OK! So far so good. But here comes the tricky part. When counting numbers, we start with the easy ones. 2 in Chinese we read as 二. 22 in Chinese we read as 二十二 èr shí èr. How about 222, 2222, and bigger numbers? Are all the 2’s read as 二? The answer is NO! Let’s check out when to use which.

Let’s use this extreme example below, once you get the pattern how to read this number, you pretty much know how to say most of the numbers that contain a 2 in any place.

How do we read this number: 2222222222222

First, if you are not familiar with the large number categories, you can study this big number in the Chinese post and infographic. Let’s take a quick review. In Chinese, we separate numbers every four digits instead of three. Bear that in mind, every 4 digits is a category. Starting with the small to the big (right to left), this is how we name them,

Small numbers category

万 Wàn Category

亿 Yì Category

兆 Zhào Category

See the picture below.