Learn Numbers in Chinese
Vocabulary, Pinyin, Examples & Test
Learn how to count in Chinese – start with the basic 1 to 10 and continue further to 10s, 100s and 1000s. Our list provides your with tips, example sentences, and the special Chinese hand gestures used for every number from 1 to 10. Master counting in Chinese, and bargain at the market, buy snacks at a convenience store, and shop for groceries like a pro!
This list with real human audio voice recordings recorded by our teachers with standard Mandarin Chinese pronunciation will show you how to pronounce the numbers correctly.
One latte, please.
HAND GESTURE FOR “ONE”, 一 (YI)
To show 一 yī as a gesture (say, when ordering one cup of coffee/tea), point your index finger upwards 👆
the second person
HAND GESTURE FOR 二 (ER), “TWO”
The Chinese hand gesture for 二 (èr), “two”, is a ‘V’ sign made by holding up the index and middle fingers ✌️
HOW TO USE 二 ÈR
The word for “two” in Chinese is special: there are 2 ways to say it depending on the situation. One is 二 (èr), the other is 两 (liǎng). But when it comes to using them in speech, there is a clear distinction.
Here are the 4 cases when to use 二 (èr):
1. When you count 1, 2, 3
一 (yī), 二 (èr), 三 (sān)…
2. To say “the 2nd”
第二个人 dì èr gè rén – the second person
第二杯咖啡 dì èr bēi kāfēi – the second cup of coffee
3. To say “22”
二十二 (èr shí èr) – twenty-two
4. For building numbers in case the number is in the name (e.g. “Terminal 2”)
T2 (t èr) – Terminal 2 (airport terminals in China are often referred to this way: T1, T2, T3)
I have two (younger) brothers
HAND GESTURE 两 (liǎng), “TWO”
The Chinese hand gesture for 两 (liang), “two”, is the same same as for 二 (èr), as they represent the same idea – it’s a ‘V’ sign made by holding up the index and middle fingers ✌️
HOW TO USE 两 (liǎng)
两 (liǎng) is a special word for “two”. Use it when you count things (e.g. “two people”, two cats”, “two sandwiches”, “two dollars).
I have two (younger) brothers
CHINESE HAND GESTURE FOR 三 (SĀN), “THREE”
Most Chinese people use their middle finger + ring finger + little finger to show 3.️ So it looks a lot like an OK gesture 👌
How about we buy 4 apples?
CHINESE HAND GESTURE FOR 四 (SÌ), “FOUR”
Most Chinese people use the 4 fingers of their hand (except the thumb) to show “four”.️
Give me 5 minutes.
HAND GESTURE FOR 五 (wǔ), “FIVE”
The Chinese hand gesture for “five” is one the easiest – it’s just 5 fingers outstretched 🖐
She has 6 friends.
HAND GESTURE FOR 六 (liù), “SIX”
The Chinese hand gesture for 6 is cool – it’s basically a “call me” gesture 🤙
Eggplants are 7 yuan per jin.
HAND GESTURE FOR 七 (qī), “SEVEN”
The Chinese hand gesture for “seven” is cool too – it very much resembles the famous Italian gesture with pinched fingers, “What?” 🤌
It resembles the character 七!
I’d like 8 steamed buns.
HAND GESTURE FOR 八 (bā), “EIGHT”
The Chinese hand gesture for “eight” resembles the character 八️ a lot – it’s the thumb and index fingers stretched wide. Compare it with “six”, 六, to practice the difference!
Apples are 9.9 yuan per jin.
HAND GESTURE FOR 九 (jiǔ), “NINE”
To show “nine” as a hand gesture, bend your index finger in a hook shape.
Persimmons are 10 yuan per jin.
HAND GESTURE FOR 十 (shí), “TEN”
“Ten” is our final Chinese hand gesture. It’s a “hope” sign with fingers crossed 🤞 , which resembles the character 十.
This pen is eight hundred yuan?
My monthly rent is 3,500 yuan.
Tens of thousands of people want to work in this company every year.
It is not a problem for this company to make millions every year.
About 3.6 billion years ago, life appeared on the earth.
It’s already 00:00.
digit(s) / digital
“Six” is a good number in China.
What’s your phone number?
Please arrange these numbers in order.
to arrange; arrangement
The books on the shelf are arranged very neatly.
The Shanghai Municipal Government began to issue new licenses in limited quantities through the “lottery lottery” method.
Please give us five-star praise.
Let’s not go to a starless restaurant.
Test Your Knowledge
Have you learned all the words?
Then it’s time to test yourself!
Choose between the 2 formats: you can practice your knowledge of the Chinese characters or their English translations.