One of the most boring and uninteresting parts of learning French is learning how to count numbers. Unfortunately for us French learners, learning how to count numbers is inevitable and has to be done if we ever want to achieve fluency. There’s just simply no way around it.

Although at face value counting in French may seem simple and almost something that can be overlooked, it’s one of the most important parts of your French-learning journey.

For many, being able to comfortably use numbers in a foreign language is real proof of fluency. This guide to counting in French will help you get over the numbers hump and on to the stuff that you probably really want to learn.

## How to Count Numbers in French

Let’s start by looking at how to count basic numbers in French starting with 0.

zéro – 0

un – 1

deux – 2

trois – 3

quatre – 4

cinq – 5

six – 6

sept – 7

huit – 8

neuf – 9

dix – 10

onze – 11

douze – 12

treize – 13

quatorze – 14

quinze – 15

seize – 16

dix-sept – 17

dix-huit – 18

dix-neuf – 19

Let’s pause for a second. You’ll notice that the numbers, 17, 18, and 19 are translated literally as ** ten-seven**,

**and**

*ten-eight***. This is a little different than the other numbers we’ve gone over so far, but definitely not anything too difficult for the average French learner.**

*ten-nine*Let’s continue counting…

vingt – 20

vingt-et-un – 21

vingt-deux – 22

vingt-trois – 23

vingt-quatre – 24

vingt-cinq – 25

vingt-six – 26

vingt-sept – 27

vingt-huit – 28

vingt-neuf – 29

The only thing that should be noticed with the above numbers is that 21 is translated literally as **twenty and one** whereas the other numbers don’t have the extra ** et**. This is also the case for

**(31),**

*trente-et-un***(41),**

*quarante-et-un***(51), and**

*cinquante-et-un***(61).**

*soixante-et-un*Let’s continue our list…

trente – 30

trente-et-un – 31

trente-deux – 32

trente-trois – 33

trente-quatre -34

trente-cinq – 35

trente-six – 36

trente-sept – 37

trente-huit – 38

trente-neuf – 39

quarante – 40

quarante-et-un – 41

quarante-deux- 42

quarante-trois – 43

quarante-quatre – 44

quarante-cinq – 45

quarante-six – 46

quarante-sept – 47

quarante-huit – 48

quarante-neuf – 49

cinquante – 50

cinquante-et-un – 51

cinquante-deux – 52

cinquante-trois – 53

cinquante-quatre – 54

cinquante-cinq – 55

cinquante-six – 56

cinquante-sept – 57

cinquante-huit – 58

cinquante-neuf – 59

soixante – 60

soixante-et-un – 61

soixante-deux – 62

soixante-trois – 63

soixante-quatre – 64

soixante-cinq – 65

soixante-six – 66

soixante-sept – 67

soixante-huit – 68

soixante-neuf – 69

Let’s pause again. Up until now the patterns between numbers have been fairly routine. However, things change just a bit once you reach 70.

Somewhat similar to ** dix-sept **(17),

**(18) and**

*dix-huit***(19), the number 70 in French is**

*dix-neuf***which is literally**

*soixante-dix**sixty-ten*. The rest of the numbers follow the same pattern as numbers 11-19.

soixante-dix – 70

soixante-et-onze – 71

soixante-douze – 72

soixante-treize – 73

soixante-quatorze – 74

soixante-quinze – 75

soixante-seize – 76

soixante-dix-sept – 77

soixante-dix-huit – 78

soixante-dix-neuf – 79

The number 80 in French is yet again different from the rest of the numbers we’ve gone over thus far. The number 80 in French is ** quatre-vingt** (literally translated as

*four-twenty*).

