Counting in Chinese

Count from One to Ten

Counting in Chinese is not difficult. On this page we have all you will need, in both audio and video format, to get you on your way to counting in Mandarin, to 10 and beyond.

Start by listening to the mp3 audio of the speaker counting in Chinese and then move on to the video to consolidate your ability with one to ten, then move beyond into the tens and hundreds, even.

It's easier than you think!

Don't worry if the numbers seem to all go by in a rush at first - with repetition it will come into sharper focus.

一 yī
二 èr
三 sān
四 sì
五 wǔ
六 liù
七 qī
八 bā
九 jiǔ
十 shí

Review Counting in Chinese (Plus On to Bigger Numbers)

In this video tutorial, Audrey, your experienced guide, walks you through a clear review of 1 to 10 in Chinese, and then gets you up and running with two and three digit Chinese numbers.

Try to practice numbers in the context of simple dialogues:the first of four easy conversations on the topic of Numbers and Money.

Understanding Number Two in Chinese

The number two that you have heard in the video and mp3s here is pronounced èr (二). However, when saying two, you will often hear speakers use the word liǎng (两). So what's going on here?

Here's how you can understand these pair of characters competing for the number two:

The character èr (二) is always used when counting in Mandarin and when the two is in the tens or ones place. On the other hand, you will want to use liǎng (两) when you are talking about two of some specific thing. For example:

Also, when saying two hundred and something, you may optionally use either èr bǎi (二百) or liǎng bǎi (两百). In spoken language people will tend to say liǎng bǎi (两百).

But don't let this bit confuse you. The more you hear people use the numbers when counting in Chinese or in other situations, you will realize the correct usage naturally without thinking about Chinese grammar rules.

That should be about all you need, aside from some real-world practice, to get you up and counting. Good luck to you, particularly if you are testing your new number skills in the small Chinese shops where the price is almost always negotiable!