# Question about the use of “零” in money

If I spent 100.50, would I have to say, "一百块零五毛" if yes, why do I have to put the "ling" after the "kuai" since "yibaikuai" already establishes the number 100?

• It has nothing to do for the number 100. ￥1.50 can be read as "一块零五毛". "零" is there to show that you have something more than some "块"s, and that something is smaller than a whole "块". – fefe Jun 23 '18 at 5:55

We say "one hundred dollars and fifty cents" in English. 零 functions the same as 'and' , of course you can say "one hundred dollars fifty cents" or "一百块五毛" but that would make it sound like the phrase is broken into two parts –

If it is "一百五十五块五毛" (\$155.50) , we don't put 零 between "块" and "毛" ; we only add 零 when the previous digit is zero

Examples:

"一百五十块零五毛" (\$150.50)- last digit of 'dollar' is zero, therefore 零 is added before '五毛'

"一百五十五块五毛" (\$155.50)- last digit of 'dollar' is not zero, therefore 零 is not added before '五毛'

"一百万零五千元" (One million and five thousand dollars) - need 零 between 一百万 and 五千元 because the last digit of million is a zero

"一百二十五万四千三百二十一元 (\$1,254,321)- no 零 needed

"Five hundred and five dollars" (\$505) = 五百零五元

"Five hundred fifty five dollars" (\$555) =五百五十五元

• Thank you especially for clarifying that 零 functions the same as "and" in case the last digit is 0, honestly made everything clear. – BoomPhrasing Jun 23 '18 at 6:53
• I feel this has more to do with prosody than anything else. Chinese is quite a rhythmic language. – Vitaly Osipov Jun 25 '18 at 1:08
• @Vitaly Osipov Same in English, "one million and five thousand dollars" sound more natural than "one million, five thousand dollars" – Tang Ho Jun 25 '18 at 1:21
• @TangHo Maybe it does, yet from my uneducated point of view prosody is way more important in day-to-day spoken Chinese than in eg. English (prose). – Vitaly Osipov Jun 25 '18 at 1:30