Paj-Puj: Using Paired Numbers to Express Approximations

Using Paired Numbers to Express Approximations

مۆلچەر بىلدۈرىدىغان جۈپلەشتۈرۈلگەن سان

A very common way to express approximate quantities in Uyghur is to pair two numbers separated by the dash, which conveys the meaning of a range - i.e., that the true number being approximated is very likely between those two. The lower number always precedes the larger. This is nearly identical to what one sees in English with such expressions as "one or two" or "forty or fifty" (one just uses the dash instead of the word "or").

one or two (a few)
بىر ـ ئىككى

ten or twenty
ئون ـ يىگىرمە


  1. Personal research/experience
  2. Gulnisa Nazarova, Kurban Niyaz, "Uyghur: An Elementary Textbook". Georgetown University Press: 2013. (p. 476)
  3. Tarjei Engesæth, Mahire Yakup, Arienne M. Dwyer, "Greetings from the Teklimakan: a handbook of Modern Uyghur". University of Kansas: Kansas, 2009. (p. 242-243)
  4. Frederick De Jong, "A Grammar of Modern Uyghur". Houtsma Stichting: Utrecht, 2007. (p. 92)
  5. Hämit Tömür, "Modern Uyghur Grammar" (translation by Anne Lee). Yıldız: Istanbul, 2003. (p. 38, 131-132)
  6. E. N. Nadzhip, "Modern Uigur". Nauka Publishing House: Moscow, 1971. (p. 96)
  7. G. Raquette, "Eastern Turki Grammar: Practical and Theoretical with Vocabulary". Reichsdruckerei: Berlin, 1912. (p. 141)
  8. 米海力, "维吾尔语喀什话研究"。中央民族大学出版社: 北京, 1997。 (p. 77)