The logic behind ” 折” Discount in Chinese language

Discounts in the Chinese language is the other way round, read this article to learn more! 


Whenever we see a 60% discount on any shops, we understand that if the original price of the product is 100 bucks and the final price of it after discount is 40 bucks. This is the general math around the world but not in China. In China, they have a different way of representing the discounts and let us discuss it now.

If you ever got any chance to go to any shopping mall in China, you will find the words like   4折 ( : Zhé: Discount )and this is actually showing the discount. The complete word for the discount is打折扣: Dǎzhékòu

Before understanding this, we first need to understand the Chinese language culture first. As I have stated in my previous articles, the Chinese language is sometimes logical and very straightforward. Examples of straightforward Chinese vocabulary is the way Chinese people call months and weekdays. For months they call as  January (一月: Yī yuè: The first month), February ( 二月: Èr yuè: The second month )  and so on till December ( 十二月:Shí’èr yuè: The twelfth month). For Weekdays they call as follows: Monday ( 星期一:Xīngqí yī : Weekday one  )   Tuesday (星期二:Xīngqí’èr: Weekday two  )and so on till Saturday(星期六:Xīngqíliù: Weekday six). Isn’t this very straightforward and easy to remember?

Now let us understand the 4折 ( : Zhé : Discount )representation in more details. This letter打折扣 : Dǎzhékòu is basically giving a discount. The calculation very again very straightforward as you saw for months and weekdays above and  is as below

If you find 4折 ( 折 : Zhé : Discount ), this means the discount is 40% of the original price. That means if the original price is 100 bucks with 4折 , the final price would be 0.4 * 100 i.e. 40 bucks. This is nothing but same as our universal representation of 60% discount in rest of the world.

One to one Chinese 折 ( 折 :Zhé : Discount ) and usual representation 

  • 1折 : 90 % discount
  • 2折: 80 % discount
  • 3折: 70 % discount
  • 4折: 60 % discount
  • 5折: 50 % discount
  • 6折: 40 % discount
  • 7折: 30 % discount
  • 8折: 20 % discount
  • 9折: 10 % discount

Please note that at times this Chinese way of discounting would be confusing but with practice and logical thinking, one can get used to it.

If you want to ask anyone ” Is there any discount? ” – 有折扣吗 ( Yǒu zhékòu ma ? )

This article is just to share this unique way of representing the discount rates in China and sure will help someone travelling to China.

more articles on learning the logical Chinese – Click here

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Note: The article is totally my own thoughts and not necessarily anyone needs to agree with my thoughts and ideas.