Questions tagged [number]

Questions about Chinese numbers and counting.

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Telling time: 零两分 vs 零二分

I want to say that it's 12:02 p.m. Which of the following (or none) is correct and why? 现在中午十二点零两分 or 现在中午十二点零二分
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2 votes
1 answer
61 views

How to pronounce derived scientific units

I would like to know how to pronounce a derived scientific unit. From SI Unit and Prefix Names in Chinese, I have been able to surmise that A/B is pronounced A每B, such that g/m would be 克每米. However, ...
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2 votes
2 answers
109 views

Notes in reading money in Chinese (using 两 and 零)

How should one read "3.24元"? a)三块二毛四 b)三块两毛四 also, "15.08元": a)十五块八分 b)十五块零八分 also, "4.52元" a) 四块五毛二分 b) 四块五毛两分
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6 votes
2 answers
1k views

Does 兩點九 mean 2:09 or 2:45?

I heard somebody using 兩點九 and I thought he means 2:09. Actually, by 兩點九 he means 兩點九個字, or 2:45. Does 兩點九 have two different meanings? Or does it always mean 2:45?
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11 votes
4 answers
478 views

Why is this Chinese clock so strange?

In the classical 1932 American film Shanghai Express starring Marlene Dietrich, the story is going on in 1931 in China on the Beijing–Shanghai railroad, and several times in the course of the film in ...
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1 vote
2 answers
74 views

Ordinal and Cardinal Numbers

I read in a book: 四声(sì​shēng) which is translated in the book as "the four tones" Somewhere else in the same book, I read: 三声变调(sānshēngbiàn​diào) which is translated as "The third ...
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2 votes
1 answer
140 views

Why is there a 零 after 块 when you pronounce 1000.20元? It's 一千块零二毛, but why?

Recently I came across a lesson in a textbook that was about money, numerals, and quantities in general. There was a puzzling entry claiming that 1000.20元 should be pronounced as 一千块零二毛。 Honestly, I ...
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1 vote
3 answers
168 views

Is there an equivalent of "alpha, beta..." for enumeration of software in Chinese?

In English I can do: 1, 2, 3... I, II, III... alpha, beta... (for instance, the "alpha version" of a software) What options are available for enumerations in Chinese? Specially to identify ...
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  • 678
0 votes
2 answers
86 views

How to say this specific number in chinese?

How can I tell this number in chinese, “three million five hundred sixty-seven thousand”? Thanks
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  • 21
1 vote
3 answers
71 views

How many 虾 are 三只半虾?

I was reading about 《三只半虾》 齐白石, 以画虾享誉画坛。 三只虾:3 prawns 半虾:half a prawn 一半只虾: half a prawn 三只半虾:3 and 1 half prawns?? or 3 half prawns = 1 and 1 half prawns?? *三半只虾???= ?
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6 votes
3 answers
862 views

What's the relationship between "separate" and "eight" (old and modern meanings of 八)?

Zhongwen.com says that 八 is an "ideograph representing division", what is easy to see. So the old meaning of "separate" is also clear. But how did it came to represent the number 8?...
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  • 678
2 votes
1 answer
301 views

What does 他得经历九九八十一难 refer to?

I was watching a 西游记 adaptation from Little Fox Chinese and I've come across a sentence with numbers I can't quite understand. I read the translation but yet it doesn't make sense: "观音菩萨吃惊地看着信使。“...
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3 votes
1 answer
99 views

"Banking" alternatives for digit characters?

I heard, that there are more complex "banking" alternatives for digit characters: 一二三四五六七八九十 provided in order to fraud protect. Is this true and how can I find a table for them? May be 零 is and ...
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  • 399
2 votes
3 answers
369 views

Nouns that don't require a measure word

Some of the time nouns don't require measure words. 三年,四周,五天,六秒,七日 ... Are there any more nouns (time nouns or otherwise) that don't require a MW ? Is there a comprehensive list somewhere ?
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3 votes
5 answers
197 views

Can 九十 = "ninety" also mean "nine or ten" (like how 三四 means "three or four")?

It's normal in Chinese to say something like: 他大概三四岁左右 (source) he is probably around 3 or 4 years old This is called Approximating with sequential numbers on the Chinese Grammar Wiki. However, ...
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5 votes
1 answer
139 views

Are there Escher sentences in Chinese? [kinda technical]

I'm a linguist with an extremely superficial knowledge of Chinese, so I'd like to query some native speakers about a grammatical phenomenon I've been thinking about for some time. In Indoeuropean ...
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4 votes
2 answers
731 views

Why people more frequently say "三四个", less frequently say "三五个" or "四五个" or "五六个", and even more less frequently say "四六个"?

