Numbers in Spanish, how they work (A1)

Numbers in Spanish  -LOS NÚMEROS EN ESPAÑOL- aren’t difficult to learn,  you just have to pay attention to some  patterns. 

Like in English we can organice them into two main groups: cardinal (the one that we are going to see today) and ordinal numbers.

You can download the pdf sheet if you want to review all the numbers in Spanish, read the tips  and, quite important, practice with the quizzes below, once you feel confident. Let´s start.

Numbers in Spanish, learn how thet work

Spanish numbers from 0 to 99

1. Uno and numbers ending in uno, such as 21 or 91, change to agree with the following noun. They drop the final –o before a masculine noun and have the feminine form una: Tiene cuarenta y un años (He is forty-nine years old). El libro cuesta veintiuna libras (the book costs twenty-one pounds).

2. From 11 to 15 all end in –ce: once, doce, trece, catorce, quince.

3. From 16 to 19 have a different pattern, starting with diez (ten). They were originally diez y seis (ten and six), diez y siete (ten and seven), but become contracted into one word: dieciséis, diecisiete, dieciocho, diecinueve.

4. From 21 to 29 are also contracted numbers, with the final  “e” of veinte (twenty) changing to “i”: veintiuno …. veintinueve.

5. Notice that the following numbers have a written accent: dieciséis (16), veintidós (22), veintitrés (23),veintiséis (26).

6. From 30 to 90 all end in –nta and have (and) between the tens and units: treinta y cinco (35), cincuenta y ocho (58), noventa y nueve (99).

Spanish numbers from 100 to 999

7. 100 is just written CIEN.

8. Ciento, not cien, is used before a number after  100: ciento doce (112), ciento ochenta y cinco (185)…

9. Ciento adds -s in the plural, and doscientos, trescientos…  novecientos, agree with their noun: quinientos gramos (5oo grams),  ochocientas libras (800 pounds)…

10. There is no “y”  and between hundreds and tens: trescientos veinte (320), novecientos doce (912), but  novecientos sesenta y dos (962)…

Spanish numbers from 1000

11. Mil (1.000) never changes and never has “un” a before it: dos mil (2.000), cinco mil trescinetos veinticinco (5.325)…

12. Un millón (1.000.000) y un billón (1.000.000.000.000) have regular plurals: millones, billones. They are followed by “de” when used alone before a noun:

Un millón de euros

Cinco millones de libras esterlinas.

Un billón de dólares.

Activities with the numbers in Spanish

Now that you know the Spanish cardinal numbers, you can learn the ordinal numbers and collective numbers and fractions, there will be all very useful.

You can also practice more numbers listening to the podcast “comprando ropa“.  Remember you can contact your tutor with any question you have about numbers in Spanish. Don’t you have a Spanish personal tutor yet?

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