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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

PinyinChineseEnglishNotes

qiánmoneyNoun
mǎibuyVerb
qiān bǐ铅笔pencilNoun
duōshao多少how manyQuestion word, the two characters mean many (多) and few (少)
kuàidollarMeasure word, used with money, yí kuài qián is “one dollar”
máodime1/10 kuài
fēnpenny1/100 kuài
zhǎo nín找您“give you” used in the expression “zhǎo nín (change)”
yí gòng一共all togetherNoun, used when referring to everything in a set
zài lái再来return, come againVerb, this is the same zai we saw in zài jiàn (meet again)
bǎihundredNoun, used for expressing numbers
língzero 

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 fēn111.11
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:

111.11yì 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

QuestionAnswer
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.

QuestionAnswer
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

 

111shí yī91jiǔ shí yī101yì bǎi líng yī111yì bǎi yì shí yī991jiǔ bǎi jiǔ shí yī
2èr12shí èr92jiǔ shí èr102yì bǎi líng èr112yì bǎi yì shí èr992jiǔ bǎi jiǔ shí èr
3sān13shí sān93jiǔ shí sān103yì bǎi líng sān113yì bǎi yì shí sān993jiǔ bǎi jiǔ shí sān
414shí sì94jiǔ shí sì104yì bǎi líng sì114yì bǎi yì shí sì994jiǔ bǎi jiǔ shí sì
515shí wǔ95jiǔ shí wǔ105yì bǎi líng wǔ115yì bǎi yì shí wǔ995jiǔ bǎi jiǔ shí wǔ
6liù16shí liù96jiǔ shí liù106yì bǎi líng liù116yì bǎi yì shí liù996jiǔ bǎi jiǔ shí liù
717shí qī97jiǔ shí qī107yì bǎi líng qī117yì bǎi yì shí qī997jiǔ bǎi jiǔ shí qī
818shí bā98jiǔ shí bā108yì bǎi líng bā118yì bǎi yì shí bā998jiǔ bǎi jiǔ shí bā
9jiǔ19shí jiǔ99jiǔ shí jiǔ109yì bǎi líng jiǔ119yì bǎi yì shí jiǔ999jiǔ bǎi jiǔ shí jiǔ
10shí20èr shí100yì bǎi110yì bǎi yì shí120yì bǎi èr shí1000yì qiān

How to read numbers in Mandarin

NumberPatternSpoken/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] 
91-99jiǔ shí[1-9] 
100yī bǎi 
101-109yī bǎi líng [1-9] 
110yī bǎi yī shíyī bǎi yī
111-119yī bǎi yī shí [1-9] 
190yī bái jiǔ shíyī bái jiǔ
191-199yī bái jiǔ shí [1-9] 
200èr bǎiliáng bǎi
2,000èr qiānliǎng qiān
3,456sān 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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