Here are the numbers of my google searh result with inverted commas: 三五个:11,400,000 三四个:33,800,000 四五个:14,500,000 五六个:12,600,000 四六个:4,710,000 As can be observed, the frequency of "三四个" stands out ...
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  • 1,893
1 vote
1 answer
82 views

Writing-out numbers in mandarin till 19999 algorithm

My current task includes writing-out numbers in different languages, also mandarin. I have never grappled with mandarin but I checked several resource and tested my algorithm to the best of my believe....
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  • 13
1 vote
4 answers
196 views

Chinese numerals or Arabic numerals?

In formal writting in Chinese, should we write 事情已经过去了一万二千三百四十五天。 or 事情已经过去了12345天。 or 事情已经过去了12,345天。 Which one is considered more standard?
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  • 1,893
3 votes
2 answers
608 views

Is Classical Chinese the shortest language?

Generally speaking, when a lengthy document or a book is translated into different languages, will the classical Chinese be the shortest translation? To put in another way, if the same book is ...
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  • 1,893
1 vote
2 answers
601 views

Should 118 be read as 一百一十八 or 一百十八?

Should the number 118 be read as 一百一十八 or 一百十八? A related question: How to read 2018年? 两千零一十八年? 二千零一十八年? 二零一八年? 两千零十八年? 二千零十八年?
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  • 1,893
2 votes
1 answer
396 views

Why 250 is a rude word in Chinese? [duplicate]

In mordern Chinese, why is the number 250(二百五) a rude word? Why do people use this number for stupid person?
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  • 1,893
6 votes
5 answers
700 views

When do we use "廿", "卅" and "卌"?

I am aware of a related question and I know that "廿" means 20. "卅" means 30. "卌" means 40. But I am wondering how to use them correctly. When and how do we use "廿", "卅" and "卌"? For example, are ...
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  • 1,893
1 vote
2 answers
156 views

Informal asian signs for numbers

Some years ago in Manchester I was attending a English class for foreigners. While waiting for the teacher a Korean or Chinese girl was jotting down some symbols on her notebook. I asked what was she ...
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  • 113
5 votes
1 answer
183 views

Why number 2 has two forms?

二 (èr) and 两 (liăng) I understand when to use which But I'm curious to know why, and correct me if I'm wrong, this is the only number that has 2 forms.
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  • 153
3 votes
6 answers
564 views

When Chinese speakers read Arabic numbers, do they still read them in Chinese?

Often you see Arabic numbers among Chinese texts for example: 我想要321餃子 would that be read as "three hundred" or as "三百二十一"? This may seem obvious but thought I'd seek clarification. Learning the ...
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0 votes
1 answer
126 views

Are all these ways of saying 1.59 in Chinese currency correct?

There seems to be many combinations for how to say e.g. 1.59 in Chinese currency: 一块五毛九分 (yīkuài wǔmáo jiǔfēn) 一块五毛九 (yīkuài wǔmáo jiǔ) 一块五角九分 (yīkuài wǔjiǎo jiǔfēn) 一块五角九 (yīkuài wǔjiǎo jiǔ) 一块五十九分 (...
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1 vote
0 answers
55 views

Which is correct: 一 (yao1) or 幺 (yao1)? [duplicate]

In many sources I have come across the explanation that 一 is pronounced yao1 instead of yi1 when used in things like telephone numbers. For example, my HSK textbooks use 一 (yao1), and I have seen it ...
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  • 297
1 vote
4 answers
320 views

Why is 两十万 (liǎng shí wàn) okay when it contains 两十 (liǎng shí) which is incorrect?

The accepted answer to Number two in chinese: 二 vs 两 writes: Numbers that are larger than 100, e.g. 两百, 两千三百六十二. 百, 千, and 万 can be seen as a sort of measure word. Now, 十万 (shí wàn) means "hundred ...
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3 votes
4 answers
4k views

Is there any distinction between 二百 (èrbǎi) and 两百 (liǎng bǎi) which both mean "two hundred"?

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 ...
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  • 12.6k
4 votes
7 answers
588 views

When should I use 兆 instead of 万亿?

In the following sentence: 据悉,日本政府此次提出了在东京奥运会召开的2020年,使访日游客增至4000万人次,消费额达到8万亿日元的目标。 In this sentence, 万亿 is used instead of 兆, to express 10^12 digit. In Chinese, now 兆(zhào) might be rarely used ...
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  • 5,295
2 votes
5 answers
613 views

兆 as (part of) a number

CEDICT shows 兆 as "… / million / mega- / trillion / tera- / billion (old)". Is it ever actually used numerically, or is it standard to use Arabic numbers (or M/T for prefixes) to eliminate ambiguity? ...
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  • 531
3 votes
1 answer
121 views

Can I express the numbers at more than one decimal point using 成?

