Why Chinese People don't Like the Number 4?

Monday, January 22, 2024

In Chinese culture, numbers play a significant role and are often associated with different meanings. While some numbers are considered auspicious, there are certain numbers believed to bring bad luck. One such number that holds a notorious reputation is the number 4. Let's delve into why the number 4 is considered unlucky in Chinese tradition.

Why is four an unlucky number?

The number 4, pronounced as "sì" in Mandarin, sounds similar to the word for death, which is "sǐ." This phonetic resemblance has led to a widespread belief that the number 4 brings bad luck and is associated with death and misfortune.

Manifestations in Daily Life

Avoidance in Building Floors:

Many buildings skip the number 4 in floor numbering. For instance, some buildings may not have a fourth floor or any floor containing the number 4, such as 14th or 24th. This is because living on a floor associated with the sound of "death" is believed to bring bad luck.

Hospital Room Numbers:

In some hospitals, room numbers may also avoid the use of the number 4 to prevent patients or their families from feeling uneasy.

Pricing Strategies:

Some businesses also avoid using the number 4 in pricing. For example, prices may be set at 39 yuan or 49 yuan instead of 40 yuan.

Mobile Phone Models:

In the past, Apple released the iPhone 4. However, due to the negative connotations of the number 4, some people may prefer to choose other models, such as the iPhone 5.

  • Why don't you buy this house?
    Nǐ wèishéme bù mǎi zhège fángzi?
  • Because it's on the fourth floor, and I don't like that number.
    Yīnwèi tā zài sì lóu, wǒ kě bù xǐhuān nàge shùzì.
  • Why didn't you buy the iPhone 4?
    你的手机为什么没买iPhone 4?
    Nǐ de shǒujī wèishéme méi mǎi iPhone 4?
  • Because I heard that four is an unlucky number, so I chose the iPhone 5.
    因为我听说四是个不吉利的数字,所以选了iPhone 5。
    Yīnwèi wǒ tīngshuō sì shì gè bù jílì de shùzì, suǒyǐ xuǎnle iPhone 5.

Besides the number 4, do you know any other numbers that Chinese people don't like?

Related Articles

Sign up for a free trial now!

FAQ / Tips

Our Chinese learning method is focused on personalized and interactive one-on-one lessons with a professional teacher. The lessons are conducted live through our online teaching platform, which allows you to see and talk to the teacher. You can schedule the lessons at a time that suits you, and the teacher will tailor the lesson content to your specific needs and goals. During the lesson, you can ask questions and receive feedback from the teacher to ensure you understand and master the knowledge and skills being taught. We also have a student service team and academic coordinator team to assist you with your learning and provide any additional support you may need.Overall, our method is designed to be flexible, personalized, and interactive to help you achieve your language learning goals.
Yes, our website offers courses in both traditional and simplified Chinese characters. You can choose the character set that you want to learn based on your personal preference or learning goals.Our courses are designed to accommodate learners of all levels and backgrounds, so whether you are a beginner or an advanced learner, we have resources that can help you improve your Chinese language skills.
We offer a 30-day money-back guarantee for all new students.If you are not satisfied with our services within the first month, you may cancel your lessons and receive a refund for any unused lessons.We will only charge you for the first month of lessons, and refund the remaining balance to you promptly.Our goal is to ensure your satisfaction with our services, and we strive to provide the highest quality of instruction and support to all of our students.
We offer secure and convenient payment options, including PayPal. PayPal is a widely recognized and trusted online payment platform that provides a secure way to make transactions. We also follow industry-standard security protocols to ensure the safety of your personal and financial information.
If you have any questions or concerns, you can send an email to: service @chineselearning.com.We have a team of professionals who will be happy to assist you with any issues as soon as possible.
We offer highly flexible class schedules that cater to your needs, with lessons available from 7am to 10pm Beijing time, seven days a week.This allows you to conveniently take lessons at any time and from any location that suits your schedule.