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Prices and purchases in Chinese

In this lesson of Mandarin Chinese, we will discuss prices and purchases. [Tab]


Word Pinyin Translation
zhǎo give back change
可以 kěyǐ to be possible
mǎi buy
yào want to
gěi give
尝尝 chángchang to taste; try
多少 duōshao how much (in a question)
qián money
别的 biéde other
kuài (monetary unit used in China in oral)
yuán  yuan (monetary unit used in China)
máo  0.10 yuan
fēn 0.01 yuan; centime
jīn 500 grams; 1/2 Kg
公斤 gōngjīn  kilogram
一共 yīgòng in all
太...了 tài...le too much...
guì expensive
便宜 piányi cheap; cheap
怎么样 zěnmeyàng how? what to think of?
hái again; more; also
zhǒng kind; type
苹果 píngguǒ apple
香蕉 xiāngjiāo banana
葡萄 pútao grapes
nín you (polite form)

Linguistic note

In China, the prices are indicated with the monetary value of the country like the yuan 元 <yuán>, the Chinese currency. However, in oral we replace 元 <yuán> with 块 <kuài>.

Here is a chart to help you read, tell and understand the sums of money:

0.02 元 0.04 元 0.22 元 0.45 元
两分 四分 两毛二 四毛五
1.04 元 1.39 元 1.40 元 2.05 元
一块零四(分) 一块三毛九 一块四 两块零五(分)
2.20 元 2.22 元 10.4 元 10.04 元
两块二 两块两毛二 十块四毛 十块零四分

You may need to revise the lesson on numbers and numbers.


Ask how much does it cost

"多少钱 <duōshǎo qián>" (literal "how much money") translates to "how much does it cost" or "how much does it cost ...". When asking for the price for a specific quantity, this expression is followed by the numerical value of the quantity and then by a unit of measurement or the classifier corresponding to the subject:

(S +) 多少 钱 + Quantity + CL?

  • 这种 地图 多少 钱 一张? <Zhè zhǒng dìtú duōshǎo qián yī zhāng? > What kind of card costs how much (the unit)?

(S +) 多少 钱 + Quantity + Unit?

  • 香蕉 多少 钱 一斤? <Xiāngjiāo duōshǎo qián yī jīn? > Bananas cost how much half a kilo?

The adverb "still / equally" 还 <hái>

The adverb 还 <hái>, like all adverbs in Chinese, precedes the verb.

(S +) 还 + V + Object</source>

  • 您 还 要 别的 吗? <Nín hái yào bié de ma? > Do you want something else (besides)?
  • 我 还 要 两 斤 香蕉. <Wǒ hái yào liǎng jīn xiāngjiāo. > I also want a kilo of bananas.


Dialogue N ° 1

  • 法国 地图 多少 钱 一张? <Fàguó dítú duōshǎo qián yī zhāng? > How much are the cards of France?
  • 您 要 这种 还是 那种? <Nín yao zhè zhǒng háishì nà zhǒng? > Do you want this kind or that one?
  • 多少 钱? <Duōshǎo qián? > How much does it cost ?
  • 这种 四块 一张. 那种 三块 五 一张. <Zhè zhǒng sì kuài yī zhāng. Nā zhǒng sān kuài wǔ yī zhāng. > This kind costs 4 yuan per unit; that one, 3 yuan.
  • 我 要 这种. <Wǒ yào zhè zhǒng. > I want this kind.
  • -您 要 多少 张 地图 <? <Nín yào duōshǎo zhāng dìtú? > How many cards do you want?
  • 我 要 一张. 给 你 钱. <Wǒ yào yī zhāng. Gěi nǐ qián. > I want one. Here is the money.

Dialogue N ° 2

  • 葡萄 多少 钱 一斤? <Pútáo duōshǎo qián yī jīn? > How much is half a kilo of grapes?
  • 四块 五. <Sì kuài wǔ. >4.5 yuan
  • 可以 尝尝 吗? <Kěyǐ cháng cháng my? > Can we taste?
  • 可以, 尝 吧. <Kěyǐ, cháng ba. > Yes. Taste!
  • 葡萄 好吃! <Pútáo hào chī! > The grapes are good!
  • 您 要 几斤? <Nín yào jǐjīn? > How much do you want (kilos)?
  • 我 买 一 公斤. <Wǒ mǎi yī gōngjīn. > I buy a kilogram.

Dialogue N ° 3

  • 苹果 多少 钱 一斤? <Píngguǒ duōshǎo qián yī jīn? >How much are the five hundred grams of apples?
  • 八 块. <Bā kuài. >Eight yuan.
  • 太贵 了, 便宜 一点 吧. 六 块 五 一斤, 怎么 样? <Tài guìle, piányí yīdiǎn ba. Liù kuài wǔ yī jīn, zěnmeyàng? >It's too expensive, (do) a little cheaper. 6.5 yuan half-kilo, how are you?
  • 七块 吧. <Qī kuài ba. >Come on, 7 yuan.
  • 行. 我 要 两斤. <Xíng. Wǒ yào liǎng jīn. >Okay. I want a kilo.
  • 还要 别的 吗? <Hái yào bié de ma? >Do you want something else ?
  • 还要 一斤 香蕉. 一共 多少 钱? <Hai yao yi jin xiangjiao. Yīgòng duōshǎo qián? >And also half a kilo of bananas. How much in all?
  • 一共 十八 块. <Yīgòng shíbā kuài. >In all, 18 yuan.
  • 给 你 二十 块钱. <Gěi nǐ èrshí kuài qián. >I give you 20 yuan.
  • 找 您 两块. <Zhǎo nǐ liǎng kuài. >I'll give you back 2

Exercise of substitution

Replace the blanks in the question, according to the proposed list:

_________________ 多少 钱 _________________?

一 本书 → 18 元

一 本 词典 → 35 元

一张 地图 → 4 元

一支 笔 → 3,6 元

一斤 饺子 → 28 元

一把 椅子 → 150 元

一张 床 → 2200 元



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