how to read the zero (零) in a number

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macrotis

Senior Member
Turkish
According to a Chinese teaching software,

2005 -> 这个数字是两千零五。

... two thousand zero five.

Does is sound fine or is "zero" redundant?

What about 205? two hundred zero five or two hundred five?

And 20005? Twenty thousand zero five, twenty thousand zero zero five or just twenty thousand five, or what?
 
  • Ghabi

    Senior Member
    Cantonese
    No, it's not redundant. "Two thousand five" would be interpreted as 2,500 (a shorten form of "two thousand five [hundred]"). Similarly, "two hundred five" would be 250, while 205="two hundred zero five". So as you might have known now, 20,005 would be "twenty thousand zero five", while 20,050 ="twenty thousand zero fifty". Hope it's clear.:)
     

    Kevin70s

    Senior Member
    Mandarin/Chiu Chow/Cantonese
    If "zero" is left out in "two thousand zero five", it happens to be an informal way of saying "two thousand and five hundred"!
     

    Hahutzy

    New Member
    Canada - English & Cantonese
    According to a Chinese teaching software,

    2005 -> 这个数字是两千零五。

    ... two thousand zero five.

    Does is sound fine or is "zero" redundant?

    What about 205? two hundred zero five or two hundred five?

    And 20005? Twenty thousand zero five, twenty thousand zero zero five or just twenty thousand five, or what?
    Whenever you see a zero squeezed between two digits, you have to say the right-most one out.
    And if there are 2 or more zeros consecutively, you still only say zero once.

    Example:

    2005 - 两千零五
    2050 - 两千零五十
    2500 - 两千五百 or 两千五 (slang)

    20005 - 两万零五
    20050 - 两万零五十
    20500 - 两万零五百
    25000 - 两万五千 or 两万五 (slang)

    20505 - 两万五百零五 (bolded zero is the right most)
    25005 - 两万五千零五 (2 zeros, but still only 1 零)
    25050 - 两万五千零五十 (bolded zero is the right most that is squeezed between 2 digits)

    It's quite complicated, now that you mention it.
     

    samanthalee

    Senior Member
    Mandarin, English - [Singapore]
    It's quite complicated, now that you mention it.
    :thumbsup: Great job, Hahutzy. :)
    I never realise it's so complicated either. :)

    As I try to find the logic to the way we read the numbers, I suddenly have doubts about the right way to say the following:
    20,550
    20,555
    20,055
    Do we or do we not have to insert a 零 after 两万 for the above 3 numbers?:confused::eek:
     

    Kevin70s

    Senior Member
    Mandarin/Chiu Chow/Cantonese
    20,550
    20,555
    20,055
    I would say yes, especially to the last one, 20,055. In this case, "零" is sort of like "and" in the British way of reading numbers. Although it won't cause any misunderstanding, to omit it just sounds like abrupt and unnatural. Leaving out "零“ in the first two, though, is informally acceptable. But I doubt that the anchorpersons in China's CCTV would ever omit it.
     

    Hahutzy

    New Member
    Canada - English & Cantonese
    As I try to find the logic to the way we read the numbers, I suddenly have doubts about the right way to say the following:
    20,550
    20,555
    20,055
    According to what I said previously:
    1) Whenever you see a zero squeezed between two digits, you have to say the right-most one out.
    2) And if there are 2 or more zeros consecutively, you still only say 零 once.
    20,550 - 两万零五百五十 (Rule 1)
    20,555 - 两万零五百五十五 (Rule 1)
    20,055 - 两万零五十五 (Rule 1 & 2)

    I believe those 2 rules are good enough for numbers less than 100,000
    Hope that helps!
     
    Last edited:

    startrack

    New Member
    Not redundant. It distinguish between 2500 and 2005 or 2050
    2500=两千五百
    2005=两千零五
    2050=两千零五十
    As if there is zero between two non-zero numbers, you need to add 零, it's standard Chinese Mandarin.
     
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