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Our Guide to Spanish Numbers

One of the first things you know in a language, even as a child learning your mother tongue, is how to count. Numbers are the basis of a variety of different ways to communicate. If you just opted to learn Spanish, that information doesn’t change—you should still start with the numbers.

 

They are important even if you are going around in the city. You need to understand and learn how to talk about prices, about road numbers, how many minutes, how many orders do you want, etc.

 

However, learning numbers in Spanish doesn’t have to be a big overwhelming task. I have put this guide together to help you through the basics of learning numbers in Spanish, or rather, los numeros en español.

 

Instead of just learning all the numbers and memorizing them one by one, look for patterns in counting, just as there is in English.

 

This guide will help you understand the patterns better, take a look 🙂

 

Recognizing Patterns

First, learn all the numbers, from one to fifteen:

 

1: uno

2: dos

3: tres

4: cuatro

5: cinco

6: seis

7: siete

8: ocho

9: nueve

10: diez

11: once

12: doce

13: trece

14: catorce

15: quince

 

Once you have these down, move on to the numbers that are multiples of ten. Simple enough to remember, except for twenty, which is “veinte”, they all end in –enta. They are also, all except “veinte” again, related to the numbers one through ten to their corresponding sequence:

 

20: veinte

30: treinta

40: cuarenta

50: cincuenta

60: sesenta

70: setenta

80: ochenta

90: noventa

 

From sixteen onward, all you have to do is combine the numbers with a “y” (pronounced “e”) in the middle, and you’ve done it.

 

For example, from 16-19, it is ten and six, ten and seven, ten and eight, and finally, ten and nine. In Spanish, these will be pronounced:

 

16: “diez + y + seis”: dieciséis

17: “diez + y + siete”: diecisiete

18: “diez + y + ocho”: dieciocho

19: “diez + y + nueve”: diecinueve

 

Moving forward, when talking about the “tens” numbers, you also just combine the multiples of ten words we just learned than combine them with the “ones” numbers, adding the “y”.

  

(pronounced “e”) again in the middle. In Spanish, these will be pronounced:

 

31: treinta y uno

41: cuarenta y dos

51: cincuenta y tres

 

“Veinte” is the only exception in the fact that it takes off the ending of the word, adds an “i” and smashes it all together.

 

For example:

 

“veinte + y + uno”: veintiuno

“veinte + y + dos”: veintidós

 

Now that you have 1-99, all you need to add is the numbers zero and one hundred.

In Spanish, they are:

 

0: cero

100: cien

 

Now you have the basics of zero to one hundred.

Hundreds of Spanish Numbers

If you want to move on to larger numbers over one hundred, the concepts stay the same, it’s just the numbers that come before are different. For example, if you were to say 101, you would combine what you just learned and add it after “ciento”.

 

For example:

 

101: ciento uno

125: ciento veinticinco

163: ciento sesenta y tres.

 

Note that you are not adding a “y” in between one hundred and the one or the twenty-five. You say it fluidly.

 

Since we’re working on the hundreds, I might as well introduce you to the other counts of one hundred. They are basically the original number with “cientos” added to it, with the exception of 500, 700, and 900. Here are the hundreds in Spanish:

 

200: doscientos

300: trescientos

400: cuatrocientos

500: quinientos

600: seiscientos

700: setecientos

800: ochocientos

900: novecientos

 

Now you have the basics. You can work with all the numbers up to one thousand, which is “mil”, by the way.

LingQ

One Thousand and More

With “one thousand”, you have to remember that you don’t use “un mil”, opposed to when you talk about “one million”, where you use “un millón”.

 

Here are a few examples of bigger numbers:

 

1,000: mil

20,000: veinte mil

100,000: cien mil

1,000,000: un millón

3,000,000: tres millones

 

Last but not least, what sets Spanish apart from numbers in English is the way they are written down. In a math class in Honduras, you might be a little confused as to why there are decimal points or commas in places where you normally wouldn’t see them.

 

Decimals and Commas

In English, you normally use commas to break up several thousands or millions. For example, instead of “4352873”, you would write: “4,352,873”.

 

Also in English, you would normally use decimal points to break up partial numbers. For example, you would write: “1.33”

 

In Spanish, however, it’s quite literally the opposite. You use decimal points to break up large numbers. For example, instead of “4,352,873”, you would write: “4.352.873”.

 

Some countries even use spaces instead of where we use commas. So it would be: “4 352 873”.

 

In Spanish, when breaking up partial numbers, you use commas. So, our English “1.33” becomes “1,33”. Which you’ll probably see a lot of it you are shopping and looking at prices.

 

Just for fun, if you ever do talk about large numbers in Spanish, here are the big guys:

 

un millón = one million = 1,000,000

un millardo (or “mil millones”) = one billion = 1,000,000,000

un billón = one trillion = 1,000,000,000,000

mil billones = one quadrillion = 1,000,000,000,000,000

un trillón = one quintillion = 1,000,000,000,000,000,000

 

Spanish numbers in context

If you want go a step further while studying Spanish, check out LingQ.

 

LingQ lets you use content you love to help you learn Spanish. Whether you enjoy watching Spanish Youtubers, listening to podcasts, or reading blogs, you can import a variety of online content and create interactive lessons to help you study.

 

LingQ also comes with 1000s of hours of beginner content to help you get started.

 

Learn Spanish on LingQ

 

Not only that, LingQ is available for iOS and Android, allowing you to take your lessons on the go!

 

If you want an easier and more enjoyable way to learn Spanish, give LingQ a try today. Grow your vocabulary, interact with a community of learners, ask for tips, and find an infinite amount of content to learn from.

 

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Adriana Rodrigues is a Peruvian-American who has had experience playing professional soccer and working while speaking Spanish In addition to Spanish, she knows German, Portuguese, and English.

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