Easily Master Numbers in Spanish: Counting, Spelling and Pronunciation
Can you imagine the world without numbers—not only Spanish numbers, but any numbers at all. Life without counting money, things, hours, or the number of years you’ve lived. Impossible, isn’t it?
That’s why many historians believe that counting is older than writing.
The Spanish numbers we know today look almost the same as the English numbers. They both belong to an Indo-Arabic based decimal system. However, until the 10th century, the Roman numeration system was in use. Slowly, the Indo-Arabic numerical system started to become more popular, and dominated the Spanish and European mathematical texts. Later, it replaced other local systems on other continents, for example the Mayan numeral system in Latin America.
Spanish numbers are worth learning at an early stage. Of course, you can start slowly with basic numbers and gradually increase your vocabulary with higher numbers.
Instead of memorizing all Spanish numbers at once or trying to learn 1-100 in Spanish, it’s best to break this topic into logical and easy-to-learn chunks.
I’ll start with basic numbers in Spanish for beginners and then increase the level of difficulty. You’ll learn how to spell Spanish numbers and how to say Spanish numbers.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about Spanish numbers:
- 1-10 Spanish Numbers
- 10-20 Spanish Numbers
- 10-100 Spanish Numbers
- How to build and write bigger numbers
- Gender of Spanish numbers
- Types of Spanish numbers (ordinals, fractions, percentages)
¡Tres, dos, uno – Vamos!
Three, two, one – Let’s go!
Spanish Numbers 1-10
Let’s start with the most basic Spanish cardinal numbers from 1 to 10. Listen to the audio if you’re wondering how to pronounce these numbers.
- 1 – uno
- 2 – dos
- 3 – tres
- 4 – cuatro
- 5 – cinco
- 6 – seis
- 7 – siete
- 8 – ocho
- 9 – nueve
- 10 – diez
Spanish Numbers 10-20
Let’s take a look now at how to count in Spanish from 10 to 20. Once again, click on the audio to hear how to pronounce the following Spanish numbers:
- 11 – once
- 12 – doce
- 13 – trece
- 14 – catorce
- 15 – quince
- 16 – dieciséis
- 17 – diecisiete
- 18 – dieciocho
- 19 – diecinueve
- 20 – veinte
As you can see, only the numbers from 11 to 15 look like completely new words. The Spanish numbers from 16 to 19 follow a pattern. They all start with dieci that comes from diez and then add the numbers you already know from 6 to 9.
These numbers used to be written as diez y seis for example and later got fused into one single word with some minor spelling changes (y to i). Mind the accent in dieciséis!
Spanish Numbers 10-100
Let’s break this section into two. I’ll first show counting in Spanish by tens. Then, you’ll learn how to add units to them.
Counting by 10 up to 100
Let’s see the multiples of 10 first. Don’t forget to listen to the audio!
- 20 – veinte
- 30 – treinta
- 40 – cuarenta
- 50 – cincuenta
- 60 – sesenta
- 70 – setenta
- 80 – ochenta
- 90 – noventa
- 100 – cien
Have you noticed how other than veinte (20) they all end in -enta and clearly relate to the numbers you already know? Tres – treinta, cuatro – cuarenta, and so forth.
You already know how to add units to 10, when counting from 16 to 19. Now, let’s see how to do it for numbers above 20.
It’s also easy. For numbers from 21 to 29, just add the units to the word veinte but change the last e into i.
- 21 – veintiuno
- 22 – veintidos
- 23 – veintitres
- 24 – veinticuatro
- 25 – veinticinco
- 26 – veintiseis
- 27 – veintisiete
- 28 – veintiocho
- 29 – veintinueve
For other “tens,” it’s even easier. Just take the “tens” number, add the conjunction y and the “unit” number you need. For example:
- 31 – treinta y uno
- 32 – treinta y dos
- 44 – cuarenta y cuatro
- 88 – ochenta y ocho
Check out the complete chart of Spanish numbers 1-100:
How to Build and Write Bigger Numbers
What happens when you make Spanish numbers bigger than 100? Then the word cien changes to ciento and you simply add the tens and units without any conjunctions. For example:
- 101 – ciento uno
- 102 – ciento dos
- 116 – ciento dieciséis
For higher multiples of 100, use the plural form cientos—except for 500, quinientos. Let’s see the multiples of 100. Be sure to click on the audio!
