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Counting is a necessary skill in any language. Recognizing the numbers in French is important for discussing the time, dates, money, and of course making purchases.  Let’s start with the basics by learning how to count in French from one to one hundred.

Introduction to French numbers

The first thing to know about the numbers in French, is that the order of the digits is exactly the same in English and French. It’s just the names for each that are different. Though in fact a couple of the numbers are almost exactly the same, just pronounced a bit differently!

In this post we’ll teach you how to count in French, introducing each of the French numbers from 1-100. We’ll work in tens, showing how the vocab builds on itself. Once you know how to count to 10 in French, for example, you can use these digits to create ever bigger numbers. When writing compound numbers, you just string them all together using dashes.

Now let’s dive in and start counting in French!

How do I count to ten in French?

0 zéro zero
1 un one
2 deux two
3 trois three
4 quatre four
5 cinq five
6 six six
7 sept seven
8 huit eight
9 neuf nine
10 dix ten

Let’s start off memorizing these ones. Once you can count to ten in French, you’ll be able to use these words for creating all the bigger French numbers. So let’s go: Zéro, un, deux, trois, quatre, cinq, six, sept, huit, neuf, dix.

Note the French word for zero is the same as in English, just with an accent added. You may also have noticed that the number six is written identically in both languages!

How do I count from 11 to 20 in French?

11 onze eleven
12 douze twelve
13 treize thirteen
14 quatorze fourteen
15 quinze fifteen
16 seize sixteen
17 dix-sept seventeen
18 dix-huit eighteen
19 dix-neuf nineteen
20 vingt twenty

Did you notice that when learning the French numbers from 1-20, all of the words are unique up to 16? With the numbers for 17, 18, and 19, the words are just combinations of the French word for ten, along with the French words for seven, eight, and nine.

French numbers by tens

Before we get into each of the following sections, let’s introduce the French numbers by tens. Combined with the numbers you just learned for 1-19 in French, with these ones you’ll be able to create all the French numbers 1-100. Don’t worry, we get into the details in the next sections.

10 dix ten
20 vingt twenty
30 trente thirty
40 quarante forty
50 cinquante fifty
60 soixante sixty
70 soixante-dix seventy
80 quatre-vingts eighty
90 quatre-vingts-dix ninety
100 cent one hundred

French numbers 21-30

If you’ve learned all the French numbers 1-20 you’re in good shape, because you’ll only need to learn four new words to be able to count in French up to the number 70!

For instance, the number twenty in French is vingt, so to make the number twenty-five we just combine the words for twenty and five in French: vingt-cinq. There’s just one quirky exception. See if you can notice it:

21 vingt-et-un twenty-one
22 vingt-deux twenty-two
23 vingt-trois twenty-three
24 vingt-quatre twenty-four
25 vingt-cinq twenty-five
26 vingt-six twenty-six
27 vingt-sept twenty-seven
28 vingt-huit twenty-eight
29 vingt-neuf twenty-nine
30 trente thirty

Did you notice the number in the twenties that followed a different pattern from the rest? That’s right: twenty-one or vingt-et-un, written literally as twenty and one. This rule applies to all the numbers up sixty-one that end in one. For example:

  • 31: trente-et-un – thirty-one
  • 41: quarante-et-un – forty-one.

So what are the numbers for forty, fifty, and sixty in French?

Learn these numbers and you can count all the way to 69 by combining them with the French numbers 1-9.

  • 40: quarante – forty
  • 50: cinquante – fifty
  • 60: soixante – sixty

Can you figure out how to say these numbers in French?

  • 47, 55, 64

Remember, we just combine these French numbers above with one of the numbers from the first section where we learned how to count to ten in French:

  • quarante-sept, cinquante-cinq, soixante-quatre

If you would prefer to see all the numbers from 30-69, they are listed in the tables below. Just remember you don’t have to memorize them all in order to count in French, as long as you remember the words for 30, 40, 50, 60, and the numbers 1-9. As we saw in the last section, this same rule applies to French numbers from 20-29.

How do you say the numbers 31-40 in French?

