17 September 2013

Chinese non-integer numbers

We talked about integer numbers, and how to combine the character numbers to express big quantities in Chinese. Now it's time to learn about the non-integer numbers.



Decimals
As important as integers numbers, decimal numbers are present everywhere, in a supermarket or in your bank account. After the integer part of the number, Chinese language uses the character (diǎn) to name the point. The decimal part can be written and pronounced as a normal list of numbers.

integer +  + decimal part

1.5
diǎn

0.348
三四八
líng diǎn sān sì bā



Fractions
Instead of decimals we may need the use of fraction numbers. In this case we have two characters to express de division:  (fēn) and (zhī). The combination of these two characters means "parts of". Pay attention to the order of the numbers, because Chinese fractions are reversed. The first number is the denominator and after the fraction indicator is written the numerator.

denominator +  + numerator

2/5
分之
fēn zhī èr

1/3
分之
sān fēn zhī yī

Percentages
The percentages use the same indicator and rule than fractions. In this case the first number is always  (bǎi), the one hundred indicator. After it 分之 and after these divisor characters the part of the one hundred.

 + 分之 + part of the 100

50%
百分之五十
bǎi fēn zhī wǔshí

79%
百分之七十九
bǎi fēn zhī qīshíjiǔ