Best Way to learn Mandarin Numbers

Table of Contents

Introduction

No matter where you travel, knowing numbers is necessary for daily living. When discussing numbers, our fingers are not always the best tool. Yet mastering Chinese numbers has so many other advantages. 

Why Learn Mandarin Numbers? 

There is no doubting the beauty and complexity of Mandarin. Mastering Chinese may be listed among a person’s life’s greatest accomplishments. It sounds like a tough endeavour to learn Chinese numbers. Many people are so amazed to learn that several facets of the language, including numbers in Mandarin, are quite simple when they start. Learning to count in Mandarin could not be more straightforward. There are relatively few tricks to get you since Chinese numerals are quite simple and follow a very logical pattern.

By the end of this article, you’ll be able to count from 1 to 100 in Chinese numbers with pronunciation and deal with some more challenging parts of Chinese numbers. We’ll demonstrate the best way to learn Chinese numbers 1 to 100, how to pronounce Chinese numbers, and how to memorize Mandarin numbers with ease in this article. 

How does the Chinese Number System work? 

The Chinese term for numbers is 数字 (shùzì), which translates to “counting words.” It’s important to note how Chinese numbers are written before we look at the Chinese numeral system itself. For writing numerals, Chinese uses its own set of characters. Yet these days, China also uses the same “international” numbers that are well-known across the globe. We’ve included pinyin pronunciations of the numbers in this article, along with the characters, to make it simpler for you to see how they are pronounced. Remember also that you may just as well see them written in normal numerals as in Chinese characters in China.

Mandarin Numbers Chart and its Pronunciation

Learning the lower numbers is quite simple. The characters are not only easy to read and write since they have just one basic component each, but they are also some of the simplest in the language due to their simplicity. These ten words and characters make up the fundamental numbers in Mandarin. 

The chart below shows the numbers 1 to 10 in Chinese with pronunciation. 

The table will also enable you to learn Chinese number pronunciation from 1 to 10. Also, it’s incredibly simple to learn and memorise the Chinese numerals from 11 to 100. As they only utilise the ten characters from 1 to 10 with a limit of three characters per number, there are no additional characters to introduce. The following is the pattern:

It is ten (十) plus the number from 11 to 19. So, ten one is eleven; ten two is twelve, and so on. The multiple of 10, plus ten, followed by the multiple of one, is what happens from 20 onward. As a result, twenty-one is two ten-one. If the number is a zero, there are just two characters left: the multiple and the ten.

Here is the Mandarin number system for numbers 10 to 100.

10 – 十 (shí)

20 – 二十 (èr shí)

30 – 三十 (sān shí)

40 – 四十 (sì shí)

50 – 五十 (wǔ shí)

60 – 六十 (liù shí)

70 – 七十 (qī shí)

80 – 八十 (bā shí)

90 – 九十 (jiǔ shí)

100 – 一百 (yī bǎi)

How to Use the Mandarin Number System? 

The classifiers, often called counter words, are one aspect of Chinese numerals that may be quite perplexing. Every time an item is tallied, these particles are inserted between the number and the noun. Similar word classification is often used in English, as in the expressions “three cups of coffee” and “four pairs of shoes.” Yet, a classifier is necessary for every number and noun pair in Mandarin. If you leave it out, it may be quite challenging for native speakers to understand your phrase. You can omit the number 1 if there is just one of something, but you still need to use the classifier. This is what “a” in English would look like.

In Chinese, there are thousands of distinct classifiers. Each classifier assigns a category to a collection of related items, typically based on the objects’ usage or form. The generic classifier “个|ge” can be used to classify items that don’t fall into any of those categories. Below are some examples of phrases using classifiers, along with a more detailed description of the classifiers:

Mingming has three dogs. | 明明有三只狗。| míngmíng yǒu sān zhī gǒu 

My mother gave me four books. | 我妈妈给我四本书。| wǒ māmā gěi wǒ sì běn shū

He purchased two pairs of shoes. | 他买了两双鞋子。| tā mǎile liǎng shuāng xiézi 

Writing Phone Number in Mandarin:

 我的号码是: “一三零九四二五零六三七” “yāo sān líng jiǔ sì èr wǔ líng liù sān qī is written in pinyin as “Wǒ de hàomǎ sh”

Using English: I may be reached at “13094250637.”

