How much stamps do I need to send a letter to China?

Discussion in 'English Only' started by reginaregina, Mar 22, 2011.

  1. reginaregina Senior Member

    I want to say"in order to send a letter to China, how many stamps of what denomination I will need." What shall I say? Thank you

  2. entangledbank

    entangledbank Senior Member

    English - South-East England
    'How much do I need in stamps to send a letter to China?' You can't say 'how much stamps' because 'stamp' is countable and 'how much' isn't. (Or of course just 'How much does it cost?')
  3. e2efour Senior Member

    England (aged 75)
    UK English
    In simpler terms you are asking what the postage is or how much it costs to send a letter to China.
    Or, more loosely, How many stamps do I need to send a letter to China?
    Denomination is not a word that is likely to be used in speech. You might say "What denomination of stamps do I need for a letter to China?"
  4. sound shift

    sound shift Senior Member

    Derby (central England)
    English - England
    At the post office I would just say "I want to send this letter to China". The staff will know that stamps are needed; there is no need for you to to mention "stamps".
  5. natkretep

    natkretep Moderato con anima (English Only)

    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    If you still want to say stamp and want to sound a little informal, you can say 'What stamp do I need for a letter to China?'
  6. aes_uk Senior Member

    English - England
    I would recommend:
    "How many stamps do I need to send this letter to China?"
    or "Which stamps do I need to send this letter to China?"
  7. Parla Senior Member

    New York City
    English - US
    At least in the US, we have stamps of varying denominations, so "how many stamps" wouldn't make sense. My question would be, How much postage do I need to send a letter to China?
  8. Fabulist Banned

    Annandale, Virginia, USA
    American English
    Regina, if you want to mail a letter from the U.S. to China, it would be best to take it to a post office and just hand it to the clerk behind the counter. Seeing that it is addressed to China, the clerk will weigh it and inform you of the proper postage. After you give her that amount of money, she will print out a label bearing that amount and stick it to the upper right corner of the envelope.

    Asking about the number of stamps by denomination is not a sensible question to ask the United States Postal Service, for three reasons:
    (1) The postage for letters and packages varies by weight, so there is no one answer, only an answer for a particular letter after it has been weighed, or a list of different rates according to weight;
    (2) USPS has stamps for common postage rates but it is acceptable to make up the amount from any combination of lower-denomination stamps;
    (3) If you are at a Post Office with your letter, a postal clerk will print an individual label as described above, and no stamps will be used.

    You could ask, "What is the postage for a one-ounce letter to China?" According to the USPS web site, that is $.98. You could buy a $.98 stamp, or a quantity of them to use on future letters as long as you can be sure that they weigh less than one ounce (28.4g). However, you could also use two 44-cent stamps and a 10-cent stamp (44-cent stamps are common because that's the one-ounce domestic letter rate; 10-cent stamps are odd, but you could buy some to add to 44-centers if you are going to be sending both domestic mail and mail to China).
  9. aes_uk Senior Member

    English - England
    I think it makes a difference which country you are in as I have read the AmE speakers' suggestions and they're not really what I would say as a BE speaker.
    In England, I would go into the post office, show them my letter and say "which stamps do I need to send this to China?"

    Please could you let us know where you want to send the letter from as I don't think my suggestions will be of much use if you are in the US.

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