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Lesson 101: Numbers Up To 100
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In this Chinese lesson, we are going to learn how to count up to 100 in Chinese. Hope you can say, read and write numbers up to 100 in Chinese after learning this lesson.

Lecture

Chinese use three different systems for writing numbers: the Arabic system used world-wide and two systems using Chinese characters, one of them is used for formal situations, such as on printed money.

Chinese characters representing numbers correspond to numbers in the spoken language. These are shared with other languages such as Japanese and Korean. Most people in China primarily use the Arabic system for convenience, with Chinese numbers used mainly in some formal occasions.

In English we know the numbers from zero up to twenty require twenty-one different words, plus more words for the tens, e.g. "forty". The Chinese counting system is fairly easy and straightforward. There are not as many number words as in English. There are Chinese characters representing the numbers zero through nine, and other characters representing larger numbers such as tens, hundreds, thousands and so on.

In Lesson 58 Chinese Numbers, we have learned how to count up to 20. In this lesson, we learn how to count up to 100.

First, let's start with number "zero (0)". "0" is " (líng)" or " (líng)" in Chinese. There are two different Chinese characters. Please refer to the lesson transcript to see how to write the Chinese characters.

"Hundred" is " (bǎi)" in Chinese. "100" is "一百 (yī bǎi)".

We can make two-digit numbers using first the digit itself, from 1 to 9, then the place, 10.

For example, 21, the ones' place is 1, " (yī)" in Chinese. The tens' place is 2, "二十 (èr shí)" in Chinese. So 21 is "二十一 (èr shí yī)".

Another example, 48, the ones' place is 8, " (bā)" in Chinese. The tens' place is 4, "四十 (sì shí)" in Chinese. So 48 is "四十八 (sì shí bā)".

One more example, 99, the ones' place is 9, " (jiǔ)" in Chinese. The tens' place is 9, "九十 (jiǔ shí)" in Chinese. So 99 is "九十九 (jiǔ shí jiǔ)".

In the lesson transcript, you can see a table representing a brief description of the Chinese Number System.

A Brief Description of the Chinese Number System

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 100
Simplified
Formal Simp. (Daxie)
Pinyin líng èr sān liù jiǔ shí bǎi

Dialog 1

Aihua
huìxiěshùlíngdehànma
Amy
huì
níngāngcáijiāoguòmen
shìgeyuánquān
Aihua
huìcóngshǔdàoshíma
Amy
huì
èrsān
liùjiǔshí
Aihua
huìcóngshíshǔdàoèrshíma
Amy
huì
shíshíèrshísānshíshí
shíliùshíshíshíjiǔèrshí
Aihua
láijiāocóngèrshíshǔdàosānshí
èrshíèrshíèrèrshísān
èrshíèrshí
èrshíliùèrshíèrshí
èrshíjiǔsānshí

"数字 (shù zì)" refers to number. "汉字 (hàn zì)" means "Chinese character".

" (zì)" means "symbol". To write is " (xiě)" in Chinese.

" (nín)" is a polite form of " (nǐ)", which means you. "刚才 (gāng cái)" means "just now". " (jiāo)" is to teach, "教过 (jiāo guò)" means "taught".

Do you remember (le)? We learned that to show past tense, add " (le)" after a verb in Chinese. For example, to learn is " (xué)", we use "学了 (xué le)" to show past tense, which means "learned".

We also can use " (guò)" to show past tense. So we also can say "学过 (xué guò)", which also means "learned".

"圆圈 (yuán quān)" means "circle". So you know that the Chinese character of zero is a circle.

"我来教你 (wǒ lái jiāo nǐ)" means "Let me teach you". So "Let me teach you Chinese" is "我来教你中文 (wǒ lái jiāo nǐ zhōng wén)".

Let’s translate this dialog into English.

AihuaCan you write the Chinese character of number 0?
AmyI can.
You just taught us.
It is a circle.
AihuaCan you count from 1 up to 10?
AmyI can.
One, two, three, four, five,
six, seven, eight, nine, ten.
AihuaCan you count from 10 up to 20?
AmyI can.
Eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen,
sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, nineteen, twenty.
AihuaLet me teach you counting from 20 to 30.
Twenty one, twenty two, twenty three,
twenty four, twenty five,
twenty six, twenty seven, twenty eight,
twenty nine, thirty.

Dialog 2

Aihua
néngshìzhecóngsānshíshǔdàoshíma
Amy
hǎo
sānshísānshíèrsānshísān
sānshísānshí
sānshíliùsānshísānshí
sānshíjiǔshí
Aihua
shàngmiànxiāngcóngshíshǔdàojiǔshí
shíwèishùjiā
Amy
láishìzhecóngjiǔshíshǔdàobǎi
jiǔshíjiǔshíèrjiǔshísān
jiǔshíjiǔshí
jiǔshíliùjiǔshíjiǔshí
jiǔshíjiǔbǎi
Aihua
hěnhǎo

"你能试着 (nǐ néng shì zhe)" means "can you try to do something". "To try" is " (shì)" in Chinese. For example, can you try to read this book? "你能试着读这本书吗? (nǐ néng shì zhe dú zhè běn shū ma)"

"和上面相似 (hé shàng miàn xiāng sì)" means "similarly or very much alike". "相似 (xiāng sì)" means "similar". "上面 (shàng miàn)" means "above", and " (hé)" means "with" here. So literally, "和上面相似 (hé shàng miàn xiāng sì)" means " It is similar compared with above sentences".

"十位数 (shí wèi shù)" is "tenth place".

" (jiā)" means to add.

Let’s translate this dialog into English.

AihuaCan you try to count from thirty to forty?
AmyOk.
Thirty one, thirty two, thirty three,
thirty four, thirty five,
thirty six, thirty seven, thirty eight,
thirty nine, forty.
AihuaSimilarly, to count from forty up to ninety,
add one to the tenth place.
AmyLet me try to count from ninety to one hundred.
Ninety one, ninety two, ninety three,
ninety four, ninety five,
ninety six, ninety seven, ninety eight,
ninety nine, one hundred.
AihuaVery good.

Word Dictionary and Stroke Order

Click the Chinese character you want to learn!

Worksheet

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Pinyin Exercise and Quiz
Lesson 101: Numbers Up To 100

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