Both 二百 (èrbǎi) and 两百 (liǎng bǎi) mean "two hundred". Baidu gives them 55.1 million and 31.5 million hits, respectively, indicating 二百 is somewhat more common. I'm wondering if there's any difference between the two, or if they're identical.

Question: Is there any distinction between 二百 and 两百?

Baidu Zhidao suggest people in the south of China prefer 两百, but I'm not sure if this is accurate.

This question does not apply here: Number two in chinese: 二 vs 两. I'm aware both are acceptable for meaning "two hundred".

  • 1
    in Taiwan you will only hear 兩百 Apr 17, 2018 at 5:20
  • there's really not much difference. personally, I feel 二百 a little bit more formal than 两百, just a little bit ~ Apr 17, 2018 at 5:34
  • There is no different in meaning. There may be personal or region preference.
    – fefe
    Apr 17, 2018 at 5:47
  • "实用现代汉语语法"第二编 词类 第三章 数词和量词 第一节 数词 五、几个特殊数词的用法 (一)[二]和[两] 2。用在位数词前 "十"前只能用"二";"百"、"千"、"万"、"亿"位于数列中间时,一般用"二",处于开头时,"百"前可以用"两","千"、"万"、"亿"前通常用"两"。如"二十"、"二(两)百"、"二(两)百五十万"、"两千二百万"、"一百二十万"、"两亿二千万"。
    – user6065
    Apr 17, 2018 at 6:10
  • 二百 is more common than 两百 in mainland China, but 两千 is more common than 二千. Either 两百 or 二千 is right but less used.
    – xenophōn
    Apr 17, 2018 at 11:57

3 Answers 3


This is more idiolectal. I personally use more 两百, which are also the preference of the most people I met within so many years.

However, in some context, it should be fixed. For example, we say someone is 二百五 which means someone is an idiot. In this context, 二百五 sounds idiomatic.


Besides the answers about the meanings in number, I want to add a special usage of 二百, which could be an abbr. of 第二百货公司。


I specifically remember asking my Mom about this in my childhood years, because it seemed so bizarre. I believe the answer was that 二、貳 are to be used for proper writing. While I would say 一千兩百塊,I would write 一千二百元。

On the Internet, I came across similar forum discussions, which I’m sure you’ve seen for yourself. Here’s a more authoritative one, although what it says about usage for number values isn’t quite what I remember. Then again, language is fluid.

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