Expressing multiplicity with 倍

Multiplicity, the comparison of objects by quantity and quality, can be expressed with 倍.

What does 倍 mean?

Multiplicity is expressed with 倍 .

Pay attention

A numeral is often placed before it.

The word 倍 itself expresses a unit, 100%.
So, 2倍 is 2 units, or 200%. Similarly, 5倍 is 500%.
倍 can also be used differently, and that’s why we will analyze it in the examples below.

Expressing "several times more" with 是 and 有

倍 is used to say “several times more”. In the structure below, “A” and “B” are objects that are being compared.

Scheme

A

是/有

B

的

number 倍

Examples

他的收入是她的两倍

He earns twice as much as her

tā de shōurù shì tā de liǎng bèi

In the example above, "her salary" ("B") is the unit 100%.
"His salary" ("A") is 2 of these units (200%), which is twice as much as her.
So, A=2*B.

Examples

土豆的热量有白黄瓜的数倍

Potatoes contain several times more calories than cucumbers

tǔdòu de rèliàng yǒu bái huángguā de shù bèi

In the example above, we take as a basis “the number of calories in cucumbers” ("B”).
The number of calories in potatoes (“A”) is several times more than the number of calories in cucumbers (“B”). We don’t know the exact number of times. It isn’t important.
So, A=several Bs.

In these type of sentences, 是 is used much more often than 有.

Pay attention

The value of "А" is not important.

Examples

我们需要现有数量的两倍

We need twice this amount

wǒmen xūyào xiàn yǒu shùliàng de liǎng bèi

How to talk about the multiplication of numbers

We should use the structure below to talk about the multiplication of numbers:

Scheme

numeral 1

的

quantity 倍

是

numeral 2

Examples

三的四倍是十二

Three times four equals twelve

sān de sì bèi shì shí'èr

二的二倍是四

Two times two is four

èr de èr bèi shì sì

Making adjectives and adverbs

Using 倍, we can form adjectives like “double”, “triple”.
An adjective is formed like this:

Scheme

numeral

倍

(的)

Pay attention

The particle 的 can be omitted.

Examples

昨天公司给我们发了两倍的工资

Yesterday the firm paid us double our salary

zuótiān gōngsī gěi wǒmen fā le liǎng bèi de gōngzī

要付款三倍价钱

You need to pay triple the price

yào fùkuǎn sān bèi jiàqián

Pay attention

In colloquial speech, 两倍 is often replaced with 双倍 .

倍 can be placed before verbs and act as an adverb with the meaning “twice”, “intensively”.
An adverb is formed like this:

Scheme

(numeral)

倍

(地)

Pay attention

The particle 地 and the numeral can be omitted.
If there is no numeral before 倍, and 两 is before 倍, the adverb is translated as “twice”.

Examples

过新年的时候，我们一般两倍地梦想

On New Years, we usually dream twice as much as usual

guò xīnnián de shíhou, wǒmen yìbān liǎng bèi de mèngxiǎng

我给它们的爱意，它们百倍地回报了我

They repaid me for my love with love a hundredfold

wǒ gěi tāmen de àiyì, tāmen bǎi bèi de huíbào le wǒ

Making comparisons with 倍 and 比

倍 can express the difference between objects in a comparative structure using the character 比 . Using this structure, we can make sentences like "5 times more", "two times less often", "1.5 times stronger".

Scheme

A

比

B

adjective

number 倍

Pay attention

In this case, the original amount “B” is also counted. That’s why, while translating a sentence into English, you need to add +1 to a number.
For example, 一倍 is translated “twice”, 三倍 is translated “four times”.

Examples

我比这个孩子高两倍

I am three times taller than this kid

wǒ bǐ zhè ge háizi gāo liǎng bèi

他56岁，年龄比她大一倍

He is 56. He is twice as old as her

tā wǔshí liù suì, niánlíng bǐ tā dà yí bèi

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