}\)

The only day that is not combined with the word “week” and a number is Sunday, and that is because \(七\ (qī)\) – “seven (7)”, as in the 7th day of the week, sounds too similar to \(期\ (qī)\), which is the component of \(星期\ (xīngqí)\) – “week”.

So “Sunday” would be \(星期日\ (xīngqírì)\) or \(星期天\ (xīngqítiān)\). Both are correct.

Likewise, the names of the months are straightforward:

\(\color{red}{\mathbf{一月\longrightarrow (yī\ yuè)\longrightarrow “January”\ (literally:\ “month\ one”)}}\\
\color{red}{\mathbf{四月\longrightarrow (sì\ yuè)\longrightarrow “April” (literally:\ “month\ four”)}}\\
\color{red}{\mathbf{十二月\longrightarrow (shí’èr\ yuè)\longrightarrow “December”\ (literally:\ “month\ twelve”)}}\)

As you can see, the number of each month comes first, followed by the word \(月\ (yuè)\) – “month”.

Let’s finally get to the bonus I promised you at the beginning of this guide:

Chinese Measure Words

Nouns and numbers cannot be combined without a measure word in Mandarin Chinese.

It is almost always possible to leave out measure words, such as “a cup of tea” or “ten groups of people”, even in English.

There is no difference between these words in Chinese, and they cannot be omitted.

The measure word that can be used with a noun, or group of nouns, depends on the noun. A few are logical, but others must be memorized.

Here’s a list of 10 common measure words with examples:

\(\color{red}{\mathbf{Measure\ Word\longrightarrow Pinyin\longrightarrow Use}}\)

\(\color{red}{\mathbf{个\longrightarrow gè\longrightarrow people, general objects}}\\
\color{red}{\mathbf{把\longrightarrow bǎ\longrightarrow objects\ that\ can\ be\ grasped/\ a bunch}}\\
\color{red}{\mathbf{只\longrightarrow zhǐ\longrightarrow animals\ and\ body\ parts\ in\ pairs}}\\
\color{red}{\mathbf{本\longrightarrow běn\longrightarrow books\ and\ paper\ products}}\\
\color{red}{\mathbf{双\longrightarrow shuāng\longrightarrow a\ pair}}\\
\color{red}{\mathbf{张\longrightarrow zhāng\longrightarrow flat\ objects}}\\
\color{red}{\mathbf{家\longrightarrow jiā\longrightarrow gatherings\ of\ people,\ establishments}}\\
\color{red}{\mathbf{支\longrightarrow zhī\longrightarrow thin,\ long\ objects}}\\
\color{red}{\mathbf{间\longrightarrow jiān\longrightarrow rooms}}\\
\color{red}{\mathbf{杯\longrightarrow bēi\longrightarrow glass}}\)


Are Chinese numbers the same as English?

The Chinese character numeral system consists of the Chinese characters used by the Chinese written language to write spoken numerals. Similar to spelling-out numbers in English (e.g., “one thousand nine hundred forty-five”), it is not an independent system per se.

Is 6 a lucky number in China?

The numbers 3, 6, and 8 are generally considered to be lucky, while 4 is considered unlucky. These traditions are not unique to Chinese culture, with other countries with a history of Han characters also having similar beliefs stemming from these concepts.

What does 7 mean in Chinese?

Like 5, 7 has both positive and negative connotations in Chinese culture. On the positive side, 七 sounds like both 起 (qǐ), which means “start” or “rise”, and also 气 (qì), which means “vital energy”. Seven is also seen as a lucky number for relationships.

Is 12 a lucky number in Chinese?

12 represents the harmony of the yin and yang- In Chinese numerology, one is a yang number, ruled by the sun and symbolizing independence and individualism. Two is a yin number ruled by the moon and represents symmetry and balance.