When getting up to 90, we follow the same pattern as the number 70 does with the number 60. Another quick thing to remember is 81 doesn’t include *et* like 31, 41, etc.. It’s simply ** quatre-vingt-un**.

quatre-vingt – 80

quatre-vingt-un – 81

quatre-vingt-deux – 82

quatre-vingt-trois – 83

quatre-vingt-quatre – 84

quatre-vingt-cinq – 85

quatre-vingt-six – 86

quatre-vingt-sept – 87

quatre-vingt-huit – 88

quatre-vingt-neuf – 89

quatre-vingt-dix – 90

quatre-vingt-onze – 91

quatre-vingt-deux – 92

quatre-vingt-treize – 93

quatre-vingt-quatorze – 94

quatre-vingt-quinze – 95

quatre-vingt-seize – 96

quatre-vingt-dix-sept – 97

quatre-vingt-dix-huit – 98

quatre-vingt-dix-neuf – 99

### Exceptions to soixante-dix, quatre-vingt and quatre-vingt-dix

There are actually a few exceptions to the previously mentioned rules regarding the numbers ** soixante-dix** (70),

**(80) and**

*quatre-vingt***(90).**

*quatre-vingt-dix* If you are in either Switzerland or Belgium you’ll learn ** soixante-dix** (70) as

**,**

*septante***(80) as**

*quatre-vingt***or**

*octante***and**

*huitante***(90) as**

*quatre-vingt-dix***.**

*nonante*The ways we discussed previously are the most common ways you’ll hear in standard French however.

### Counting Beyond 100 in French

If you can count confidently up to 100 in French then you should be able to say any other number that you want. All you really have to do at this point is learn the main numbers. Here’s a list of the ones you’ll likely have to use at some point.

Cent – **100 (hundred)**

Mille – **1,000 (thousand)**

Dix-mille – **10,000 (ten thousand)**

Cent-mille – **100,000 (one hundred thousand)**

Un million – **1,000,000 (million)**

Un milliard – **1,000,000,000 (billion)**

Un billion – **1,000,000,000,000 (trillion)**

As numbers never end there are course more numbers than those listed here. However as I’m sure you’re already aware, you’ll probably never have to go much higher than what we’ve talked about in this list.

One important thing to remember when using ** cent** or

**is that you don’t need to use**

*mille***(one) as in**

*un***(one hundred fifty) or**

*un cent cinquante***(one thousand fifteen). Just say**

*un mille quinze**and*

**cent cinquante****.**

*mille quinze* If you want to say two, three, four hundred, etc.. then you can of course place the number before ** cent **and

**. Examples are**

*mille***(323) and**

*trois-cent-vingt-trois***(7,202).**

*sept-mille-deux-cent-deux*In English, numbers of a thousand or more have commas placed after each three numerals. In French however we usually use spaces, periods or sometimes nothing at all. This means that a number like 10,000 would be written as 10 000 or 10.000.

Another quick tip that you should keep in mind when writing out numbers in French is that certain numbers become plural in certain situations.

The most common times this occurs are when a number **ends** in ** quatre-vingt** (80) or

**(100). This means that two hundred would be written as**

*cent***deux**

**and five hundred eighty would be written as**

*cents***.**

*cinq-cent-quatre-vingts*This only applies however if ** quatre-vingt** or

**cent**appears at the end of the number. If they don’t appear at the end then you

**don’t**make them plural.

** Million** is also placed in the plural and contrary to

**and**

*cent***it doesn’t have to be at the end of the number. For example, 3 400 000 becomes**

*quatre-vingt***.**

*trois millions quatre-cent-mille*For one reason or another ** trois million** does not get hyphenated. Because it doesn’t get hyphenated

**also gets placed in the plural when it come**

*cent***before**the number

**. This means 400.000.000 is written as**

*million***quatre-cents millions**.

**is never plural.**

*Mille*According to L’Académie française numbers such as * million*,

*and*

**milliers***don’t get hyphenated. However less and less people are following this rule. There is also some confusion one exactly which numbers get hyphenated as L’Académie française made some updates in 1990.*

**milliard**At the end of the day, most French speakers probably don’t even know the exact rules themselves and aren’t going to hassle you if you accidentally get it wrong.

Yes, this is fairly complicated but fortunately most people simply write out the numbers than write them out as words.

## How to Count Numbers in French with Objects

Fortunately for us, it’s actually pretty easy to state the quantity of something in French. For the most part you just place the number next to the object just like you would do in English. Here are some examples.

