Chinese Numbers

# Chinese Arithmetic: Plus, Minus, Times, Divide (Add, Subtract, Multiply, Divide)

This article on Chinese Math – Add, Subtract, Multiply and Divide is a more advanced level of using the Chinese Numbers. You will learn some Simple Math calculation in Mandarin for daily use. On top of that, there are a couple of more examples of how you can use the Chinese math terms as an additional syntax to express other things non-related to figures. You can first test your knowledge on the numbers listening test here.

## Vocabulary: Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, Division

Addition, subtraction, multiplication and division are nouns and denote the methods of calculation for add, subtract, multiply and divide.

 + Addition 加法 Jiāfǎ − Subtraction 减法 Jiǎnfǎ × Multiplication 乘法 Chéngfǎ ÷ Division 除法 Chúfǎ

## Vocabulary: Add / Plus, Subtract / Minus, Multiply, Divide, Equal

There are two ways to say “equal” in Chinese Math – 等于 Děngyú and .

 + Add/Plus 加 Jiā − Subtract/Minus 减 Jiǎn × Multiply/Times 乘 Chéng ÷ Divide Divide by 除, 除以 Chú, Chú yǐ = Equal 等于 Děngyú = Get, Obtain 得 Dé Sum, Total number 总数 Zǒngshù Mathematics 数学 Shùxué Arithmetic: Use of numbers in counting and calculation 算数 Suànshù

## What is the Sum of the Calculation Below?

Please calculate. What is the sum below?

Suàn suàn kàn, yǐ xià zǒng shù shì duō shǎo?

## How to “Add or Plus” in Chinese?

Listen to the pronunciation of the digit 2. You must be aware that there are two ways to say two in Chinese when the position of 2 shifts its place from tens to hundreds and so on.

You can also read more sentences of the Chinese Verb – Add in another separate post. There is one motivating Chinese slang “Add Oil 加油 Jiāyóu” which means “Come on! Try Harder!” that you ought to know. Have a read!

Add another bowl of rice [in addition to the existing food (order)].

Zài jiā yī wǎn fàn.

Recently, I am feeling frustrated at work in addition to some problems at home.

Zuì jìn, wǒ zài gōng zuò shàng hěn fán, jiā shàng jiā lǐ chū le yī diǎn wèn tí.

Be extra careful!

Duō jiā xiǎo xīn!

## How to “Subtract or Minus” in Chinese?

### Mandarin Sentences: Reduce 减Jiǎn

Jiǎn in combination with another verb, noun or adjective in a sentence means to reduce something, be it a noun or lighten the impact of actions.

I think I am fat. I want to go on a diet. (减肥 literally ‘reduce fat)

Wǒ jué dé wǒ hěn féi. Wǒ yào jiǎn féi.

How do I reduce stress?

Wǒ yào rú hé jiǎn yā?

I want to lighten my financial burden.

Wǒ yào jiǎn qīng wǒ de jīng jì fù dān.

You are driving too fast on the highway. Please reduce the speed.

Nǐ zài gāo sù gōng lù shàng xíng shǐ tài kuài le. Qǐng nǐ jiǎn sù.

## How to “Times or Multiply” in Chinese?

### Mandarin Sentences: Others 乘Chéng

The word  Chéng in Chinese has no other meanings related to mathematical sense unlike  Jiā and  Jiǎn (add and subtract) which can form sentences correlating to adding or reducing something. Nonetheless, I’ll still show you examples of  Chéng.

Some passengers take a cab without paying and flee.

Yǒu xiē chéng kè dā dé shì bú fù qián jiù pǎo.

Do you take a plane or train to London? (搭乘 refers to the mode of transportation for plane, boat, train, car and bus)

Nǐ dā chéng fēi jī hái shì huǒ chē qù lún dūn ne?

The thief (took advantage of the situation and) escaped while no one was noticing.

Xiǎo tōu chèn méi rén zhù yì shí, chèng jī táo pǎo.

*The pronunciation of “乘机” should be read as “chèng jī” instead of the default sound “乘 chéng”. This term is one exception of tone change compared to the rest of the sentences above with 乘 chéng.

## How to “Divide” in Chinese?

It is tricky to use the Chinese word Chú or 除以 Chú yǐ to refer as divide since both can be used. BUT, be careful of how you say it as the calculation method that you mean may not be what the Chinese interpreted.

In a typical scenario below, 21 divides by 7, we use 除以 Chú yǐ to say “divide by”. It is easy for English speakers to resonate with the a) Chinese phrase below because the position of the numbers is the same as the English phrase.

The other alternative to say b) 21 ÷ 7 = 3 where you reverse the number between 21 and 7, you use 除 Chú instead of 除以 Chú yǐ. It is somewhat confusing for many people whether to use or 除以 to express a division in the right way.

I would think that it is easier for English speakers to learn the Chinese Phrase a) because it is more logical and faster for the brain to react when translating from English to Chinese. Anyway, use whichever sentence that is easier for you to remember.

21 ÷ 7 = 3

a) 21 除以 7 等于 3
b) 7 除 21 等于 3

a) 21 chú yǐ 7 děng yú 3
b) 7 chú 21 děng yú 3

10 ÷ 5 = 2

a) 10 除以 5 等于 2
b) 5 除 10 等于 2

a) 10 chú yǐ 5 děngyú 2
b) 5 chú 10 děngyú 2

5 ÷ 10 = 0,5

a) 5 除以 10 等于 0.5
b) 10 除 5 等于 0.5

a) 5 chú yǐ 10 děng yú 0.5
b) 10 chú 5 děng yú 0.5

### Mandarin Sentences: Preposition, Remove 除Chú

The word  Chú means to remove or get rid of something. On the other hand, it can be used as a preposition if combined with other Chinese words.

Other than loving you, who can I love?

Chú le ài nǐ, wǒ hái néng ài shéi?

Unless urgent, otherwise I will not do it this way.

Chú fēi jǐn jí, bù rán wǒ bù huì zhè me zuò.

How to get rid/remove eye bags and wrinkles?

Rú hé qù chú yǎn dài hé zhòu wén?

I clean my house every day to remove the dirt.

Wǒ měi tiān dǎ sǎo jiā lǐ, qīng chú wū gòu.

## Vocabulary: Mathematics and Arithmetic

### Mandarin Sentences: Mathematics 数学Shùxué

Other than using 数学 Shùxué as a noun for Mathematics, we can use it as an adjective too. We can say that someone (He) has a mathematical mind. 他有一个数学头脑。Tā yǒu yīgè shùxué tóunǎo.

He was my Primary School Maths teacher.

Tā shì wǒ xiǎo xué de shù xué lǎo shī.

My math was not good. I failed my math.

Wǒ de shù xué bù hǎo. Wǒ de shù xué yě bù jí gé.

### Mandarin Sentences: Arithmetic 算数Suànshù

He was barely 3 years old when he learned arithmetic.

Tā bù dào 3 suì jiù huì suàn shù le.

Do you mean what you say or not? Whatever that was said yesterday are all not counted.

Nǐ shuō huà suàn shǔsuàn shù? Zuó tiān shuō de, quán bù suàn shù.

We move on to learn how to say the date starting with Weeks of the Day.