In this article, we’ll talk about numbers in French and give you some good tricks for understanding how they’re structured and remembering them more easily. Knowing the numbers allows us to talk about dates and times, prices, age, quantities, and more. Learning them might be a bit boring, but at the end of the day, it’s something you need to know if you want to start communicating in French.

Last Updated: 29/06/2024

## Numbers in French

### French numbers from 1 to 20

First, we’ll start with the cardinal numbers. These indicate quantity, dates, times, measurements, etc. The most important thing to remember with numbers in French 1-20 is that, up to 16, there is no rule. You’ll have to learn them all individually. Then, 17, 18, and 19 are easier since you simply have to take the number ten (dix) and add the corresponding unit. So you end up with dix-sept, dix-huit, and dix-neuf. Knowing how to say numbers from 1-20 in French is especially useful.

#EnglishFrenchPronunciation
1oneun
2twodeux
3threetrois
4fourquatre
5fivecinq
6sixsix
7sevensept
8eighthuit
9nineneuf
10tendix
11elevenonze
12twelvedouze
13thirteentreize
14fourteenquatorze
15fifteenquinze
16sixteenseize
17seventeendix-sept
18eighteendix-huit
19nineteendix-neuf
20twentyvingt

If you need a cheat sheet, right-click the image below to download it (or even better, add these numbers to the flashcard learning stack in your MosaLingua app!).

### Numbers in French from 20 to 100

The numbers in French have certain patterns and nuances that you’ll have to remember. Have a look at the chart below to see a list of the numbers 20 to 100, and take note of the following:

• When a number higher than 20 ends in 1, we use the famous “et un which means “and one.” Therefore 21 in French is vingt et un,” 61 is soixante et un,” and so on.
• The rest of the numbers are hyphenated: 68 is 60 + 8, that is, “soixante-huit.” All the numbers between 20 and 60 follow this rule. As you’ll see below, numbers 70, 80, and 90 are a bit special.
• The number 70 in French has a very mathematical formation: 70 = 60 + 10, therefore the number seventy in French is soixante-dix(sixty plus ten).
• The number 80 follows the same rule: 80 = 4 x 20, hence, eighty is “quatre-vingt” (four times twenty). Lastly, 90 is formed in the same way 70 is: 90 = 80 + 10. As a result, ninety is “quatre-vingt-dix” (four times twenty, plus ten).
• For numbers in between such as 75 or 84, follow the hyphen rule we mentioned before. For example, 75 would be “soixante-quinze” (sixty plus fifteen) and 84 would be “quatre-vingt-quatre” (four times twenty, plus four).
• Note that some French speakers, in Belgium and Switzerland for example, don’t follow that convention for 70, 80 and 90. Instead, closer to English, they use septante, huitante, and nonante. Therefore, 75 is “septante-cinq,” 83 is “huitante-trois,” and 97 is “nonante-sept.”

### Ordinal numbers in French

As the name implies, ordinal numbers express order. We use them to talk about the floors in a building, lists, rankings, etc.

As you will see, only premier” is irregular. For the rest of the ordinal numbers, you just have to tack the ending -ième to the end of the cardinal number. (Ex. deuxième, troisième, quatrième”)

When the cardinal number ends in -e, this letter disappears to form the ordinal number (quatre – quatrième). Cinq takes an extra u (cinquième), and the f in neuf becomes a v (neuvième).

#EnglishFrench
1efirstpremier(ère)
2eseconddeuxième
3ethirdtroisième
4efourthquatrième
5efifthcinquième
6esixthsixième
7eseventhseptième
8eeighthhuitième
9eninthneuvième
10etenthdixième

Now you know how to say numbers 1-100 in French!

## How to Use French Numbers

Numbers are usually used in context to talk about quantity, prices, date, and time, among many other things. We don’t normally list numbers just for the sake of it. That’s why you have to learn the numbers as well as the expressions and structures in which you might find them.

It’s impossible to cover all the different contexts and situations where numbers are used in just one article. Today we’ll look at two of the most important: dates and times.

### French dates

In French, we use cardinal numbers to express the date, except for the first day of the month, for which we use the ordinal number “premier.

Here are a few examples:

• 01/12/1995 – Le premier décembre 1995
• 02/08/1995 – Le deux août 1995
• 15/04/2020 – Le quinze avril 2020

To form a complete sentence, we use on est le before the date:

Examples:

• On est le 1er mars 2008. – Today is March 1st, 2008.
• On est le 24 juillet 2000. – Today is July 24th, 2000.

### Telling time

There are two ways of expressing time in French: either with the 12-hour or the 24-hour system. In both cases, we use cardinal numbers.

• Il est une heure. – It’s one o’clock. (1:00 a.m. or p.m. or 13h00)
• Il est seize heures trente. – It’s 16:30. (4:30 p.m.)

The most common way of asking for the time is: “Quelle heure est-il, s’il vous plaît ?” or else, “Il est quelle heure ?

### How to pronounce numbers in French

Now it’s time to make sure you can actually say numbers in French. As with any other vocab, listening to podcasts in French is very useful. This will help you not only improve your pronunciation of these numbers in French but also familiarize your ear with the sounds of the language.

Another option for practicing pronunciation is a tool called Forvo. With it, you can listen to recordings of native speakers, as well as record your own voice and correct your pronunciation.

Finally, you will find videos about pronunciation and French grammar on our YouTube channel.

And as with all other things: practice, practice, practice! Eventually, numbers should be instinctual for you, so take every opportunity to work on your French counting. First, count your steps while walking or keep track of your reps at the gym. Then shake it it up and get creative: count backwards with your microwave, practice your mental math, the possibilities are endless!

We hope you enjoyed this article! If you want to know more about the numbers in French and continue learning this romantic language, check out these great online resources to learn French.

You can also download our app to study French or any other language. It’s quick and easy!

We’ll see you soon. Happy learning!