Deux livres – **Two books**

Cinq voitures – **Five cars**

Dix maisons – **Ten houses**

Pretty easy right? There are only a few situations where this changes. The first is if the number of the object ends in 1 and is feminine. This is only not the case if the number one is at the end of the sentence and comes after the object.

Examples:

Cinq-cent-vingt-et-une voitures – **Five hundred twenty-one cars** (because the word voiture is feminine ** un** becomes

**here)**

*une*Deux-mille-trois-cent-quarante-et-une coccinelles – **Two thousand three hundred forty one ladybugs** (just like in the previous example ** un** becomes

**because**

*une***is feminine.)**

*coccinelles*The second situation where this changes is when you’re using a large number that requires the use of ** un **such as

**or**

*un million**When this is the case you have to add*

**un milliard**.**after the number and before the object. Putting this into action gives us..**

*de*

Un million de chats – **A million cats**

Un milliard d’euros – **A million euros**

Deux million de chaussettes – **Two million socks**

## Approximating Numbers in French

The following are ways to approximate numbers when you aren’t exactly sure (or potentially are) about how much of a given thing you are talking about. The list of these is as follows.

Une dizaine – **10 or 10ish**

Une demi-douzaine – **6 or 6ish**

Une douzaine – **12 or 12ish**

Une vingtaine – **20 or 20ish**

Une trentaine – **30 or 30ish**

Une quarantaine – **40 or 40ish**

Une cinquantaine – **50 or 50ish**

Une soixantaine – **60 or 60ish**

Une soixante-dizaine – **70 or 70ish** (not used very often, but easily understood)

Une quatre-vingtaine – **80 or 80ish** (not used very often, but easily understood)

Une quatre-vingt-dizaine – **90 or 90ish** (not used very often, but easily understood)

Une centaine – **100 or 100ish**

Un millier – **1,000 or 1,000ish**

Just like with the numbers 70, 80, and 90 the words ** septantaine**,

**and**

*octantaine***do exist, but are primarily used in Belgium and Switzerland.**

*nonantaine*

## How to Say First, Second, Third, etc… in French

If some of the previous information was too complicated for you you can rest assured knowing that this next part is actually quite easy. For the most part all you have to do here is to add the suffix ** -ième** onto the number and you’re good.

This is the equivalent of adding *th* or *rd* to a number as in *3rd* or *8th*. The only exception to this rule in French is for the number one which is ** premier** or

**if the object is feminine.**

*première*Première – **first**

Deuxième – **second**

Troisième – **third**

Quatrième – **fourth**

Cinqième – **fifth**

Sixième – **sixth**

Septième – **seventh**

Huitième – **eighth **

Neuvième – **ninth**

Dixième – **tenth**

Etc…

## How to Say Fractions in French

Fractions in French follow a similar pattern with a couple of exceptions.

Un demi – **one half (1/2)**

Un tiers – **one third (1/3)**

Un quart – **one fourth (1/4)** – this becomes plural if the number is greater than one as in trois-quarts.

Un cinquième – **one fifth (1/5)**

Un sixième – **one sixth (1/6)**

Un septième – **one seventh (1/7)**

Un huitième – **one eighth (1/8)**

Un neuvième – **one ninth (1/9)**

Un dixième – **one tenth (1/10)**

etc…

## How to Say Percentages in French

You’ll also be happy to learn that saying percentages in French is rather easy as well. All you really have to do is place your number next to ** pour cent** and you’re all set. So

*forty percent*becomes

**and**

*quarante pour cent**fifty-five percent*becomes

**.**

*cinquante-cinq pour cent* Contrary to the English word *percent*, ** pour cent** is always written as two words except in situations where what you are talking about is something that is not quantifiable. Here is an example:

Cinq pour cent du group parlaient français – **Five percent of the group spoke French**

Quelques pourcent du group parlaient français – **A few percentage points of the group spoke French** (You may also see quelques pour-cent in this type of situation, but it is less common than pourcents.)

Here is a pretty good resource that explains the difference between ** pour cent** and

**in French.**

*pourcent*

## How to Use Numbers in Math in French

Unfortunately for us French learners math doesn’t get any easier just because it’s in French. However, doing simple equations is still straightforward. Let’s take a look at how to plug numbers into simple math equations.

