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How to find a deal in Chinese?

Jun. 15, 2016

When you go shopping, you are always looking for the best price for the product you want. Whether its clothing, electronics or food that you are hunting for, everybody loves a good bargain! You can find a sign indicating a sale in China by finding the character “折 (zhé).” The character is derived from the phrase “折扣 (zhékòu).” So, an example of a discount written on a sign in China, would appear like this:


Whereas in America, a discount sign may appear like this:


To beginners, these signs may appear to mean the same thing. However, to experienced Chinese learners they are very different. Some Western shoppers may misunderstand “7 折 (qī zhé)” as “70 percent off” when they see the label in China. However, “7 折 (qī zhé)” is actually only 30 percent off. Confused? Check out an example conversation you may use at a shop in China:


Gùkè: Qĭngwèn zhè tiáo kùzi duōshăo qián?
顾客:请问        这   条  裤子   多少       钱?
Customer: Excuse me, how much are these pants?

Shòuhuòyuán: Yī băi sān shí yuán.
售货员:           130               元。
Shop assistant: 130 yuan.

Gùkè: Yŏu zhékòu ma?
顾客:有    折扣    吗?
Customer: Is there a discount?

Shòuhuòyuán: Xiànzài dǎ bā zhé.
售货员:          现在     打 八  折。
Shop assistant: I can give you a discount of 20% off.


1. Zhè jiàn yīfu yuánjià liǎngbǎi yuán, dǎ liù zhé.
这    件 衣服   原价       200         元, 打  6  折。

According to the above statement, how much would you pay for the clothes?

A. 200 yuan

B. 120 yuan

C. 80 yuan

2. Which of the following means to pay 30 percent of the price in China?

A. 3折

B. 5 折

C. 7 折

D. 9 折

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Hey! Why san zhe mean 30%? actually, based on the explanation, it should be qi zhe

Hi Chakriya, you can see the explanation at the last paragraph that in Chinese,“7 折 (qī zhé)” is actually only 30 percent off. So “3 折 (sān zhé)” is actually 70 percent off, which means 30% of the price. It is very different from English, some western shoppers may misunderstand it. Just let me know if you have any other questions.

很有用哦,很棒。我常常感谢your lesson.

Hi Kim, I’m glad to hear that. We will keep updating more useful posts. Please feel free to check and let me know if you have any questions in learning Chinese.

Thanks for the lesson.. it would be great to learn more signs from daily chine life..

Hi Nadir, I’m glad to hear that. Hope these posts can help you learn Chinese well.

Thanks for your the lesson.. it would be great to learn more current ” signs that we can encounter in daily China..

Hi Nadir. I’m glad to here that. We will keep updating more useful posts. Please feel free to check.

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