二 / 两

Leandro

Senior Member
Brazil - Portuguese
Hello my friends (你好我的朋友)

I saw that 二 and means 2 (two), when should i use 二 (er)and when should i use 两 (liang) ?



ءه谢谢!
 
  • Yang

    Senior Member
    Taiwan /Traditional Chinese
    你好:)

    Still my two cents:
    兩 is an old-fashioned (old) words, the one you wrote is the brief form, which is used mainly in mainland China, while we use traditional Chinese in Taiwan.

    斤 and 兩 are both the unit of Chinese measurement referring to the weight: One 斤 which equals to 600 grams is 16兩; half a 斤 which equals to 300 grams is 8 兩.

    斤 is for heavy and big things; 兩 is for light, tiny and small things.

    As mentioned above, 兩 was used commonly in the past time and has two mainly meanings: when you are referring to the weight(how something heavy is when you measure it) and numbers.

    Examples:
    weight
    這個一兩多少錢? (How much is this per 兩?)
    這個東西幾兩重? (How many 兩 is this in weight?)
    這個東西三兩重.(This thing is three 兩 in weight or Its weight is three 兩.)
    number
    我來這兩年了.(I have been here for two years.)
    你們兩個要用功點.(You two have got to study hard.)
    我兩個都要.(I want both of them.)

    二 is used instead of 兩 in most situations the present time, except referring to weight. In other words, 二 and 兩 are interchangeable in most situations.

    Hope this will help.
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    Leandro

    Senior Member
    Brazil - Portuguese
    Thanks a ot Yang, your explantions are quite clear and very good!!
    It's good to see that there is people here who cares to answer our questions with such details!!!!

    谢谢!
     

    JJchang

    Senior Member
    NZ - English, Chinese
    Sorry, but they are NOT interchangeable.
    In modern Chinese, i.e. the Chinese people use nowaday,
    二 is the number two or the ordial number (second), 兩 is the counting/quantity adjective for two.
    I have two friends -> 我有兩個朋友, it can never be 我有二個朋友.
    There are two bedrooms -> 那裡有兩間臥室, not 二間臥室.
    I'm in the second place -> 我是第二名, it can't be 第兩名.
    This is my second cup of tea today -> 這是我今天第二杯茶, it can't be 第兩杯茶.

    If you want to talk about weight, not many young people know about how heavy is one 兩 now, so you will be better off using kilos and grams.
     

    anico

    New Member
    Finland (Finnish)
    Offtopic.
    How come I can only see white boxes replacing the Chinese text?
     

    JJchang

    Senior Member
    NZ - English, Chinese
    I think it depends on your browser, if you go to say "view" and "character encoding", and change to "traditional Chinese" or something else, then it may be possible that you can see those Chinese characters.
     

    Yang

    Senior Member
    Taiwan /Traditional Chinese
    JJchang said:
    Sorry, but they are NOT interchangeable.
    In modern Chinese, i.e. the Chinese people use nowaday,
    二 is the number two or the ordial number (second), 兩 is the counting/quantity adjective for two.
    Hi, chang, your opinion are absolutely right.:)


    I have two friends -> 我有兩個朋友, it can never be 我有二個朋友.
    There are two bedrooms -> 那裡有兩間臥室, not 二間臥室.
    Your take on 兩 and 二 are correct; however, that 二 being used instead of 兩 in the examples you gave are more and more common in Taiwan.
    Hence they seem to be interchangeable to many people nowadays.

    I'm in the second place -> 我是第二名, it can't be 第兩名.
    This is my second cup of tea today -> 這是我今天第二杯茶, it can't be 第兩杯茶.
    Again, this is correct. Good examples.

    If you want to talk about weight, not many young people know about how heavy is one 兩 now, so you will be better off using kilos and grams.
    Not necessarily. Some youngsters may not know while others understand pretty well. Don't forget such a measuring system still works in Taiwan's traditional markets and many places/situations.
     

    JJchang

    Senior Member
    NZ - English, Chinese
    Your approval is much appreciated, Yang. However, I believe I still have a grasp of the standard Chinese usage in Taiwan.

    I still disagree with your argument that those two words are interchangeable. 二隻筆, 二張紙 etc, even though they are minor mistakes, they are still incorrect. Besides, I have never heard any educated people said "er4個人" before.
     

    Yang

    Senior Member
    Taiwan /Traditional Chinese
    JJchang said:
    Your approval is much appreciated, Yang. However, I believe I still have a grasp of the standard Chinese usage in Taiwan.
    Ha, dear chang, I had said 'your views are correct.';)

    I still disagree with your argument that those two words are interchangeable. 二隻筆, 二張紙 etc, even though they are minor mistakes, they are still incorrect. Besides, I have never heard any educated people said "er4個人" before.
    That's not my argument.
    I just described something I have seen.
    Is that clear?:)
     

    JJchang

    Senior Member
    NZ - English, Chinese
    Yang said:
    In other words, 二 and 兩 are interchangeable in most situations.

    Hope this will help.
    I believe that's what you've said, and my argument was that it is not true. It is not correct in the written Chinese, and it is unheard of in the spoken Chinese.

    I hope this is clear enough. :)
     

    indigoduck

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    your take on 兩 and 二 are correct; however, that 二 being used instead of 兩 in the examples you gave are more and more common in taiwan.
    Hence they seem to be interchangeable to many people nowadays.
    i have two friends -> 我有兩個朋友, it can never be 我有二個朋友.
    There are two bedrooms -> 那裡有兩間臥室, not 二間臥室.
    我有個朋友 !? 我有兩個朋友 !!!

    那裡有間臥室 !? 那裡有兩間臥室 !!!
     
    Sorry I don't agree with the essay quoted above.

    My summary:
    二/兩 + 量詞
    二 and 兩 are the same.
    In mandarin, we sometimes write 二 but read 兩. You can find a lot of examples that all Chinese write something in the same way but read in their own way. I suggest you always read “兩”.

    二/兩 + 名詞
    二 兩 are the same. Usually we use 二. This is usually seen in old Chinese.

    二/兩 + 數詞
    二 and 兩 are the same.
    In mandarin, 兩 only appears in 兩百 兩千 兩萬 兩億 兩兆 …, but not in 二十. Just as mentioned above, you can read 二百五 as 兩百五.
    It seams that people from Shanghai resist using 兩.

    pair
    You can't use 二. In this situation 兩 = 雙.
    e.g.
    兩面(both side)
    兩眼(both eyes)

    second, again, another
    Always 二. 第 is sometimes omit.
    e.g.
    二心(異心)
    二奶
    二次(再次/第二次)
    approximate number
    一 兩 are the same. 二 in mainly used in old Chinese and written text. I suggest you always read “兩”. An exception: in an idiom.
    e.g.
    一兩個/兩三人
    一二事(see “二/兩 + 名詞”)
    指點一二(old style Chinese)
    說兩句(never 說二句)


    counting
    一 二/兩 三 ... 二/兩百 ... ... 二/兩千 ...
     

    aussie89

    New Member
    Italian-Italy
    When you have to count something such as: "Two books" You have to say: "Liang ben shu" 兩本书. When you have a series of numbers you have two say 二 . It's just this.
     

    Dragonseed

    Senior Member
    France - French
    yes, but then as soon as you start to understand things, they get slippery again: 12 books will be "shi er ben shu" 十二本書...
     

    ElFrikiChino

    Senior Member
    Italian (Mantova)
    They get very slippery. I took only 2 semesters of Chinese, and although I loved it sooo much, sometimes it was really hard. I guess the thing with 12 books is just that 12 is written 十二 and not 十两
     
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