Let’s start with some French addition. The official way to add two numbers together in French is to say __ plus __ égale ___.

Here are some examples:

cinq plus deux égale sept – **five plus two equals seven**

un plus trois égale quatre – **one plus three equals four**

six plus huit égale fourteen – **six plus eight equals fourteen**

The above method is the official way to add numbers together in French, but there are more informal ways to add numbers together. These include ___ et ___ font ___ and ___ et ___, ca fait ___. Below are some examples:

deux et deux font quatre – **two plus two equals four (literally: two and two makes four)**

trois et deux, ça fait cinq – **three plus two equals five (literally: three and two, that makes five)**

If you don’t want want to use the two above informal methods you don’t have to. Just make sure that if you hear or read them somewhere you understand without a problem.

Let’s move on to subtraction..

To subtract numbers in French you say ___ moins ___ égale ___. Some examples are…

cinq moins deux égale trois – **five minus two equals three**

huit moins un égale sept – **eight minus one equals seven**

deux moins un égale un – **two minus one equals one**

Just like with addition, there are a couple of words you can use for multiplication in French. The first way is ___ multiplié par ___ égale ___. The second way, which is a little bit easier and more informal is to say ___ fois ___ font ___.

cinq multiplié par deux égale dix – **five multiplied by two equals ten**

deux multiplié par trois égale six – **two multiplied by three equals six**

quatre multiplié par un égale quatre – **four multiplied by one equals four**

Using the second way of multiplying we get…

deux fois deux font quatre – **two times two equals four (two times two makes four)**

sept fois trois font vingt-et-un – **seven times three equals twenty-one (seven times three makes twenty-one)**

cinq fois cinq font vingt-cinq – **five times five equals twenty-five (five times five makes twenty-five)**

The last math-related vocabulary we’re going to talk about is division. Simply put, to say divided by in French you say ** divisé par**. Take a look at the below examples.

quatre divisé par deux égale deux – **four divided by two equals two**

quinze divisé par cinq égale trois – **fifteen divided by five equals three**

six divisé par trois égale deux – **six divided by three equals deux**

One last note that is something that a lot of people debate about. When saying equals as in ** deux plus deux égale quatre **you’ll also see

**or even**

*égalent***. The truth is people tend to feel very strongly about which one is correct.**

*égal* ** Égale** is the most correct although

**is also widely accepted (**

*Égalent***comes from the verb**

*Égalent***and seeing as it’s common to say**

*Égaler***, people naturally assume that it’s okay to use**

*deux et deux FONT quatre***.)**

*égalent*

## How to Count using Currency in French

The last thing we’re going to talk about here is how to count money.

As you’re probably aware, France is one of the many European countries that uses the euro for their currency. Counting numbers with euros is just as easy as you would imagine with no translation needed.

1 euro

2 euros

3 euros

4 euros

5 euros

6 euros

7 euros

8 euros

9 euros

10 euros

Etc…

The equivalent of “cents” in French is ** centimes**. So 5 cents would become 5

**.**

*centimes*1 centime

2 centimes

3 centimes

4 centimes

5 centimes

6 centimes

7 centimes

8 centimes

9 centimes

10 centimes

etc..

Putting euros and centimes together in number form you get

1,30 € (pronounced un euro cinquante)

8,90 € (pronounced huit euros quatre-vingt-dix)

3,60 € (pronounced trois euros soixante)

Don’t forget that in French they use commas instead of periods.

In order to make the € sign type ALT + 0128 on a PC and OPTION + SHIFT + 2 on a Mac. If this is too difficult to remember you can always look for a euro symbol online, copy it and paste it wherever you need it.

For most French learners, numbers are something that can really take a while to learn and honestly aren’t that fun to learn. Unlike other vocabulary that can be interesting and even motivating to French learners, numbers are boring and uninteresting.

However if you just take a little bit of time to memorize everything in this post then you should be able to be comfortable enough with numbers to use them in conversation.

How do you learn French numbers? What techniques do you use or have you used in the past? Comment below and tell us all about them.