Career Magazine

112: How to Talk About Large Numbers in Mandarin Chinese

By Learnmandarinnow

With property prices seemingly always on the increase, it’s useful to know more about large numbers in Chinese—you know, those numbers containing many 0000! You can then discuss with your friends or colleagues what’s reasonable or not , price-wise…

In this Podcast, you will learn:

(i) To talk about the price of something per unit, such as per square metre

(ii) How to compare prices of, say, an apartment with others

Dialogue: A couple are looking at property advertisements in the real estate agent’s windows and discussing about high apartment and house prices:

A: 老公,你看这几个的二手房怎么样?Lǎogōng, nǐ kàn zhè jǐ gè de èrshǒu fáng zěnme yàng?

Husband, what do you think of these second hand apartments?

B:5万3一平。这也太贵啊。5 Wàn 3 yīpíng. Zhè yě tài guì a.

RMB 53,000 per square meter. That is so expensive.

A: 那这套呢?4万6千2 一平。两室一厅。Nà zhè tào ne?4 Wàn 6 qiān 2 yīpíng. Liǎng shì yī tīng.

How about this one? RMB 46,200 per square meter. Two bedrooms and one living room.

B: 还是有些贵。这个还行,3万1千2百4十6.Háishì yǒuxiē guì. Zhège hái xíng,3 wàn 1 qiān 2 bǎi 4 shí 6.

That’s still expensive. This is all right. RMB 31,246 per square meter.

A: 好,那咱们去看看吧。Hǎo, nà zánmen qù kàn kàn ba.

Good. Let’s go and take a look.

Chinese words and phrases mentioned in this Podcast:



二手房:second hand property

平方:square metre

太贵了:too expensive

套:set—a measuring word for apartments, houses

Eg. 一套房:One house

两套房:two house


有些贵:a bit expensive

这个还行:this is all right

好:good, okay


那咱们去:then let’s


看看:take a look

Large numbers in Chinese:

万:ten thousand


Mandarin Chinese learning resources we recommend:

Keats Chinese School
Keats Chinese School, which was founded in 2004, is one of the top Mandarin Chinese language schools in China, offering both one-on-one immersion Mandarin courses and small group Chinese classes. Located in Kunming, Keats develops personalised exercises and materials for students to meet their learning goals and requirements and can arrange a student visa for its 16 week course.

Sensible Chinese Character Course: Learn Chinese characters quickly and effectively using methods developed by the Sensible Chinese Character Course. Their unique video course will teach you these modern learning methods. Currently, there is a special offer and you can get $189 of Chinese learning courses and learning material for just $57!

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