Have you been struggling with pronouncing Chinese numbers, such as 6 (liù)? In this article we discuss how to pronounce the Chinese numbers 1-10.
Chinese numbers 1-10 grouped by tone
Chinese is a tone language. If you want to be understood in Chinese, you need to use the right tone. Therefore, we will focus on the tones of the numbers between 1 and 10. We will group the Chinese numbers 1-10 by their tone mark (first, second, third, and fourth tone), and discuss each of these groups. We will start with numbers that have the first tone.
Actually, most Chinese numbers have the first tone: 1, 3, 7, and 8 are yī, sān, qī, and bā. The first tone is high-pitched and steady. It is a bit of a singing tone!
Use the audio clips below to listen to these numbers. Notice that they are all given a high, flat pitch.
Want to find out the tone of a Chinese word? With our Chinese dictionary for Windows you can look up Chinese words, check out their pinyin tone marks, and listen to their pronunciation.
Among the Chinese numbers 1-10, there is only one number with the second tone: 10 (shí). The second tone is a rising tone.
Okay, as a bonus, let us discuss one other Chinese number. The number zero has the second tone as well: líng.
|0||〇 / 零||líng|
Use the audio clips below to find out how to pronounce 0 and 10:
There are two numbers with the third tone: 5 (wǔ) and 9 (jiǔ). The third tone first falls, and then rises.
Here are the audio clips for 5 and 9:
The numbers with the fourth tone are 2, 4, and 6: èr, sì, liù. Remember, the fourth tone is a short, falling tone, as is heard in commands in English (for example, “Stop!”). You can make them sound a little commanding: èr, sì, liù!
Again, you can use the audio clips to practice your pronunciation:
All Chinese numbers from 1 to 10, with pronunciation
Let’s end with an overview of all the numbers between 1 and 10 in Chinese:
Here are the audio clips for all Chinese numbers between 1 and 10:
Last updated: January 21, 2022