Learn Chinese for Free - Lesson 6

LESSON 6

Today's Chinese characters:

Today we're going to learn how to correctly say in Chinese "two persons" and how to count from 100 to 99,999,999.

Characters' Knowledge Meter
Today with this lesson your characters' knowledge will reach 4.41% of all the Chinese characters usage! 4.41%

Characters' Essentials

Character Pronunciation Meaning
liang3
-Two.
liang3 is generally used before measure words.
Don't use er4
bai3
-Hundred
qian1
-Thousand
wan4
-Ten thousand

Description and Examples

As said explaining the different use of er4 and liang3, er4 is generally not used before measure words.

Infact, the correct Chinese phrase for "two persons" is:

liang3ge4ren2 translation: two persons

Numbers Key Points

The method that I personally use to figure in my mind numbers in Chinese is to associate the appropriate Chinese character to the 1, 2, 3, 4 or 8 zeros number.

1 zero numbers

The key Chinese character for 1 zero numbers is shi2.

The Chinese character after it indicates units, the one before it indicates tens.

Only remember that numbers from 10 to 19 don't have yi1 before shi2, and that "zero" is never written or read when at the end of a number (as in 10, 20, 30 or 100, 2000, 30000).

Examples

shi2wu3 fifteen

wu3shi2wu3 fifty-five

jiu3shi2 ninety

2 zeros numbers

Key Chinese character is bai3.

After it we would put numbers from 1 to 99, as explained under the preceding subtitle (in this case, numbers from 10 to 19 do have yi1 before shi2).

The Chinese character before bai3 indicates hundreds (yi1 must be written to indicate one hundred).

Examples

yi4bai3 one hundred

yi4bai3yi1shi2 one hundred and ten

san1bai3 three-hundred

san1bai3san1shi2 three-hundred and thirty

san1bai3san1shi2san1 three-hundred and thirty-three

I've not mentioned numbers from 101 to 109 because you still don't know how to say and write "zero". Tomorrow you'll study the character for "zero", even if it's not among the 1000 most used Chinese characters.

PRONUNCIATION RULE: When two third tones are in succession, the first third tone changes into a second tone, that is: 3rd + 3rd changes into 2nd + 3rd.

For example, wu3bai3 wu3 bai3 (meaning: 500) is actually pronounced as wu2 bai3; and jiu3bai3 jiu3 bai3 (meaning: 900) is pronounced jiu2 bai3.

3 zeros numbers

Key Chinese character: qian1.

The Chinese character before it indicates thousands. After it, numbers from 1 to 999 as said above.

Examples

yi4qian1 one thousand

jiu3qian1jiu3bai3jiu3shi2jiu3 nine-thousand nine-hundred ninety-nine

4 zeros numbers

Chinese language has a single key character for four zeros numbers: wan4.

The Chinese character before it indicates tens of thousands. It's followed by numbers from 1 to 9999 written as usual.

Examples

yi2wan4 ten-thousand

yi2wan4er4qian1 twelve-thousand

si4wan4si4qian1si4bai3si4shi2si4 forty-four thousand four-hundred forty-four

8 zeros numbers

Chinese language has also a single key character indicating hundreds of millions. It's not among the 1000 most used Chinese characters. Anyway, in order to complete the subject "numbers", tomorrow you'll study it together with the character for "zero".

Exercise

Pronounce as fast as possible the following numbers:

11,111
33,333
99,999


Chinese Character 14 of 1000
character's usage score # 133
frequency 0.1522449%

Character Help Animation Help Strokes Help
7

Pronunciation Help Meaning Help
liang3
-Two
-ATTENTION
Use of er4 and liang3: liang3 is generally used before measure words and before ban4. er4 is always used when counting, as decimal number, as fraction, as percentage, as ordinal number, before bai3, before shi2 or as unit. Both can be used before Chinese traditional measures of length, capacity or weight, but er4 is used more frequently (must say er4liang3, cannot say liang2liang3). Before modern measures of length, capacity or weight (as kilometer or ton), liang3 is used more frequently instead. Both can be used before qian1, wan4, and yi4. Anyway, in numbers with qian1 preceded by wan4 or yi4, before qian1 is used more frequently er4.
-Some, a few
-Both (sides), either (side)
-A measure word (a unit of weight = 50 grams)

This character has a different traditional version.

Traditional version HelpPronunciation HelpMeaning Help
liang3(same as simplified one's)


Chinese Character 15 of 1000
character's usage score # 407
frequency 0.0537136%

Character Help Animation Help Strokes Help
6

Pronunciation Help Meaning Help
bai3
-Hundred
-All
-Very
bo2
-A surname

There's no difference between the simplified and the traditional version of this character.Help


Chinese Character 16 of 1000
character's usage score # 599
frequency 0.0350602%

Character Help Animation Help Strokes Help
3

Pronunciation Help Meaning Help
qian1
-Thousand; a great number of
-A surname

There's no difference between the simplified and the traditional version of this character.Help


Chinese Character 17 of 1000
character's usage score # 322
frequency 0.0693629%

Character Help Animation Help Strokes Help
3

Pronunciation Help Meaning Help
wan4
-Ten-thousand; myriad, all
-Extremely
-A surname
mo4
-First character of the Chinese surname mo4qi2 pinyin: mo4 qi2

This character has a different traditional version.

Traditional version HelpPronunciation HelpMeaning Help
wan4(same as simplified one's)

LESSON 6
WearYourChineseName -
Shanghai, China
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