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Differences between “二” and “两”

二, 两, Chinese number words, learning chinese

In Chinese, there are two words for "two". This is an introduction to the different uses of "2" in Chinese, namely 二 (èr) and 两 (liǎng).

中文里,有两个词可表示"two",即"二" 和"两"。本文将介绍表示"2"的这两个词在中文里的不同用法。


Uses of 二 (èr)


二 is used in numbers



二 (èr) is used generally in numbers, when counting to ten, giving out a phone number, or performing mathematical computations, and so on.



Unlike 两 (liǎng), 二 (èr) does not generally occur with measure words by itself. But numbers like 十二 (12) (shí'èr) and 二十二 (22) (èrshí'èr) end with a "2" and can still be combined with measure words. In this case, 两 (liǎng) is not needed.



Here are some common examples of 二 (èr):



第 二

dì mèr

#2; second


第 二 个

dì èr gè

the second one


第 二 次

dì èr cì

the second time


二 号

èr hào

#2; the second


二 号 线

èr hào xiàn

Line 2


二 楼

èr lóu

second floor


二 十 块 钱

èrshí kuài qián

20 RMB


二 十 二 个 人

èrshí èr ge rén

twenty-two people


Uses of 两 (liǎng)


两 is used with measure words



When specifying quantities, 两 (liǎng) is used in front of measure words. This is when you want to say "two of something" or "both".

说明数量时,应使用"两",放在量词之前。这是你想表达"two of something"或者"both"的情况。


Here are some common examples of 两 (liǎng):



两 个 小时

liǎng ge xiǎoshí

two hours


两 天

liǎng tiān

two days


两 个 星期

liǎng ge xīngqī

two weeks


两 个 月

liǎng ge yuè

two months


两 年

liǎng nián

two years


两 次

liǎng cì

two times / twice


两 块 钱

liǎng kuài qián

2 kuai / 2 RMB


两 千

liǎng qiān



我 两 个 都 要。

wǒ liǎng ge dōu yào.

I want both of them.

Translated from: AllSetLearning


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