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How to write numbers in French

 
By Mary Smith. Updated: January 16, 2017
How to write numbers in French

Counting in French is fairly easy, as the pronunciation of the numbers is not that complex as it might seem. However, what can be complicated is to actually write the numbers, because French spelling can be really difficult for beginners. There are actually many similarities between how the numbers are written in French and other romance languages, so if you speak any of those, you're in luck! For instance, the number 0 is the same as in Spanish.

If you're learning French and need some reference for spelling, don't worry. In this OneHowTo article we explain how to write numbers in French. Take note!

You may also be interested in: How to Write Dates in Words in English

How to count in French

    In this list we present the numbers 1 to 50 as they are written in French. We spell them in upper case because they start each item in the list, but remember that numbers in French are written in lower case.

    • 0 - Zéro
    • 1 - Un
    • 2 - Deux
    • 3 - Trois
    • 4 - Quatre
    • 5 - Cinq
    • 6 - Six
    • 7 - Sep
    • 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

    From here on, the numbers in French become easier. Just as in English you write "twenty" and then "two" for 22, in French you'll write "vingt-deux". You only have to learn every tenth number!

    However, pay attention to numbers ending in 1, since you spell "et un", that is, "and 1" instead of simply "-un".

    • 21 - Vingt et un
    • 22 - Vingt-deux
    • 23 - Vingt-trois
    • 24 - Vingt-quatre
    • 25 - Vingt-cinq
    • 26 - Vingt-six
    • 27 - Vingt-sept
    • 28 - Vingt-huit
    • 29 - Vingt-neuf
    • 30 - Trente
    • 31 - Trente et un
    • 32 - Trente-deux

    And so on.

    How to spell bigger numbers

    Now for every tenth number:

    • 40 - Quarante
    • 50 - Cinquante
    • 60 - Soixante
    • 70 - Soixante-dix

    Careful! Since 70 is actually "sixty-ten", 71 will be spelled ad "sixty-eleven":

    • 71 - Soixante-et-onze
    • 72 - Soixante-douze
    • 73 - Soixante-treize
    • 74 - Soixante-quatorze
    • 75 - Soixante-quinze
    • 76 - Soixante-seize
    • 77 - Soixante-dix-sept
    • 78 - Soixante-dix-huit
    • 79 - Soixante-dix-neuf

    And now it gets even stranger. 80 is neither "eighty" nor "sixty-twenty", but actually "four-twenties". You have to know your maths to count in French. The spelling of numbers in French, however, is regular throughout. Small mercies!

    • 80 - Quatre-vingts
    • 81 - Quatre-vingt-un
    • 82 - Quatre-vingt-deux
    • 83 - Quatre-vingt-trois
    • 84 - Quatre-vingt-quatre
    • 85 - Quatre-vingt-cinq
    • 86 - Quatre-vingt-six
    • 87 - Quatre-vingt-sept
    • 88 - Quatre-vingt-huit
    • 89 - Quatre-vingt-neuf

    Can you guess what comes now? Right. 90 in French is spelled as "four-twenty-ten".

    • 90 - Quatre-vingt-dix
    • 91 - Quatre-vingt-onze
    • 92 - Quatre-vingt-douze
    • 93 - Quatre-vingt-treize
    • 94 - Quatre-vingt-quatorze
    • 95 - Quatre-vingt-quinze
    • 96 - Quatre-vingt-seize
    • 97 - Quatre-vingt-dix-sept
    • 98 - Quatre-vingt-dix-huit
    • 99 - Quatre-vingt-dix-neuf

    Take a deep breath. 100, in French, is written...

    • 100 - Cent

    How to spell numbers beyond 100 in French

    Now that you know how to write numbers up to 100, it's quite easy to go on.

    • 101 - Cent un
    • 102 - Cent deux
    • ...

    As you can see, there's no need to add an hyphen ("-") between the numbers, unless the number already has it:

    • 117 - Cent dix-sept

    The same goes for numbers beyond 199:

    • 200 - Deux cent
    • 201 - Deux cent un

    And finally, you get to:

    • 1000 - Mille
    • 2000 - Deux mille

    As you can see, "mille" does not become "milles" even when it's plural. However, "million" becomes "deux millions", and the same happens with "milliard" and "billion". The bigger numbers are:

    • 1 000 000 - Un million
    • 1 000 000 000 - Un milliard
    • 1 000 000 000 000 - Un billion (careful, "un billion" is different than an American billion!)
    • 1 000 000 000 000 000 - Un billiard
    • 1 000 000 000 000 000 000 - Un trillion

    If you want to read similar articles to How to write numbers in French, we recommend you visit our Learning category.

    Tips
    • Writing the numbers 1 to 5 in French is much easier than pronouncing them

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