French Numbers (Nombres)

Father practicing counting with son
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Learn how to count in French—you can click on the links to hear the pronunciation of each number. Repeat the numbers to yourself a few times; you'll be surprised at how quick it is to memorize them.

The Numbers from 0 to 19


0   zéro
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

Learning the Numbers 20 to 59

For the French numbers 20 through 59, counting is just like in English: the tens word (vingt, trente, quarante, etc.) followed by the ones word ( un, deux, trois). The only difference is that for 21, 31, 41, etc., the word et (and) is introduced between the tens word and "one": vingt et un, trente et un, quarante et un, etc.
20   vingt
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

Numbers 60 to 79

The French numbers 60 to 69 follow the same rules as 20 to 59.
60 soixante
61   soixante et un
62   soixante-deux
63   soixante-trois
64   soixante-quatre
65   soixante-cinq
66   soixante-six
67   soixante-sept
68   soixante-huit
69   soixante-neuf
But then when 70 rolls around, instead of a new "tens" word, soixante is kept and the "ones" word continues counting from 10:
70   soixante-dix
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
So 70, soixante-dix in French, is literally "sixty-ten." 71 is soixante et onze (sixty and eleven), 72 is soixante-douze (sixty-twelve), and so on, up to 79.
In some French-speaking areas, such as Belgium and Switzerland, "seventy" is septante.

Learning 80 to 99

There is no word for "eighty" in standard French,* instead 80 is quatre-vingts, literally four-twenties (think "four-score"). 81 is quatre-vingt-un (four-twenty-one), 82 is quatre-vingt-deux (four-twenty-two), and so on, all the way up to 89.
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
There's no word for ninety either, so you continue using quatre-vingt and adding from ten. 90 is quatre-vingt-dix (four-twenty-ten), 91 is quatre-vingt-onze (four-twenty-eleven), etc.
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
*Once again, Switzerland and Belgium are exceptions. In Switzerland, 80 is huitante, but it's still quatre-vingts in Belgium. (You might also hear the archaic word octante in Switzerland or the South of France.) In both Switzerland and Belgium, 90 is nonante.

100 and Above

In French, 100 to 999 work just like in English: just say how many hundreds and then add the other numbers. Note that when cent is at the end of the number, it takes an s, but when it's followed by another number, the s is dropped.
100   cent
101   cent un
125   cent vingt-cinq
200   deux cents
201   deux cent un
243   deux cent quarante-trois
1,000+ are also similar to English, but there are a few things to note:

  • The separator is a period or space, rather than a comma (learn more)
  • Mille never takes an s, but million and milliard do
  • When reciting a long number, you can pause to take a breath at the separator (after mille, million, or milliard)
  • When million and milliard are followed by a noun, you need de in between: un million de dollars - a million dollars

Practice your French number skills using a quiz.

Expressions With Numbers

à la une - on the front page

chercher midi à 14 heures - to make something more complicated

le cinq à sept - afternoon tryst

couper les cheveux en quatre - to split hairs, quibble; to tell (someone) a few home truths

dormir sur ses deux oreilles - to sleep like a baby

faire d'une pierre deux coups - to kill two birds with one stone

haut comme trois pommes - knee-high to a grasshopper

tourner sept fois sa langue dans sa bouche - to think long and hard before speaking; one of these days

Un tiens vaut mieux que deux tu l'auras - A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush

se mettre sur son trente et un - to get dressed to the nines

Pronunciation Notes

The consonants at the end of the French numbers cinqsixhuit, and dix are pronounced when at the end of a sentence or in front of a vowel. However, they drop the final sound when followed by a word beginning with a consonant (such as centfoismois, or livres). For example, dix is normally pronounced [dees] and dix élèves is [dee zay lehv], but dix livres is pronounced [dee leevr(eu)]. Also, huit is normally pronounced [weet] and huit enfants is [wee ta(n) fa(n)], but huit cents is pronounced [wee sa(n)].

Note that the x at the end of six and dix, which is pronounced [s] at the end of a sentence, changes to [z] in front of vowels due to liaison.