three years and two months


New Member
[How to write "three years and two months"?]
This seems really straight forward but I feel like I'm missing something... does 年 need a measure word? I know 月 definitely needs one to avoid confusion with 二月 (February)... Would 三年二个月 be correct, or do I need to use 两 instead of 二?

谢谢 :)
Last edited by a moderator:
  • SuperXW

    Senior Member
    1. 年 doesn't need any measure word. It often functions as a measure word by itself.
    2. You need to use 两 instead of 二.
    So, the correct phrase should be 三年两个月.
    Or, people also say 三年零两个月. 零 often functions as a "filler" between the round figure and the odd. (Please correct me my English expression is wrong...)


    You can follow SuperXW's advice.

    In Chinese, 2 is the only number that has distintive forms for sequence/numeric "二" and quantity "". (Not sure why).
    In many cases 两 is used instead of 二 as a synonym and idiom.
    Sequence: 第二页, 第一百零二章 (Do not say 第两页、一百零两章)
    Quantity: 一瓶水、瓶水、三瓶水、四瓶水.... 十二瓶水 ...
    (We never say 二瓶水. We never say 十两瓶水 because 12、22、132 are different numbers and the form 两 no long applies.)

    For numbers, some people accept 三千两百 in non-formal contexts. (also 一万两千,两亿 is common)
    In formal context, you will often see 叁仟贰佰 (here is the capital form of 二).
    Therefore, we become frustrated and now people use arabic numbers in most cases.

    Quiz :D:
    1. 今年__月份没下雨 (二、两);
    2. 今年只有__部电影好看(二、两);
    3. Trump是个__百五 (二、两);

    1 二;
    2 两;
    3 二;


    Cantonese, English & French
    As long as the phrase contains both 三年 and 两个月, it will make sense.

    But I personally think that 三年零两个月 is the most understandable.

    Also, please use 两 instead of 二

    Good luck!
    < Previous | Next >