Chinese Numbers: Numerical Chinese Characters

The following is a way to quickly look up Chinese numerical characters and get their actual meaning and value. To make it easy for pronunciation of Chinese Characters, PinYin is used for Chinese romanization. Also, note that the Chinese banknotes may use different Chinese writing systems to express numbers.

In Chinese language, high numbers are usually grouped into sets of 4 zeros (six WAN: 6,0000) rather than sets of 3 zeros (sixty THOUSAND: 60,000). They are the same number, but just different grouping. A wan is 10000 (see "ten thousand" below for what ONE WAN looks like in Chinese). Thus, if you were to say any number that is 10000 or greater, you don't delineate into "thousands", but into "wan". The sequence for numbers in China are thus: Yi (1), Shi (10), Bai (100), Qian (1000), Wan (10000), and then it repeats in groups of four: Shi Wan (10,0000), Bai Wan (100,0000), Qian Wan (1000,0000).

The last three is normally depicted as:
Shi Wan (10,0000)
Yi Bai Wan (100,0000)
Yi Qian Wan (1000,0000)

Yi is ONE in Chinese, and you normally skip saying it in front of Shi (TEN), and only Shi. Therefore, 10 is Shi, not Yi (ONE) Shi (TEN). 20 is Er (TWO) Shi (TEN). 100 is Yi (ONE) Bai (HUNDRED). Yi is not skipped for 100 because it is in front of Bai, not Shi.

Because Chinese numbers are grouped in 4 zeros, not 3, there doesn't exist one Chinese character that means million (1,000,000) or billion (1,000,000,000). There does exist one Chinese character that means 1,0000 (WAN) and 1,0000,0000 (YI). YI here is not ONE, but a different character, but not shown below because no Chinese currency uses it. The blue color will indicate this different YI on this page.

Thus, for really big numbers, this example shows the conversion:
1,0000 (YI WAN) = 10,000 (TEN THOUSAND)
100,0000 (YI BAI WAN) = 1,000,000 (ONE MILLION)
1,0000,0000 (YI YI) = 100,000,000 (ONE HUNDRED MILLION)
10,0000,0000 (SHI YI) = 1,000,000,000 (ONE BILLION)

Chinese Numbers

ValueNormal (Traditional)Shorthand (Traditional)(Simplified)Pinyin Romanization
One (1)Yi
Two (2)Er
Three (3)San
Four (4)Si
Five (5)Wu
Six (6)Liu
Seven (7)Qi
Eight (8)Ba
Nine (9)Jiu
Ten (10)Shi
Fifteen (15)Shi Wu
Twenty (20)Er Shi
Twenty Five (25)Er Shi Wu
Fifty (50)Shi
One Hundred (100)Yi Bai
Two Hundred (200)Er Bai (Liang Bai)
Five Hundred (500)Wu Bai
One Thousand (1,000)Yi Qian
One Thousand Five Hundred(1,500)Yi Qian Wu Bai
Two Thousand (2,000)Er Qian (Liang Qian)
Two Thousand Five Hundred(2,500)Qian
Five Thousand (5,000)Wu Qian
Ten Thousand (10,000) (1,0000)Yi Wan
Fifty Thousand (50,000) (5,0000)Wu Wan
Hundred Thousand (100,000) (10,0000)Shi Wan
"Dime" (10 Jiao= 1 Yuan)Jiao
"Cent" (10 Fen= 1 Jiao)Fen
Note: Dates are usually written in shorthand characters, while money denomination are usually written in normal (Traditional) characters. Simplified characters are currently only used on currency issued by the Peoples Bank of China.
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