If you’ve learned how to count in Chinese, you may want to learn some common maths terminology. In this post I will go through some maths basics, such as how to say plus, minus, equals, and may other terms.
Chinese write maths as we do in English, that is with numerals and maths symbols. For example 1+1 = 2 and 4÷5 carry the same meaning in Chinese and English – after all maths is he universal language.
There are two situations where knowing the Chinese characters and pronunciation for maths is useful. Firstly as you know how to write numbers and maths symbols as words in English, you should know how to write the same numbers and maths symbols as words in Chinese. As an example, the maths equation 1+1=2 can be written in English words as “one plus one equals two”. In Chinese the same 1+1=2 maths problem would be written in Chinese words as
Secondly, if you want to speak a maths problem out loud you need to know how it is pronounced, as you can hardly read it in English. Using the 1+1=2 example, this is written as
So to recap:
 Chinese uses the same numerals and maths symbols as English
 You need to know the Chinese pronunciation for numbers and maths symbols if you are going to read them out loud
 It is unlikely but still useful to know how to write maths in words
If you haven’t yet learned numbers, please check out my post on how to count in Chinese.
Table of Contents
Chinese Pronunciation of Maths Symbols
Below is a table showing common maths symbols and how they are pronounced in Chinese:
Symbol  Chinese  Pronunciation (Pinyin) 
+ 

jiā 
– 

jiǎn 
÷ 

chú yǐ 
x 

chéng 
= 

děngyú 
Below are examples of simple maths calculations to illustrate how the above symbols are used. I have shows the maths with mixed numbers and Chinese characters to make it clearer which character corresponds to which mathematical symbol.
Numerals  Mixed Chinese and Numerals  Chinese  Pinyin Pronunciation 
1+1=2 


yī jiā yī děngyú èr 
3–1=2 


sān jiǎn yī děngyú èr 
8÷2=4 


bā chú yǐ èr děngyú sì 
2x3=6 


liǎng chéng sān děngyú liù 
How to say fractions in Chinese
In Chinese the word for fraction is
To explain
The table below demonstrates the use of
Fraction  Chinese  Pronunciation (Pinyin) 
1/2 

yībàn 
1/3 

sān fēn zhī yī 
2/3 

sān fēn zhī èr 
1/4 

sì fēn zhī yī 
3/4 

sì fēn zhī sān 
1/5 

wǔ fēn zhī yī 
2/5 

wǔ fēn zhī èr 
3/5 

wǔ fēn zhī sān 
4/5 

wǔ fēn zhī sì 
45/70 

qī shí fēn zhī sìshíwǔ 
Note that 1/2 is written as “one half”, that is
Literally
How to write percentages in Chinese
The first point to understand about writing percentages in Chinese is you can express them mathematically using numbers followed by percent sign (%) exactly as you do in English e.g. 7%, 54%, 150% etc. This is the normal way or writing percentages in just about any language.
Percentage  Chinese  Pronunciation (Pinyin) 
7% 

bǎi fēn zhī qī 
54% 

bǎi fēn zhī wǔshí sì 
150% 

bǎi fēn zhī yībǎi wǔ shí 
Secondly, if you want to write a percentage in Chinese words or read a percentage aloud, just append he Chinese word for percent in front of the number. The Chinese word for percentage is
So what does
Percentage  Expressed as a fraction over one hundred  Written in a mixture of numerals (numbers) and the word for fraction 分之  Written entirely in Chinese characters 
7%  7 / 100  100 分之 7 

54%  54 / 100  100 分之 7 

150%  150 / 100  100 分之 7 

Algebra – Chinese Language Vocabulary
If you are doing more advanced maths in Chinese, you may wonder how to say and write words like “cosine”, “to the power of” or “squared” to name but a few. The table below provides the Pinyin pronunciation and the Chinese words for a number of terms you will likely come across in Algebra:
English Maths Term  Chinese  Pronunciation (Pinyin) 
tan 

zhèngqiē 
cosine 

yúxián 
sine 

zhèngxián 
to the power of 

duì… de lìliàng e.g 2^10 = 2 duì 10 de lìliàng 
Pythagoras’ theorem 

bì dá gē lā sī dìnglǐ 
squared 

píngfāng 
Geometry – Chinese Language Vocabulary
Below is a list of Chinese words used in geometry that you may find useful if you are doing maths in Chinese:
English  Chinese  Pronunciation (Pinyin) 
acute angle 

ruìjiǎo 
angle 

jiǎodù 
arc 

hú 
chord 

xián 
circumference 

zhōu 
diameter 

zhíjìng 
equilateral triangle 

děng biān sānjiǎoxíng 
hexagon 

liù biān xíng 
Isosceles triangle 

děng yāo sānjiǎoxíng 
line 

xiàn 
line segment 

xiànduàn 
obtuse Angle 

dùnjiǎo 
octagon 

bā jiǎoxíng 
parallel 

píngxíng 
parallel line segments 

píngxíng xiànduàn 
parallel lines 

píngxíng xiàn 
parallelogram 

píngxíng sìbiānxíng 
pentagon 

wǔjiǎodàlóu 
pentagon 

wǔjiǎodàlóu 
point 

diǎn 
radius 

bànjìng 
rectangle 

chángfāngxíng 
rhombus 

língxíng 
right angle 

zhíjiǎo 
scalene triangle 

bù děng biān sānjiǎoxíng 
square 

guǎngchǎng 
star (shape) 

xīng xíng 
tangent 

qiēxiàn 
triangle 

sānjiǎoxíng 
vertex 

dǐngdiǎn 
Conclusion
Please feel free to look at my other article on counting in Chinese. If you are interested in learning or improving your Chinese, I’ve spent some time selecting what I consider to be the best top ten resources for learning Chinese here.