二 (èr) and 两 (liǎng)
How to say “two” in Chinese?
We have two answers. One is 二 (èr), and the other is 两 (liǎng). Some times only one can be used, and some times both of them are OK.
Below is a general guideline on when to use 二 (èr), when to use “两 liǎng”, and when either will do.
Use 两 (liǎng) to express two of something or someone.
When to express two of something or someone, and only two of something or someone, such as two apples, two persons, two days, two years, use 两 (liǎng).
If the number “2” is part of a larger number, such as 12, 22 or 102, use 二 (èr).
Use 二 (èr) in pure numerical expressions, or in a string of digits.
Such pure numerical expressions include telephone numbers and numbers after the decimal point,
Both 两 (liǎng) and 二 (èr) can be used for “2” in the hundreds’ place, the thousands’ place, and the ten thousands’ place.
The following numbers can be expressed in more than one way:
二百 (èr bǎi)
两百 (liǎng bǎi)
二千 (èr qiān)
两千 (liǎng qiān)
二万 (èr wàn)
两万 (liǎng wàn)
二万二千 (èr wàn èr qiān)
两万两千 (liǎng wàn liǎng qiān)
两万二千 (liǎng wàn èr qiān)
Practice makes Perfect.
Express the following numbers in Chinese:
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