When you start learning a new language, numbers is one of the first things you learn. To my joy learning numbers is one of the most useful things you can learn in Chinese and it's not that hard once you get the basics. After you've learned 1 to 10 you can start to use it for other things like:

  • Date's
  • Time
  • Higher numbers
  • Phone numbers
  • Money
  • Days of the week

Numbers 1 - 10

Here's a table of the first 10 numbers in Chinese.

Number Hanzi Pinyin
2 èr
3 sān
6 liù
9 jiǔ
10 shí

Numbers 10 - 99

Using the numbers from 1 to 10 will allow you to count higher, you'll see it's as simple as stringing the numbers together.


Hanzi Pinyin Number
十三 shí sān 13 10 (十) + 3 (三) = 13 (十三)
二十五 èr shí wǔ 25 2(二)+ 10 (十) = 20 (二 十)
20(二 十)+ 5(五)= 25(二十五)
五十九 wǔ shí jiǔ 59 5(五)+ 10 (十) = 50(五十)
50(五十)+ 9(九)= 59(五十九)

Numbers 100 plus

The same logic applies to numbers over 100, but there are a few new words you'll need first.

New words for 100 plus numbers:

Number Hanzi Pinyin
100 bǎi
1000 qiān
10,000 wàn
1,000,000 百萬 bǎi wàn

One thing worth mentioning when using the number two above 100 plus numbers is to use a new word 兩(liǎng) instead of 二(èr).

Example of 兩(liǎng):

Number Hanzi Pinyin
200 兩百 liǎng bǎi
2000 兩千 liǎng qiān
20,000 兩萬 liǎng wàn
2,000,000 兩百萬 liǎng bǎi wàn

Another thing worth mentioning is the number 0 零(líng). This pops up when there is a zero and it's not the last number.

Examples of 零(líng):

Number Hanzi Pinyin
101 一零一 yī líng yī
309 三零九 sān líng jiǔ

You might be a bit confused why I didn't include the word 百(bǎi). This was intentional to highlight native Mandarin speaker may refer to a number omitting whether if it's in the hundreds. This may happen if someone refers to a hotel room number or a name of a place like 台北一零一(táiběi yī líng yī).

Taipei 101

Taipei 101

When someone does says a number without omitting 百(bǎi), usually this means they are talking about money.

So with those little gotcha's out the way we can use what we learned perviously and say numbers up into the millions.

Examples of 100 plus numbers:

Hanzi Pinyin Number
七百五十 qī bǎi wǔ shí 750
三千三百 sān qiān sān bǎi 3,300
六萬六百 liù wàn liù bǎi 60,600
九百萬 jiǔ bǎi wàn 9,000,000


Hopefully now that I have gone over the basics of numbers in Chinese you can see it's not complicated and most of the time you can work out how to say a number just by knowing the basics.

I mentioned that once you learn numbers in Chiense you can then start to use it for other purposes listed above. In my next post I will try to go over these in Numbers in Chiense Part 2.