Languages › Mandarin Understanding the Use of Numbers in Mandarin Chinese Share Flipboard Email Print Zhi-Wei Wu/EyeEm/Getty Images Mandarin Vocabulary Mandarin History and Culture Pronunciation Understanding Chinese Characters By Qiu Gui Su Chinese Language Expert Qiu Gui Su is a native Mandarin speaker who has taught Mandarin Chinese for over 20 years. our editorial process Qiu Gui Su Updated February 24, 2020 Mandarin Chinese numbers are one of the first things a student should learn. Besides being used for counting and money, they are also used for time expressions such as weekdays and months. The Mandarin numbering system is a bit different from English. For example, the number '2' has two forms. 二 (èr) is used for counting, and 兩 / 两 (traditional/simplified) (liǎng) is used with a measure word. Measure words are used extensively in Mandarin Chinese and specify the 'type' of the thing being discussed. The most common 'all purpose' measure word is 個 / 个 (gè). Note that the pronunciation spellings used here are Pinyin. This article focuses on the actual numbers. If you want advice on how to learn to count in Mandarin with a step-by-step guide, check out this article: Learning to count in Chinese Large Numbers Large numbers also present a challenge. The next major division after 1,000 is 10,000, written as 一萬 / 一万 ( yī wàn). So, numbers above 10,000 are expressed as "one ten thousand," "two ten thousands" and so on up to 100,000,000, which is a new character 億 / 亿 (yì). The only vocabulary needed for all the numbers up to 100 are 0 to 10. The numbers from 10 to 19 are expressed as '10-1' (11), '10-2' (12) etc. Twenty is expressed as '2-10', thirty is '3-10' etc. When there is a zero in a number, such as '101', it must be stated: for example one-hundred zero one (yī bǎi líng yī). Mandarin Number Table Note that there are also fraud-proof variants of many of these characters. 0 ling 零 1 yī 一 2 èr 二 3 sān 三 4 sì 四 5 wǔ 五 6 liù 六 7 qī 七 8 bā 八 9 jiǔ 九 10 shí 十 11 shí yī 十一 12 shí èr 十二 13 shí sān 十三 14 shí sì 十四 15 shí wǔ 十五 16 shí liù 十六 17 shí qī 十七 18 shí bā 十八 19 shí jiǔ 十九 20 èr shí 二十 21 èr shí yī 二十一 22 èr shí èr 二十二 ... 30 sān shí 三十 40 sì shí 四十 50 wǔ shí 五十 60 liù shí 六十 70 qī shí 七十 80 bā shí 八十 90 jiǔ shí 九十 100 yì bǎi 一百 101 yì bǎi líng yī 一百零一 102 yì bǎi líng èr 一百零二 ... 1000 yì qiān 一千 1001 yì qiān líng yī 一千零一 ... 10,000 yì wàn 一萬 Learn By Doing The best way of learning is by doing. Start counting things you encounter in your everyday life in Mandarin, such as the number of steps in the stairs, how much time there's left before you get off work, or how many push-ups you've done. When to Use "Liang" Versus "Er" in Chinese Two Tigers: A Mandarin Chinese Children's Song How Do You Count Above 10,000 in Chinese? Which Measure Word Should You Use When Speaking Chinese? Telling Time in Mandarin Chinese Dates and Days in Mandarin Chinese Is It Better to Learn Mandarin or Cantonese? Why Mandarin Chinese is harder than you think Step-by-Step Guide to Learning Chinese What Are The Four Mandarin Chinese Tones? Which Parts of the World Speaks Mandarin Chinese? Mandarin Chinese Pronouns Understanding Mandarin Chinese Tones Learn Mandarin Chinese Travel Vocabulary How Do You Use Time Phrases in Mandarin Chinese? How Did Mandarin Become China's Official Language?