Lesson 11: How much is this?

这个多少钱? Zhè ge duō shǎo qián

 

Are you good at bargaining? Bargaining is very common when you go shopping in countries like China, Hong Kong, Thailand etc. People like to bargain with the sellers when buying things like clothes, bags and shoes. No matter how expensive or how cheap the things are, they just like to bargain to satisfy themselves. In countries like Thailand and India, for example, you can even bargain with the taxi drivers for the fare before you take the ride.

In the lesson today, we will teach you, not the art of bargaining, but rather currencies. Do you know how to say how much is this in Chinese? Listen to the dialogue below and practice the question on how to ask for the price so that you can try asking in Chinese when you are traveling to China.

This is a dialogue between Zhang Yun and the salesman in a fruit store. Zhang Yun wants to buy some oranges but they are too expensive. She is asking the salesman whether they are any cheaper ones.

Salesman:                    Welcome!

Zhang Yun:                 I want to buy oranges.

Salesman:                    The oranges are over there.

Zhang Yun:                 How much is the orange?

Salesman:                    Five oranges for three dollars

Zhang Yun:                 Your oranges are expensive. Do you have cheaper ones?

Salesman:                    That one is cheaper. 1 dollar and sixty five cents for five.

Zhang Yun:                 I’ll buy the cheaper ones.

Salesman:                    Altogether 1 dollar and sixty five cents please. Do you want something else?

Zhang Yun:                 No. Thank you. Here is the money.

Salesman:                    ok. You gave me two dollars. Here is your change of thirty five cents. Goodbye

Zhang Yun:                 Good bye.

 

店员:                        欢迎光临!
张云:                        我要买橘子。

店员:                        橘子在那儿。

张云:                        这个橘子多少钱?

店员:                        五个三块钱。

张云:                        您的橘子真贵。有便宜的吗?

店员:                        那个是便宜的。五个一块六毛五。

张云:                        我买便宜的。

店员:                        一共一块六毛五。您还要什么?

张云:                        不要了。谢谢。给你钱。

店员:                        好。您给我两块钱,我找您三毛五。再见。

张云:                        再见!

 

Diàn yuán:                   Huān yíng guāng lín!

Zhāng yún:                  Wǒ yāo mǎi júzi.

Diàn yuán:                   Jú zi zài nà’er.

Zhāng yún:                  Zhè gè jú zi duō shǎo qián?

Diàn yuán:                   Wǔ gè sān kuài qián.

Zhāng yún:                  Nín de júzi zhēn guì. Yǒu pián yi de ma?

Diàn yuán:                   Nà gè shì piányi de. Wǔ gè yī kuài liù máo wǔ.

Zhāng yún:                  Wǒ mǎi pián yi de.

Diàn yuán:                   Yī gòng yī kuài liù máo wǔ. Nín hái yào shén me?

Zhāng yún:                  Bù yào le. Xiè xiè. Gěi nǐ qián.

Diàn yuán:                   Hǎo. Nín gěi wǒ liǎng kuài qián, wǒ zhǎo nín sān máo wǔ. Zài jiàn. Zhāng yún:                  Zài jiàn!

 

In Chinese, when you are using the demonstrative pronoun or as an attributive, a measure word is generally inserted between it and the noun it modifies. For example, 这个橘子 Zhè gè jú zi,那张纸 Nà zhāng zhǐ (That piece of paper),这本书 Zhè běn shū (That book).

您还要什么?or  您要什么?are common expressions to ask what someone wants. These phrases are especially used by salesman when they are offering help to customers. The phrase

还要 is to ask customers whether they have other things to buy. It means anything else you want to buy in English.

 

……多少钱 is a predicate and is placed after the subject. When the subject is a bag, you can say 皮包多少钱?When you have a weight such as kilogram 公斤 for the subject, you will put the weight in front. For example, how much is one kilogram of apple? 一公斤苹果多少钱 Yī gōn gjīn ping guǒ duō shǎo qián? or you can say 多少钱一公斤苹果 Duō shǎo qián yī gōng jīn ping guǒ?

People normally do not bargain when they go to the supermarket as the prices are fixed and stated clearly on the packages. But when they shop at the free market or stalls, they are able to bargain as things are normally not packed and hence easier to bargain.

There are many types of currencies used in the world.  Listed below are some of the most popular currencies:-

Simplified Pinyin English
人民币 Rén mín bì Chinese currency
美元 Měi yuán American dollar
英镑 Yīng bàng Pound
欧元 Ōu yuán Euro
日元 Rì yuán Japanese Yen

 

The various monetary units in the Chinese currency are 元 (Yuán), 角 (jiǎo) and 分 (fēn) . In spoken Chinese, we often use 块 (Kuài)  instead of  元 and 毛 (máo) instead of角. When máo or fēn is at the end, 分钱 (fēn qián) or 毛钱 (máo qián) can be omitted.

For example,

1.65 =  一块六毛五(分钱) yī kuài liù máo wǔ (fēn qián)

2.80 =  两块八(毛钱) Liǎng kuài bā (máo qián)

When ‘2毛’ is at the beginning of an amount, and 2分 is at the end, the expression is 两毛二(分).

In the above dialogue, the salesman said 我找您三毛五, 找您 here means to give change rather than to look for you. Although the Chinese character 找 means to look for or find, but the context here is about money. Thus, when learning Chinese, understanding the context is very important.

We hope you have understood how to express currency after this lesson. Practice the phrases before you head out to China. See you again in our next lesson.

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