I learned that two tigers is said "两只老虎" but I wonder how to say twelve tigers, twenty two tigers in Chinese. Is that 十二只老虎 and 二十二只老虎 or 十两只老虎 and 二十两只老虎

  • 1
    Should be 十二只老虎 and 二十二只老虎.
    – user4072
    Aug 20, 2014 at 4:01

1 Answer 1


As @songyuanyao says 十二只老虎 and 二十二只老虎 are correct.

You cannot use here unless you literally meant to say "12 ounces of tiger (meat?)". The reason is that actually means "one pair". That is, 两只老虎 is "a pair of tigers". Notice that it is specifically one pair; which means you cannot use 二十两 to mean "twenty pairs" either.

Now, does get used in bigger numbers. But that's only strictly for two of something". For example:

  • 一千兩百 - "One thousand and two hundred"
  • 兩百 - "two hundred"
  • 兩百兆 - "two hundred trillion"

In these cases, you are saying "a pair of one hundred", regardless of the rest of the number. This works because 100 is a named number in Chinese (as it is in English). The other numbers this works for are:

  • 千 - thousand
  • 萬 - ten thousand
  • 億 - hundred million
  • 兆 - trillion / million
  • ...and other ridiculously large numbers that you'll likely never ever encounter.

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