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Mr Wang () in interested in buying some office supplies, Mr Li () is happy to help

Dialog

PinyinChineseEnglish
Qǐng wèn, zhè zhī bǐ duōshao qián?请问,这支笔多少钱?Excuse me, how much for this pen?
Nà zhī bǐ bā kuài qián.那支笔八块钱。That pen is 8 dollars.
Hǎo de, géi nǐ shí kuài qián.好的,给你十块钱。Okay, here is 10 dollars.
Xiè xiè, zhǎo nín liǎng kuài qián. Huān yíng nín zài lái.谢谢,找您两块钱。欢迎您再来。Thank you , here is 2 dollars change. Please come back again.
PinyinChineseEnglish
Ní hǎo, wó xiáng mǎi sān běn Zhōngwén shū hé liǎng zhī bǐ, yí gòng duōshao qián?你好,我想买三本中文书和两支笔。一共多少钱?Hi. I would like to buy three Chinese books and two pens. How much will that be?
Yì běn zhōngwén shū shí kuài qián ,yì zhī bǐ yí kuài wǔ,一本中文书十块钱,一支笔一块五,One Chinese book is 10 dollars, one pen is a dollar fifty,
Yí gòng sān shí sān kuài qián.一共三十三块钱。All together it’s 33 dollars.
Hǎo de, géi nǐ sān shí wǔ kuài qián。好的,给你 35 块钱。Okay, here is 35 dollars.
Zhǎo nín liǎng kuài, xiè xiè, zài jiàn.找您 2 块,谢谢,再见。Thanks, here is 2 dollars change. Bye.

Vocabulary

Pinyin Chinese English Notes

qián money Noun
mǎi buy Verb
qiān bǐ 铅笔 pencil Noun
duōshao 多少 how many Question word, the two characters mean many (多) and few (少)
kuài dollar Measure word, used with money, yí kuài qián is “one dollar”
máo dime 1/10 kuài
fēn penny 1/100 kuài
zhǎo nín 找您 “give you”  used in the expression “zhǎo nín (change)”
yí gòng 一共 all together Noun, used when referring to everything in a set
zài lái 再来 return, come again Verb, this is the same zai we saw in zài jiàn (meet again)
bǎi hundred Noun, used for expressing numbers
líng zero  

Grammar Points

More about numbers

When to use “liǎng” in numbers ..

  • Use “liǎng” instead of “èr” when expressing the quantity 2.
  • Use “èr” in the tens place and ones place in numbers larger than 2, for example 22 = “èr shí èr”
  • Use “liǎng” in the hundreds and thousands place, for example 2222 = “liǎng qiān liǎng bǎi èr shí èr”
  • Please note that “èr bǎi” is preferred in some regions of China.

When to use “líng”

  • Use “líng” when a zero occurs between 2 numbers. Example: 202 is “liǎng bǎi líng èr“.
  • Use only one “líng” for adjacent zeros. Example: 2002 is “liǎng qiān líng èr”.

When to omit the final “shí”

  • The final “shí” may be dropped if the number ends with zero.

Example: 130 can be expressed as “yì bǎi sān”.

Expressing price

In this lesson we learn about money, “qián”, and three of its classifiers

  • kuài = dollar
  • máo = dime, 10 cents, or 1/10 of a dollar
  • fēn = penny, 1 cent, or 1/100 of a dollar

In English we use dollars and cents for quantifying money. But Chinese uses “máo”, in a similar way to express tens. For example:

  • .50 = wǔ máo
  • .55 = wǔ máo wǔ fēn

Since qián is a noun it may be omitted if it is obvious from the context. So both of the following are suitable as an answer to “How much is it?”:

  • shí kuài qián = shí kuài = 10 dollars
  • wǔ máo qián = wǔ máo = 50 cents

When expressing fractions of a dollar, you may use to use “máo” and “fēn”. For example.

  • yì fēn = 1 cent
  • yì máo = 10 cents
  • yì máo 5 fēn = 15 cents

It might be helpful to think of “máo” as replacing “shí” when expressing fractions of a dollar.

The trailing denomination can be omitted if it is clear from context.

  • yí kuài yì [máo] = 1 dollar 10 cents
  • yì máo 5 [fēn] = 15 cents

Use of “líng” depends on context.

  • Don’t start a number with “líng”. Example: 0.05 is just “wǔ fēn”.
  • Only use between two numbers. Example: 1.05 is “yì kuài líng wǔ fēn”.

Most things in China cost more than 100RMB. here are some examples of amounts over 100

  • yì bǎi kuài (100 dollars)
  • yì bǎi bā shí kuài (180 dollars)
  • yì bǎi bā shí wu kuài (185 dollars)
  • liǎng bǎi èr shí èr kuài (222 dollars)

Putting it all together

  • If we want to ask the price of something we ask “[something] duōshao qián?”. “duōshao” is a question word, like “jǐ” (lesson 4). The difference is that “jǐ” is limited situations where the answer is expected to be a small number (12 or less).
  • The seller describes the unit prices and then uses the expression “yí gòng” to preface the total price
  • When handing something to someone it is common to say “géi nǐ”. This is equivalent to the English expression “here”.
  • When handing back change, the cashier might say “zhǎo nín xxx”. In this expression (and only in this expression) “zhǎo” means “give”.