While pronouncing the phone number, you can pause while speaking your phone number in either of two ways:

Way 1: 1 – 3 – 9 – 4 – 2 – 5 – 6 – 7 (yāo – sān – líng – jiǔ – sì – èr – wǔ – líng – liù – sān – qī)

Way 2: 130-9425-0637 (yāo sān líng – jiǔ sì èr wǔ – líng liù sān qī)

The pronunciation may differ and can be interpreted as yāo when the number 1 is given as a series of digits rather than a quantity.

Steps to Learn and Memorize Mandarin Numbers

The strategy to learn numbers in Mandarin is rather straightforward:

A horizontal stroke, 一 (yī), stands for the number 1, two horizontal strokes, 二 (èr), stand for the number 2; three strokes, 三 (sān), as you might expect, stand for the number 3! And the number 4? – Four lines, of course! But it’s not only about using parallel horizontal strokes.

Once you’ve mastered the characters for  4 (四 sì), 5 (五 wǔ), 6 (六 liù), 7 (七 qī), 8 ( 八 bā), 9 (九 jiǔ) and 10 (十 shí), learning Chinese numerals up to 99 (jishji) will be a breeze.

But remember that after three, the “line” lettering will begin to shift. Moreover, before you start practising, consider the following advice for writing the digits two and three on the line: You must make the line below for number two longer. For number three, the bottom line should be the longest, and the middle line should be shorter than the top one.

The trick is to memorize Chinese numbers till 10. After you can count to ten, counting to one hundred is merely a game of compounding and addition. To help you comprehend how to count to 100 in Mandarin, consider the following examples:

Say “two ten one,” or  二十一èrshíyī, to express the number 21. The numbers 22 and 31 are pronounced as “two ten two,” 二十二 èr shí’èr, and “three ten one,” 三十一 sānshíyī respectively.

Then 100 introduces a new word: 一百 (yī bǎi)

The Chinese character for zero is 零, which is pronounced ling. When one or more 0’s are in the middle of the number as placeholders, this is employed. It is only required if there are any numbers after the 0 or 0’s that are not 0. Hence, 零 is only pronounced when it is sandwiched between two numbers other than 0 and 1.

How long does it take to learn Mandarin Numbers? 

Learning Mandarin would typically take a native English speaker over 2200 hours of study time to become fluent. As a result, mastering Mandarin may unquestionably be listed among a person’s greatest accomplishments. You may learn Chinese numbers organically with useful themes and real Chinese conversations recorded by native Chinese people on YouTube, the fastest method to speak languages. Simple everyday learning of 5 mins per day also goes a long way. You’ll become hooked since it’s so much fun, and in no time, you’ll be speaking Chinese like a native! 

Tips for learning the Mandarin Numbers Fast

  • The trick is to memorize numbers till 10. After you can count to ten, counting to one hundred is merely a game of compounding and addition. 
  • Keep in mind that after three, the “line” lettering will begin to shift. Moreover, before you start practising, consider the following advice for writing the digits two and three on the line: 

You must make the line below for number two longer. For number three, the bottom line should be the longest, and the middle line should be shorter than the top one.

  • If number 1 is given as a list of numbers rather than a single number, the pronunciation may change and be interpreted as yāo.
  • Put the measurements of the numbers involved in order to express a random number. For instance, 500, 30, and 6 are used to express the number 536. Hence, it is 五百三十六(wǔ bǎi sān shí liù). It’s not that hard to understand!
  • The point at which things become a little more challenging is 10,000. This is so because the term and character for “10,000” in Chinese, which is 万, are both single. This implies that after you reach 10,000, you must start counting again.

FAQs

Q. What are some superstitions related to Chinese numbers?

A. The number 4 is thought to be bad. If you’ve ever visited China or a nation with a sizable Chinese population, you may have noticed that skyscrapers virtually invariably skip the fourth story.

Q. What is an interesting fact about Mandarin?

A. In Mandarin, the number 1 exhibits a similar effect. On the phone, it’s simple to mix up yī (1) with qī (7). Use yāo (幺) to denote one as a solution to this. As a result, people are considerably more likely to pronounce yāo than yī when reciting phone numbers.

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