How to Count in Spanish: All You Need to Know About Spanish Numbers

Has someone just asked your age at a party in Ibiza? Do you need to talk about estimated figures during a conference in Mexico City? Do you want to know how much it costs to order asado in an exclusive restaurant in Buenos Aires? If the answer to at least one of these questions is yes, there is something you will need to do before you travel: learn Spanish numbers!

Whether you need to talk about age, money or prices, keep reading to make sure you can do it in flawless Spanish!

Spanish numbers 0-15

It might be cute for small children to use their fingers to say how old they are. But if a Spanish person asked you how old your children are, counting with your fingers may not be the most dignified thing to do. So make sure you memorize these Spanish numbers:

0 – Cero

1 – Uno

2 – Dos

3 – Tres

4 – Cuatro

5 – Cinco

6 – Seis

7 – Siete

8 – Ocho

9 – Nueve

10 – Diez

11 – Once

12 – Doce

13 – Trece

14 – Catorce

15 – Quince

You may have noticed that I said “memorize” instead of “learn”. This is because numbers 0-15 do not follow any pattern. Apart from the fact that 12-15 end in “ce”, there are no formulas here.

Luckily, the next set of numbers is much easier to learn, especially for those who love patterns!

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Spanish numbers 16-19

What do English numbers sixteen, seventeen, eighteen and nineteen have in common?

Exactly! They’re formed by adding the suffix “teen” to a single digit.

Spanish works in a very similar way:

16 – dieciseis

17 – diecisiete

18 – dieciocho

19 – diecinueve

If you’ve been paying attention, you will remember that number 10 is diez in Spanish. Well, the words above are formed by combining the word diez with a single digit, and then contracting the resulting phrase —diez y seis: dieciseis; diez y siete: diecisiete ; etc.

Easy, right? And it will only get easier from here.

Spanish numbers 20-99

If you are on a date and you want to say that you are 25 (whether that’s true or not!), pay attention. In this section, we are going to learn how to say the “ten” numbers (decenas), and I will tell you why 20-99 are actually the easiest Spanish numbers in this blog.

Decenas (Tens)

20 – veinte

30 – treinta

40 – cuarenta

50 – cincuenta

60 – sesenta

70 – setenta

80 – ochenta

90 – noventa

Spanish numbers: 21-29

From numbers 21-29, you have to apply a rule similar to the one we mentioned for 16-19. Instead of saying “veinte y uno”, we contract veinte y to “veinti” and then add uno without spaces in between: veintiuno.

21 – veintiuno

22 – veintidos

23 – veintitres

24 – veinticuatro

25 – veinticinco

26 – veintiseis

27 – veintisiete

28 – veintiocho

29 – veintinueve

Spanish numbers 31-99

From 31 onwards, things get even easier. Instead of using contractions, we use full tens and we add the word “y” (and) before the next digit.

Let’s see a few examples:

31 – treinta y uno

32 – treinta y dos

43 – cuarenta y tres

44 – cuarenta y cuatro

55 – cincuenta y cinco

56 – cincuenta y seis

67 – sesenta y siete

68 – sesenta y ocho

71 – setenta y uno

72 – setenta y dos

83 – ochenta y tres

84 – ochenta y cuatro

95 – noventa y cinco

96 – noventa y seis

Spanish numbers 100-999

In the previous section, we made sure that you can speak about age and dates. In this section, you will learn how to understand bigger numbers so that when your next credit card statement arrives, you won’t have a heart attack as you realize you spent much more than you had intended.

100 – cien

101 – ciento uno

Do you notice any difference among these Spanish numbers?

Very good! When “one hundred” stands alone, we say “cien”. However, when we combine it with other digits, we say “ciento”. The good news is that, no matter what number comes after “ciento”, we’ve already covered it above.

But do you know what the best part is? “One hundred” is the only “hundred” that has a stand-alone form! For the other hundreds, there is only one, no matter if they’re on their own or followed by other digits.

Here are all the “hundred” numbers in Spanish:

100 – cien

200 – doscientos

300 – trescientos

400 – cuatrocientos

500 – quinientos

600 – seiscientos

700 – setesientos

800 – ochocientos

900 – novecientos

If you want to say more specific digits, all you have to do is use these and then add the rest of the numbers.

For example, how many countries are there in the world? Ciento noventa y cinco.

How many pages does the last Harry Potter book have? Seiscientas seis.

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Spanish numbers: 1000 and beyond

The “thousand” numbers are particularly useful to speak about years and dates. For example:

Yo nací en 1988 (mil novecientos ochenta y ocho)

I was born in 1988

Ahora estamos en 2022 (dos mil veintidos)

We are in 2022 now.

El hombre llegó a la luna en 1969 (mil novecientos sesenta y nueve)

Man landed on the moon in 1969.

If you want to add “thousand” before any given number, just use these words:

1000 – mil

2000 – dos mil

3000 – tres mil

(…)

9000 – nueve mil

10.000 – diez mil

20.000 – veinte mil

30.000 – treinta mil

(…)

90.000 – noventa mil

100.000 – cien mil

200.000 – doscientos mil

300.000 – trescientos mil

(…)

900.000 – novecientos mil

All you have to do is follow this pattern: number of thousands + word mil (+ rest of the number as seen in previous sections).

Oh, by the way, you may have noticed that, according to Spanish punctuation rules, we use stops, not commas, to separate big numbers!

Big Spanish numbers: millions, billions, and trillions

The words for Spanish big numbers are very similar to their English counterparts:

million – millón

billion – billón

trillion – trillón

As you can see, they’re almost the same words minus the second “i” and with the stress on the last syllable. But not so fast! Though the words may look alike, the concepts they stand for are strikingly different.

In English, a “billion” is one thousand millions (1,000,000,000) while a “trillion” stands for one thousand billions (1,000,000,000,000). To put it in a different way, every “step up” involves multiplication by 1,000.

This numbering method is known as a short-scale system. However, most Spanish-speaking countries use a “long scale” system. In countries like Spain and Argentina, a “billion” is one million millions, and a “trillion” is one million billion! In other words, instead of multiplying by a thousand each time, you multiply by a million.

Here are the biggest Spanish numbers and their English counterparts.

un millón – 1,000,000 (English: one million)

un millardo – 1,000,000,000 (English: one billion)

un billón – 1,000,000,000,000 (English: one trillion)

mil billones – 1,000,000,000,000,000 (English: one quadrillion)

un trillón – 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 (English: one quintillion)

Now that you know how to talk about age, dates, prices, wages, and a long list of number-related topics, how will you continue your Spanish learning?

Why don’t you do what our client Amanda did, and take an online course with a native tutor without leaving your home?

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Whether you prefer in-person or online lessons, you’ve come to the right place. Contact us now and we’ll match you with a fully qualified teacher for a tailored trial lesson based on your interests and needs.