Big Numbers In Chinese
Big numbers in Chinese are confusing if you think in English terms. In this infographic, we teach you everything you need to know about big numbers in Chinese.
A main Difference
In English, we place the comma at every 3 digits, or say every 3 digits in a group.
But in Chinese, we place the comma at every 4 digits, or say every 4 digits in a group.
Numbers in Chinese Categories
A big number (we only talk about a number 16 digits or less) can fall into 4 categories, each category contains 4 digits, while each digit corresponds to a name.
- “Small numbers category”, including “个 gè, ones” “十 shí, tens” “百 bǎi, hundreds” and “千 qiān, thounsands.“
- “万 Wàn category”,
- “亿 Yì category”, and
- “兆 Zhào category”.
We made a table to show you the relationship and difference when talking about huge numbers in Chinese.
The columns from left to right are Number, Short scale name in English, Chinese character and pinyin, and Chinese name literal translation to English.
Every 4 digits in a category, the big numbers in Chinese will look like the list below:
|Number||Short scale name in English||Chinese character and pinyin||Chinese name literal translation to English|
|10,0000 = 10^5||One-Hundred Thousand||十万|
|100,0000 = 10^6||One Million||一百万|
Yī bǎi wàn
|1000,0000 = 10^7||Ten Million||一千万|
Yī Qiān wàn
|1,0000,0000 = 10^8||One-Hundred Million||一亿|
|10,0000,0000 = 10^9||One Billion||十亿|
|Ten One-Hundred Million|
|100,0000,0000 = 10^10||Ten Billion||一百亿|
Yī bǎi Yì
|One-Hundred One-Hundred Million|
|1000,0000,0000 = 10^11||One-Hundred Billion||一千亿|
Yī Qiān yì
|One-Thousand One-Hundred Million|
|1,0000,0000,0000 = 10^12||One Trillion||一兆|
|10,0000,0000,0000 = 10^13||Ten Trillion||十兆|
|100,0000,0000,0000 = 10^14||One-Hundred Trillion||一百兆|
Yī bǎi zhào
|1000,0000,0000,0000 = 10^15||One Quadrillion||一千兆|
Yī Qiān zhào
|1,0000,0000,0000,0000 = 10^16||Ten Quadrillion||一京|
|1,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000 = 10^20||One-Hundred Quintillion||一垓|
|1,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000 = 10^24||One Septillion||一秭|
If you see the breakdown below, it makes more clearly the difference of large numbers between English and Chinese
From Numbers to Chinese
Following this, we show you how to write a big number in Chinese characters and how to say it.
You see a number “7915348“
Step 1: Write down the numbers in numerals (just the numbers)
Step 2: Place comma at every 4 digits. “791,5348“
Step 3: The first 3 numbers are 791, which you will say 七百九十一. And it is under “万 Wàn Category” So we combine them as “七百九十一万”
Step 4: The last 4 numbers are 5348, which you will say 五千三百四十八.
Step 5: Combine step 3 & 4, this is how you say this number 七百九十一万五千三百四十八
How to Write A Large Number in Chinese Characters
Next, we teach you how to write the number down from hearing it in Chinese. See the example in the infographic below.
Step 1: Write down the numbers in Chinese character or pinyin. 九十八万七千一百二十 jiǔ shí bā wàn qī qiān yī bǎi èr shí
Step 2: Find if there is/are “万” “亿”, “兆” in the number (Find the names of the category) 九十八万七千一百二十
Step 3: Separate them by small numbers, “万” “亿” and “兆”. In this case, the number is separated into two groups.
Group 1: 九十八万
Group 2: 七千一百二十
Step 4: The first group you see the characters are “九十八”, you know that is “98” (don’t worry about “万” here. It is for the category)
Step 5: The second group you see the characters are “七千一百二十”. You know that is “7120”.
Step 6: Combine step 4 & 5, this is how you write the number 987120.
Numbers in Chinese
We have made a comprehend article about Chinese Numbers. If you are studying for Chinese Numbers, that is a must-read article. We walk through how to say the numbers from 0 to 1000 and EVERTHING you need to know about “numbers in Chinese.”
Simplified Chinese Version Infographic
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Traditional Chinese Version Infographic
Big Numbers in Chinese Can-do checklist:
⃞ I can transcribe a number in Chinese up to 4 digits.
⃞ I can transcribe a number in Chinese up to 8 digits.
⃞ I can transcribe a number in Chinese up to 12 digits.
⃞ I can say a big number (up to 13 digits) in Chinese correctly.
⃞ I can write a big number in Chinese characters when I see it in numerals.
⃞ I can write a big number in numerals when I hear it in Chinese.