Exercises

Monetary Amounts

Fill in the following table according to the example.

yì bǎi yì shí yí kuài yì máo yì fēn 111.11
yì bǎi kuài  
yì bǎi bā shí kuài  
yì bǎi bā shí wu kuài  
yì bǎi líng wu kuài  
yí kuài  
yí kuài bā  
yí kuài bā máo  
yí kuài bā máo 5  
yí kuài bā máo 5 fēn  
yí kuài líng 5 fēn  

Next write the pinyin for each of these amounts:

111.11 yì bǎi yì shí yí kuài yì máo yì fēn
1.85  
12.50  
30.99  
125.25  
444.44  
3.05  

 

Review

Write the answer in pinyin with tone marks

Question Answer
1) Qǐng wèn, nǐ shì Zhōngguó rén ma?  
2) Ní xǐhuan hē píjiǔ ma?  
3) Nǐ zuótiān lèi ma?  
4) Gege hé wǒ míngtiān xiǎng qù shāngdiàn, nǐ qù ma?  
5) Ní yǒu péngyou ma?  
6) Ní xiǎng chī jiǎozi ma?  
7) Míngtiān nǐ qù nǎli?  
8) Nǐ de bàngōngshì yǒu duōshao ge rén?  
9) Nǐ yào bái fàn háishì miàn tiáo?  

Write an equivalent sentence in Mandarin, using pinyin with tone marks.

Question Answer
1) My girlfriend is Chinese.  
2) I have three offices.  
3) My father is an English teacher.  
4) There are 5 people in my family.  
5) Yesterday I was so busy, how about you?  
6) Tomorrow morning I am going to China.  
7) Where are you going tomorrow evening?  
8) I would like to drink a bottle cold red tea.  
9) I like speaking Chinese.  
10) I would like to eat a bowl of chicken soup.  

More Numbers

 

1 11 shí yī 91 jiǔ shí yī 101 yì bǎi líng yī 111 yì bǎi yì shí yī 991 jiǔ bǎi jiǔ shí yī
2 èr 12 shí èr 92 jiǔ shí èr 102 yì bǎi líng èr 112 yì bǎi yì shí èr 992 jiǔ bǎi jiǔ shí èr
3 sān 13 shí sān 93 jiǔ shí sān 103 yì bǎi líng sān 113 yì bǎi yì shí sān 993 jiǔ bǎi jiǔ shí sān
4 14 shí sì 94 jiǔ shí sì 104 yì bǎi líng sì 114 yì bǎi yì shí sì 994 jiǔ bǎi jiǔ shí sì
5 15 shí wǔ 95 jiǔ shí wǔ 105 yì bǎi líng wǔ 115 yì bǎi yì shí wǔ 995 jiǔ bǎi jiǔ shí wǔ
6 liù 16 shí liù 96 jiǔ shí liù 106 yì bǎi líng liù 116 yì bǎi yì shí liù 996 jiǔ bǎi jiǔ shí liù
7 17 shí qī 97 jiǔ shí qī 107 yì bǎi líng qī 117 yì bǎi yì shí qī 997 jiǔ bǎi jiǔ shí qī
8 18 shí bā 98 jiǔ shí bā 108 yì bǎi líng bā 118 yì bǎi yì shí bā 998 jiǔ bǎi jiǔ shí bā
9 jiǔ 19 shí jiǔ 99 jiǔ shí jiǔ 109 yì bǎi líng jiǔ 119 yì bǎi yì shí jiǔ 999 jiǔ bǎi jiǔ shí jiǔ
10 shí 20 èr shí 100 yì bǎi 110 yì bǎi yì shí 120 yì bǎi èr shí 1000 yì qiān

How to read numbers in Mandarin

Number Pattern Spoken/Casual
0  líng  
1-9  yī, èr, sān, sì, wǔ, liù, qī, bā, jiǔ  
10  shí  
11-19  shí[1-9]  
20  èr shí  
21-29  èr shí[1-9]  
91-99 jiǔ shí[1-9]  
100 yī bǎi  
101-109 yī bǎi líng [1-9]  
110 yī bǎi yī shí yī bǎi yī
111-119 yī bǎi yī shí [1-9]  
190 yī bái jiǔ shí yī bái jiǔ
191-199 yī bái jiǔ shí [1-9]  
200 èr bǎi liáng bǎi
2,000 èr qiān liǎng qiān
3,456 sān qiān sì bǎi wǔ shí liù  

Homework

Check this link for Sentence Practice 

Voice recording courtesy of Danie Wu, Effective Chinese Instructor

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