Numbers in French

Learn numbers in French

Knowing numbers in French is probably one of the most useful things you can learn to say, write and understand in French. Learning to count in French may appeal to you just as a simple curiosity or be something you really need. Perhaps you have planned a trip to a country where French is the most widely spoken language, and you want to be able to shop and even bargain with a good knowledge of numbers in French.

It's also useful for guiding you through street numbers. You'll be able to better understand the directions to places and everything expressed in numbers, such as the times when public transportation leaves. Can you think of more reasons to learn numbers in French?

French (français) is an Indo-European language belonging to the romance group. Official language in 29 countries, including France, Belgium (with Dutch and German), Switzerland (with German, Italian and Romansh) and Canada (with English), it is spoken by about 80 million native speakers.The French language used in France is also known as international French to distinguish it from its local varieties. Canadian French, Belgian French or Swiss French to name a few have different pronunciation, some vernacular vocabulary, and they may also differ in some gramatical rules.Their numbering rules are the same nonetheless, even if some numbers are different. For example, septante (for soixante-dix) is used in both Belgium and Switzerland, but not in France, nor in any other French-speaking country.

List of numbers in French

Here is a list of numbers in French. We have made for you a list with all the numbers in French from 1 to 20. We have also included the tens up to the number 100, so that you know how to count up to 100 in French. We also close the list by showing you what the number 1000 looks like in French.

  • 1) un
  • 2) deux
  • 3) trois
  • 4) quatre
  • 5) cinq
  • 6) six
  • 7) sept
  • 8) huit
  • 9) neuf
  • 10) dix
  • 11) onze
  • 12) douze
  • 13) treize
  • 14) quatorze
  • 15) quinze
  • 16) seize
  • 17) dix-sept
  • 18) dix-huit
  • 19) dix-neuf
  • 20) vingt
  • 30) trente
  • 40) quarante
  • 50) cinquante
  • 60) soixante
  • 70) soixante-dix
  • 80) quatre-vingts
  • 90) quatre-vingt-dix
  • 100) cent
  • 1,000) mille
  • one million) un million
  • one billion) un milliard
  • one trillion) un billion

Numbers in French: French numbering rules

Each culture has specific peculiarities that are expressed in its language and its way of counting. The French is no exception. If you want to learn numbers in French you will have to learn a series of rules that we will explain below. If you apply these rules you will soon find that you will be able to count in French with ease.

The way numbers are formed in French is easy to understand if you follow the rules explained here. Surprise everyone by counting in French. Also, learning how to number in French yourself from these simple rules is very beneficial for your brain, as it forces it to work and stay in shape. Working with numbers and a foreign language like French at the same time is one of the best ways to train our little gray cells, so let's see what rules you need to apply to number in French

  • Digits and numbers from zero to sixteen are specific words, namely zéro [0], un (une in its feminine form) [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]. Seventeen to nineteen are regular numbers, i.e. named after the word for ten followed by a hyphen and the unit (dix-sept [10+7], dix-huit [10+8], dix-neuf [10+9].
  • The tens are specific words too from ten to sixty, namely dix [10], vingt [20], trente [30], quarante [40], cinquante [50] and soixante [60].
  • From sixty-one to ninety-nine, the base 20 is used (this vigesimal system seems to be an inheritance from Celtic languages), hence soixante-dix [60+10], soixante-dix-neuf [60+10+9], quatre-vingts [4*20], quatre-vingt-dix [4*20+10].
  • Tens and units are joined with a hyphen (e.g.: quarante-six [46]), unless the unit is a one (with the exception of quatre-vingt-un [81]). In that case, the word et (and) is inserted between tens and units (e.g.: quarante et un [41]).
  • Vingt (twenty) and cent (hundred) are set to the plural form when multiplied by a number greater than one while ending the number (e.g.: mille deux cents [1,200], but deux cent quarante-six [246], quatre-vingt mille [80,000]), or when they are directly set before something else than a cardinal number, such as a big scale name like million, milliard (billion, 109)… as they are grammatically nouns (e.g.: six cents millions [600,000,000]).
  • French language uses the long scale for big numbers where the naming pattern of the scale words alternates between the -illion and -illiard suffixes: million (106, million), milliard (109, billion), billion (1012, trillion), billiard (1015, quadrillion), trillion (1018, quintillion), trilliard (1021, sextillion)…
  • Numbers in different languages