Numbers in Xhosa

Learn numbers in Xhosa

Knowing numbers in Xhosa is probably one of the most useful things you can learn to say, write and understand in Xhosa. Learning to count in Xhosa 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 Xhosa is the most widely spoken language, and you want to be able to shop and even bargain with a good knowledge of numbers in Xhosa.

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 Xhosa?

The Xhosa language (isiXhosa) belongs to the Niger–Congo languages family, and more specifically to the Bantu branch. It is spoken in South Africa (where it is co-oficial with ten other languages: Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Sotho, Swazi, Tswana, Tsonga, Venda, and Zulu), in Zimbabwe (where it is co-official with fifteen other languages: Chewa, Chibarwe, English, Kalanga, Koisan, Nambya, Ndau, Ndebele, Shangani, Shona, sign language, Sotho, Tonga, Tswana, and Venda) and in Lesotho. IsiXhosa counts about 8.2 million speakers.

List of numbers in Xhosa

Here is a list of numbers in Xhosa. We have made for you a list with all the numbers in Xhosa 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 Xhosa. We also close the list by showing you what the number 1000 looks like in Xhosa.

  • 1) inye
  • 2) zimbini
  • 3) zintathu
  • 4) zine
  • 5) zintlanu
  • 6) zintandathu
  • 7) isixhenxe
  • 8) sisibhozo
  • 9) lithoba
  • 10) lishumi
  • 11) lishumi elinanye
  • 12) lishumi elinesbini
  • 13) lishumi elinesithathu
  • 14) lishumi elinesine
  • 15) lishumi elinesihlanu
  • 16) lishumi elinesithandathu
  • 17) lishumi elinesixhenxe
  • 18) lishumi elinesibhozo
  • 19) lishumi elinethoba
  • 20) amashumi amabini
  • 30) amashumi amathathu
  • 40) amashumi amane
  • 50) amashumi amahlanu
  • 60) amashumi amathandathu
  • 70) amashumi asixhenxe
  • 80) amashumi asibhozo
  • 90) amashumi alithoba
  • 100) likhulu
  • 1,000) iwaka
  • one million) kwezigidi

Numbers in Xhosa: Xhosa numbering rules

Each culture has specific peculiarities that are expressed in its language and its way of counting. The Xhosa is no exception. If you want to learn numbers in Xhosa 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 Xhosa with ease.

The way numbers are formed in Xhosa is easy to understand if you follow the rules explained here. Surprise everyone by counting in Xhosa. Also, learning how to number in Xhosa 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 Xhosa 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 Xhosa

  • Digits from zero to nine are specific words, namely unothi [0], inye [1], zimbini [2], zintathu [3], zine [4], zintlanu [5], zintandathu [6], isixhenxe [7], sisibhozo [8], and lithoba [9].
  • Teens are formed by stating the word for ten (lishumi), then the unit digit prefixed with elin(e): lishumi elinanye [11], lishumi elinesbini [12], lishumi elinesithathu [13], lishumi elinesine [14], lishumi elinesihlanu [15], lishumi elinesithandathu [16], lishumi elinesi [17], lishumi elinesibhozo [18], and lishumi elinethoba [19].
  • The tens are formed by putting the word amashumi (plural form of lishumi, ten) before the multiplier digit prefixed with ama, except for ten itself: lishumi [10], amashumi amabini [20], amashumi amathathu [30], amashumi amane [40], amashumi amahlanu [50], amashumi amathandathu [60], amashumi asixhenxe [70], amashumi asibhozo [80], and amashumi alithoba [90].
  • Compound numbers from twenty-one to ninety-nine are formed by saying the ten, then the compound unit form, separated with a space (e.g.: amashumi amabine anesine [24], amashumi asixhenxe ananye [71]). When compound, amashumi amabini (twenty) becomes amashumi amabine.
  • The word for hundred is likhulu (amakhulu in plural), and the word for thousand is iwaka (amawaka in plural).
  • The following higher scale numbers are: kwezigidi (106, million), isigidi sezigidi (109, billion), itriliyoni (1012, trillion), isigidi esiziphindaphinde kane or ikhwadriliyoni (1015, quadrillion), and isigidi esiziphindaphinde kahlanu (1018, quintillion).
  • Multilingual mathematics dictionary grade R (pdf)
  • Numbers in different languages