How do I write a number range in Chinese?

There are three ways to express a range or numbers or dates in Chinese:

  • dào (dào), which means “to” or “until”, is commonly used for number ranges, for example dàoèrtiān (yī dào èrtiān) means “one to two days”, or “a day or two”. You can use dào when other ranges such as months, for example “January to March” yuèdàoSānyuè (yī yuè dào sān yuè)
  • A hyphen (a dash) [-] can be used in the same way that we do in English, for example 44--55tiān (sì – wǔ tiān) means four to five days. In Chinese a hyphen is called liánhào (lián zìhao), however when saying a range you would say dào (dào), so 44--55tiān would be said as (sì dào wǔ tiān).
  • A tilde “wavy line” character [~] may also be used to represent a range, so 44--55tiān (sì ~ wǔ tiān) is also acceptable and in fact common when the range is an estimate. The Chinese word for a wilde “wavy line” is lànghào (bōlàng hào) and again, when verbally talking about a range you would say dào e.g. 44~~55tiān would be said as (sì dào wǔ tiān).