# If Chinese characters are ever used like numbers like in English

In English, especially in the software/programming world, you use letters as numbers a lot such as with hex encoding, using the alphabet `0123456789abcdef` for 16 numbers, so you might write a number as `af`. Other times we might do a bulleted list and go:

``````a) something...
b) another thing...
c) ...
``````

I'm wondering if there is anything like that in Chinese, for example, like a list like:

``````顧) ...

...
``````

Or a hexidecimal-like system, numbering `123...顧書..`.

If so, wondering what are some examples of it so I can see what it looks like.

## 1 Answer

Here are some common choices

## Use Arabic numerals

This is the most common way nowadays.

``````1) 第一点
2) 第二点
3) ……
``````

## Use numbers in Chinese

It's OK but why not use Arabic numerals?

``````一）第一点

``````

And their 大写数字 form

``````壹）第一点

``````

## Use 天干 and 地支

They are quite rarely used today.

• 天干：甲(jiǎ)、乙(yǐ)、丙(bǐng)、丁(dīng)、戊(wù)、己(jǐ)、庚(gēng)、辛(xīn)、壬(rén)、癸(guǐ)
• 地支：子(zǐ)、丑(chǒu)、寅(yín)、卯(mǎo)、辰(chén)、巳(sì)、午(wǔ)、未(wèi)、申(shēn)、酉(yǒu)、戌(xū)、亥(hài)

Use them like this:

``````甲）第一点

``````

and

``````子）第一点

``````

## Use Latin Letters

Use a ~ z would be acceptable some how. I would say they would appear more common than 天干/地支 system.

When try to write hex numbers, you should use 0-9A-F as they are in English. At least I don't know any other way to write it in Chinese.

• Japanese wikipedia says that You may use `〇一二三四五六七八九十甲乙丙丁戊 ` as `0-9A-F` for hex numbers in Japanese. But I had never seen this method in Chinese.
– tsh
Mar 2, 2019 at 5:14