The Chinese number system and the Western number system are very similar, but differ early on. While the English number words from 11-100 undergo sound changes, the Chinese numbers remain predictable.
In Chinese, whole numbers follow the format:
Decimal numbers are read with the whole number read first, the word dian3 (to denote the decimal point), and then each each decimal place read. Zeros are treated the same as other digits. If the whole number is zero the initial zero can be read or omitted.
Counting in Chinese is somewhat different than in English. Chinese requires the use of a special class of words called "measure words." These serve to give units for counting and classifying nouns. Some words in English perform similar functions, but the difference is that in Mandarin all words require a measure word when being counted.
This section will only explain what is needed to know in order to count. There will be a grammar lesson dedicated to using measure words.
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