Counting Sheep in Chinese: Numbers 1-10

numbers in Chinese Mandarin counting in Chinese


Hello, eager learners! Today, we’re diving into numbers, specifically 1 to 10 in Mandarin Chinese. Knowing numbers is fundamental and will be incredibly useful in various situations, from shopping to telling time. Let’s count together and make it fun!

Numbers 1-10 in Mandarin

Here are the numbers from 1 to 10 in Mandarin:

  1. 一 (yī) – one
  2. 二 (èr) – two
  3. 三 (sān) – three
  4. 四 (sì) – four
  5. 五 (wǔ) – five
  6. 六 (liù) – six
  7. 七 (qī) – seven
  8. 八 (bā) – eight
  9. 九 (jiǔ) – nine
  10. 十 (shí) – ten

Pronunciation Tips

  • 一 (yī): Pronounced like “ee” in “see”.
  • 二 (èr): Sounds like “ar” in “car” with a bit of a rolled ‘r’.
  • 三 (sān): Like “san” in “sand” but shorter.
  • 四 (sì): Like “si” in “sit” but with a short ‘t’.
  • 五 (wǔ): Like “woo” in “wood” but with the lips rounded.
  • 六 (liù): Like “leo” in “Leonardo”.
  • 七 (qī): Sounds like “chee” in “cheese”.
  • 八 (bā): Like “ba” in “bar”.
  • 九 (jiǔ): Like “geo” in “geometry” with a slight ‘j’ sound.
  • 十 (shí): Like “sh” in “shirk”.

Funny Counting Exercises

  1. Counting Sheep to Sleep:
  • Imagine counting sheep to fall asleep, but instead of “one sheep, two sheep,” you’re saying “一只羊 (yī zhī yáng), 二只羊 (èr zhī yáng)…” It’s a great way to practice and quite relaxing too!
  1. Supermarket Scenario:
  • Pretend you’re at a supermarket. Count fruits as you pick them up: 一苹果 (yī píngguǒ) apple, 二苹果 (èr píngguǒ), 三苹果 (sān píngguǒ)…
  • Practice this with different items to make it fun: 一香蕉 (yī xiāngjiāo) banana, 二香蕉 (èr xiāngjiāo), etc.

Comical Counting Stories

  • Lucky Number Eight: In Chinese culture, the number eight (八 bā) is considered very lucky because it sounds like the word for wealth (发 fā). Imagine someone buying eight of everything for good luck and prosperity.
  • Fear of Four: The number four (四 sì) is considered unlucky because it sounds like the word for death (死 sǐ). Imagine a hotel with no fourth floor, skipping from the third to the fifth.

Practice Makes Perfect

  • Role-Playing Exercise: Pair up with a friend and role-play as shopkeepers and customers. Practice buying and selling items using the numbers 1 to 10.
  • Flashcards: Create flashcards with numbers on one side and the Chinese characters on the other. Test yourself regularly to reinforce your memory.


Counting from 1 to 10 in Mandarin is a fundamental skill that will open up many opportunities for practical use. Keep practicing, use our funny anecdotes to help remember, and soon you’ll be counting in Chinese without a second thought. Stay tuned for our next post, where we’ll explore vocabulary for family members. Happy counting!

That’s the content for Topic 4! Use these exercises and stories to make learning numbers enjoyable and effective. Your journey to mastering Mandarin continues!

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