(#25) Numbers / 一二三

Another great part of the chinese language is the number system, the very simple number system.

ling2 zero
yi1 one
er2 two
san1 three
si4 four
wu3 five
liu4 six
qi1 seven
ba1 eight
jiu3 nine
shi2 ten

When it comes to eleven you just need to put 十 shi2 and 一 yi1 together, think of it as “10,1”, and it becomes 十一 shi2 yi1. The same goes for twelve, where you just need to put 十 and 二 together to become 十二 shi2 er4.

十一 shi2 yi1 eleven
十二 shi2 er4 twelve
十三 shi2 san1 thirteen
十九 shi2 jiu3 nineteen
二十 er4 shi2 twenty

When it comes to twenty, think of it as “2,10”, and it is hence 二十 er4 shi2. Twenty-one is “2,10,1” and therefore 二十一 er4 shi2 yi1.

二十一 er4 shi2 yi1 twenty-one
二十二 er4 shi2 er4 twenty-two
二十三 er4 shi2 san1 twenty-three
二十九 er4 shi2 jiu3 twenty-nine
三十 san1 shi2 thirty

I think you get the drift don’t you? It goes on until 100, where it becomes 百 bai3.

一百 yi1 bai3 one hundred
一百零一 yi1 bai3 ling2 yi1 one hundred and one
一百零二 yi1 bai3 ling2 er4 one hundred and two
一百零三 yi1 bai3 ling2 san1 one hundred and three
一百零九 yi1 bai3 ling2 jiu3 one hundred and nine
一百十 yi1 bai3 shi2 one hundred and ten
一百十一 yi1 bai3 shi2 yi1 one hundred and eleven

Etc etc etc, until 1,000, which is 千 qian1, and 10,000 which is 万 wan4, and 100,000 which is 十万 shi2 wan4.

Quite simple correct? Basically your job is 80% done once you know 0 to 10 by heart. Keep practicing these numbers yourself, the next few lessons will need them.

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