I know that if you want to express "X-tenth(s)", you can use 成. For example: 增产三成 上座率有九成。 However, these only express the figure at one decimal point. If you want to express any figure at ...
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  • 5,295
1 vote
2 answers
721 views

Why do the chinese count with 正?

I have seen a couple of shop keepers (in small - mid sized shops) in Hong Kong counting some routine things with this character : "正". The actual tally would start off with the first stoke of that ...
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  • 883
0 votes
2 answers
600 views

How to state fractions with units of measurement? (e.g. 0.75 lb, 1.5 lbs, 1.75 lbs, etc.)

"1 lb" is 一磅 and "half-pound" is 半磅. And "3/4" is 四分之三. So far, so good. But I'm not clear on how to read measurements like 3/4 lb, 1.5 lbs and 1.75 lbs in Chinese. My guesses below would be: 3/4 lb ...
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  • 101
5 votes
2 answers
745 views

How to pronounce 廿卅卌 in Chinese?

I originally just wanted to ask something about 廿 (20). But as I searched on the internet I found 卅(30) and 卌(40) as well, and I have to admit that I didn't know these two. I think 廿 is pronounced as ...
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19 votes
8 answers
2k views

Why is 两 used for quantities of two rather than 二?

I understand that 两 is used instead of 二 when dealing with quantities of two. However, my question is - why? What are the historical reasons behind this? I looked at Wikitionary but it only had ...
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  • 286
5 votes
2 answers
615 views

Expressing numbers in scientific notation

I assume that scientific discussion in Chinese uses scientific notation, such as 5×1012. How would I read such a number aloud? I looked at the rules for saying numbers, as well as the Wikipedia ...
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  • 3,347
2 votes
3 answers
2k views

怎么用汉语说 ”early/mid/late 20's" 或 “low/mid/high" 20's"?

比如,如果我要翻译: The temperature in Beijing tomorrow will be in its low/mid/late 20's 或者 I'm guessing she's in her early/mid/(high or upper) 20's 要怎么翻译? 更新: 1.)一般来说,early/low 等于 20-23, mid 等于 24-...
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3 votes
2 answers
372 views

What's the grammatical structure of 这是你第一次来中国吗?

I am confused about the sentence 这是你第一次来中国吗? I think I know the correct translation: "Is this the first time you go to China?" However, I am confused about the grammatical structure of the sentence. ...
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1 vote
1 answer
248 views

Numbering for mobile verification call to China in Chinese

I am making a chat application , so for number verification I need to make calls (your verification code is 1234) on the number. I want to know if I called to China in Chinese then how the numbers are ...
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1 vote
2 answers
4k views

A good price to offer - Chinese Numerical Significance [closed]

I am trying to buy from an older Chinese couple and am trying to come up with an enticing offer. The listing price is 388K but I am looking to pay around 350K. Someone pointed out that 388 is a good ...
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6 votes
5 answers
1k views

How would I say £10.50?

I'm not sure if it is simply said, "10 英镑 50"? In the UK we often drop the pence at the end and just state the decimal amount (10 pounds 50), but not sure if in Chinese it works the same. Any help ...
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  • 836
6 votes
5 answers
550 views

Why do we have to say 一百 一千 but not 一十?

This has always stumped me as all other base 10 numbers (>10) in Chinese you declare 1 through 9 for the quantity [1] of these units but you only have to declare 2 through 9 for 十 as 1 is implied [2] ...
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  • 1,354
9 votes
4 answers
1k views

份, 个, 本, 两: How do they function in these sentences?

I've been working with Rosetta Stone for about 2 weeks now, and due to the immersion (from the start, the entire program is entirely Chinese—no English anywhere), they don't do any explaining of ...
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14 votes
2 answers
2k views

Where should I place the comma in large numbers?

If writing for an exclusively Chinese audience, would the number 五萬 be written as 5,0000 or 50,000? To flesh out the question, we could consider: 五千 5000 or 5,000 五萬 5,0000 or 50,000 ...
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  • 325
2 votes
3 answers
308 views

质数 vs 素数​​​​​​​​

质数 and 素数 both mean "prime numbers" in chinese. What's the difference in their nuances and usage?
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  • 395
6 votes
4 answers
578 views

一、 marker meaning? Ordinal number?

What does the drop in 一、 mean?
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  • 850
8 votes
2 answers
413 views

Are there more special numerals like 廿?

In Hong Kong herbal tea shops, you will see a tea called "廿四味" (24 flavours) (you will also hear "廿蚊" to mean "20 dollars" in small shops) In this case 廿 (niàn or pán) has the meaning "20". Are ...
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7 votes
3 answers
421 views

How to write 400,002,000 in Chinese properly?

I got a number, 400,002,000, I wonder how to read it? Should it be one of these two? Or something else? 四亿零二千 四亿二千
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