# Chinese Numbers

Home China Facts Chinese Numbers

Chinese Numbers from 0 to 10

Like Chinese language, Chinese numbers are written quite differently from the Arabic numeral system, which first came into China between the 13-14 century.

It wasn't popularly used until the 20th century, but the Chinese numeral system, which is also a base-10 system, has prevailed all the time.

Chinese people use characters for numbers. Like shown above, there is a character for each number from zero to ten. Zero can be writen as a circle in some informal situations, and 2 is writen and spoken as "Liang" very often when not used in two-digit numbers.

The characters demostrated on this page are in Simplified Chinese, which is used in mainland China.

## Count Numbers Chinese Way

From 0 to 10, count the numbers as they are.

11 in Chinese count is "ten one", ; 12 is "ten two"... 19 is "ten nine", and so on.

20 is "two ten" , 21 is "two ten one" , and so on.

30 is "three ten" , and so on.

100 is "one handred" ; 200 is "two hundred" or ; and so on.

While 10 is the base number, after 10, Chinese numerical system uses hundred , thousand , ten thousand and 100 million to count.

1,234 would be .

1,234,567 would be .

## The Chinese Numbers on Important Documents

As you can see, there are few strokes in some of the Chinese numbers, especially for the numbers 1,2, and 3. It's easy for a person to change it. Just add a horizotal stroke and the number can increase dramaticaly.

To prevent this from happening, Chinese people use a set of more complicated numerical characters on bank statements, checks and other important documents. These characters are shown as below:

## Shorthand Numerical Characters

There are two common shorthand characters for 20 and 30. Newspapers and some older writings use them very often, especially when it comes to date.

The shorthand for twenty is "Nian":

The shorthand for thirty is "Sa":

## Fractions, Percents and Decimal Points

#### In Fractions

China uses fen zhi followed by the numerator and following the denominator. The two characters look like this: . For example:

1/2 would be "two fen zhi one", in Chinese: .

3/4 would be "four fen zhi three": .

#### In Percents

In percents, China also uses fen zhi to express percentage. For example, 50% would be "hundred fen zhi fifty" (Don't say " one hundred fen zhi fifty"), in Chinese: .

#### In Decimal Point

Chinese people use dian to express the decimal point. The character is: , which means "dot" or "point".