- 200 – doscientos
- 300 – trescientos
- 400 – cuatrocientos
- 500 – quinientos
- 600 – seiscientos
- 700 – setecientos
- 800 – ochocientos
- 900 – novecientos
Did you notice that the diphthongs ie and ue disappeared in 700 and 900?
When you know the hundreds, you can easily add the tens and units as separate words. For example:
- 347 – trescientos cuarenta y siete
- 555 – quinientos cincuenta y cinco
And how do you say 1,000 in Spanish? It’s mil and it never changes to a plural form. So you’ll say:
- 1,000 – mil
- 2,000 – dos mil
- 3,000 – tres mil
- 1,000,000 – un millón
Un millon (a million), on the other hand, does have plural forms:
- 2,000,000 – dos millones
- 11,000,000 – once millones
Just so you know, in Spanish a billón is one million millions, whereas, in the English system, a billion is one thousand millions.
- Spain: Un billón – 1,000,000,000,000
- English system: One billion – 1,000,000,000
So un billón in Spanish is one trillion in English (12 zeroes).
And how do you say even bigger numbers?
- quadrillion (15 zeros) – un mil billones
- quintillion (18 zeros) – un trillón
Learn More about Complex Spanish Numbers
In Spanish, you use a period to separate thousands and a comma to separate the decimals. Just opposite to the Anglo-Saxon system.
So for example $4.546,65 is read as cuatro mil quinientos cuarenta y seis con sesenta y cinco centavos (in English, you would write it as $4,546.65).
Can you say this number in Spanish?
19.435.456 — diecinueve millones cuatrocientos treinta y cinco mil cuatrocientos cincuenta y seis.
Gender of Spanish Numbers
Do Spanish numbers have a gender? Some of them do, and some of them don’t.
Un, Uno, and Una
When we count in Spanish, we say un, dos, tres or uno, dos, tres. It really doesn’t matter. However, when you count objects, for example, you have to pay attention if the noun you’re counting is masculine or feminine. In front of feminine nouns, it becomes una. Before masculine nouns, cut off the o and use un instead.
un sillón – one armchair
una mesa – one table
However, if you’re counting the masculine nouns, but you don’t mention their name, you’ll keep the uno form:
¿Cuántos sillones tienes? Solo uno.
How many armchairs do you have? Just one.
Other Types of Numbers in Spanish
Now that you know how to count from one to almost the infinitive, let’s see other types of numbers:
Ordinal Spanish Numbers
Let me show you some basic ordinal numbers. The ones that you’ll most probably need are the ones from 1-10.
See also: Ordinal Numbers in Spanish
Fractions in Spanish
Here is the chart with the most common Spanish fractions:
|1/2||la mitad, medio (half)|
|1/3||un tercio (a third)|
|1/4||un cuarto (a fourth)|
|1/5||un quinto (a fifth)|
|1/6||un sexto (a sixth)|
|1/7||un séptimo (a seventh)|
|1/8||un octavo (an eighth)|
|1/9||un noveno (a ninth)|
|1/10||un décimo (a tenth)|
Check out Math Time! How to Express Spanish Fractions to learn more fractions and how to use them correctly.
Percentages in Spanish
The Spanish phrase for “percent” is por ciento, and it always uses the masculine form:
El 75 por ciento de los estudiantes aman su escuela.
Seventy-five percent of students love their school.
Las ventas han disminuido veinte por ciento.
Sales have decreased by 20 percent.
Practice Spanish Numbers
Now that you know all about Spanish numbering and how to translate Spanish numbers, it’s time to practice. Reading and memorizing the numbers isn’t enough to use them with fluency.
And speaking of numbers, do you know that according to a study conducted by The Economist, a person can earn anywhere from cincuenta mil ($50,000) to ciento veinticinco mil dólares ($125,000) extra just by knowing a foreign language alone.
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