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Survival and Travel Chinese Part 2: Numbers and Shopping

Once you have mastered part 1 of our Survival Chinese guide, let's learn some more words and characters to help you during your trip to China.

In this lesson, you'll learn the number system and some basic phrases for shopping. You'll also learn how to ask for the time:

PinyinEnglishChinese Character (simplified)Comments
ling0
1
èr2
sān3
4
5
liù6
7
8
jiǔ9
shí10
shí yī11十一
shí èr12十二
èr shí20二十
sān shí30三十
yì bǎi100一百
yì bǎi líng yì101一百零一If there is a zero in front of the one's place, you must state it (except if all the numbers are zero)
yì bǎi sān shí èr132一百三十二
liù bǎi600六百
yì qiān1000一千
yì wàn10,000一万
yì wàn líng èr bǎi wǔ shí10,250一万零二百五十If there is a zero in front of the one's place, you must state it (except if all the numbers are zero)
kuàidollar
máotenth place for cents
fēnhundredth place for cents
qiánmoney
duōshaohow much多少
zhèthis
General measure word
zhè gèthis one这个
hěnvery
guìexpensive
piányicheap便宜
diǎno'clock / a bit more
fēnzhōngminutes分钟
xiànzàinow现在
how much/how many
jǐdiǎnwhat time几点
leA modal particle

Let's try some simple Mandarin phrases using the vocabulary above:

EnglishPinyinChinese Characters (simplified)
How much is that?Zhè ɡe duōshǎo qián?这个多少钱?
9 RMBJiǔ kuài九块
99.80 RMBJiǔ shí jiǔ kuài bā máo九十九块八毛
99.85 RMBJiǔ shí jiǔ kuài bā máo wǔ fēn九十九块八毛五分
This one is very expensive.Zhè ɡe hěn guì这个很贵
This one is very cheap.Zhè ɡe hěn piányi这个很便宜
A bit more cheaper.Piányi diǎn便宜点
What time is it now?Xiànzài jǐ diǎn le?现在几点了?
Now it's 12:45Xiànzài shí èr diǎn sì shí wǔ fēn现在十二点四十五分

Please try part 3 of our Chinese survival guide.


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