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Words of the Day: Er (two)

Posted: Friday, April 2, 2010 By Ni Hao Books

The Words of the Day for today is 二, èr (two). When children learn Chinese, numbers are the usually first ones they learn. One of the really interesting number is 二, èr (two). It's interesting because when one counts numbers, one always says 一 (yī, one),二,三 (sān, three), etc. But when it comes to saying two of something, such as two tigers, it's not 二只老虎, it's 两只老虎. 两(liǎng) replaces 二. This only happens when we try to say two of something. Two flowers is 两朵花(flowers),not 二朵花。And this only happens to the number two. This has always confused my son, who counted as 一,二,两,三,for a while, thinking 两 is a number as well.

To hear how 二只老虎 (two tigers) is used in a popular Chinese children song, you can listen to the VCD that comes with My First Chinese Song Book


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