31 trente-et-un thirty-one
32 trente-deux thirty-two
33 trente-trois thirty-three
34 trente-quatre thirty-four
35 trente-cinq thirty-five
36 trente-six thirty-six
37 trente-sept thirty-seven
38 trente-huit thirty-eight
39 trente-neuf thirty-nine
40 quarante forty

The French number 31, trente-et-un, is also written as “thirty and one,” following the same format we saw for the French number 21.

French numbers 41-50

41 quarante-et-un forty-one
42 quarante-deux forty-two
43 quarante-trois forty-three
44 quarante-quatre forty-four
45 quarante-cinq forty-five
46 quarante-six forty-six
47 quarante-sept forty-seven
48 quarante-huit forty-eight
49 quarante-neuf forty-nine
50 cinquante fifty

As you can see, counting in French becomes quite repetitive, since the numbers in French all follow the same format so far.

Do the French numbers 51-60 follow the same format?

They sure do! Simply switch the French word for fifty in place of forty to say the next set of numbers.

51 cinquante-et-un fifty-one
52 cinquante-deux fifty-two
53 cinquante-trois fifty-three
54 cinquante-quatre fifty-four
55 cinquante-cinq fifty-five
56 cinquante-six fifty-six
57 cinquante-sept fifty-seven
58 cinquante-huit fifty-eight
59 cinquante-neuf fifty-nine
60 soixante sixty

How about the French numbers 61-70?

Counting in French stays the same through the numbers in the sixties. However, when we get to seventy, the names we use for the number become a little tricky. Note the number seventy in the table.

61 soixante-et-un sixty-one
62 soixante-deux sixty-two
63 soixante-trois sixty-three
64 soixante-quatre sixty-four
65 soixante-cinq sixty-five
66 soixante-six sixty-six
67 soixante-sept sixty-seven
68 soixante-huit sixty-eight
69 soixante-neuf sixty-nine
70 soixante-dix seventy

How are the French numbers 71-80 written?

The number for seventy is written in French as “sixty-ten.” In a way this is convenient, since you don’t need to learn a new number word for seventy. On the other hand, it does complicate the way we say the French numbers in the seventies. But don’t worry, you already learned everything you need to do this when you learned the French numbers 11-20.

We’ll just be combining those numbers with soixante to say the numbers in the seventies. These compound numbers start to get a bit more complicated as of 77, since 17-19 are already compound numbers in French!

  • 71: Soixante-onze is literally written as “sixty-eleven,” but it’s best to think of it in number terms as 71 if you still do your thinking in English.
  • 77: Soixante-dix-sept is written as “sixty-ten-seven.”
71 soixante-onze seventy-one
72 soixante-douze seventy-two
73 soixante-treize seventy-three
74 soixante-quatorze seventy-four
75 soixante-quinze seventy-five
76 soixante-seize seventy-six
77 soixante-dix-sept seventy-seven
78 soixante-dix-huit seventy-eight
79 soixante-dix-neuf seventy-nine
80 quatre-vingts eighty

How are the French numbers 81-90 written?

Did you notice that the word for eighty in French is also a combination of two other French number words: four-twenties. Of course, if you do the math, twenty times four equals eighty.

As of eighty, we revert back to our usual pattern of adding the numbers 1-9 to say the French numbers in the eighties.

81 quatre-vingt-un eighty-one
82 quatre-vingt-deux eighty-two
83 quatre-vingt-trois eighty-three
84 quatre-vingt-quatre eighty-four
85 quatre-vingt-cinq eighty-five
86 quatre-vingt-six eighty-six
87 quatre-vingt-sept eighty-seven
88 quatre-vingt-huit eighty-eight
89 quatre-vingt-neuf eighty-nine
90 quatre-vingts-dix ninety

Notice that even though the number 80 is written in plural as quatre-vingts, the letter s is no longer added for numbers 81-90.

Are the numbers 91-100 really complicated?

Since the French number for ninety, quatre-vingt-dix, is once again written as “eighty-ten,” the numbers 91-100 will be similar to numbers 71-80: we just add the numbers 11-19 to the French word for eighty: quatre-vingt.

  • 91: quatre-vingt-onze is written as “eighty-eleven,” or if we also literally break down eighty, as “four-twenty-eleven.”
  • 99: quatre-vingt-dix-neuf can be broken down into “eighty-nineteen”, or even literally as “four-twenty-ten-nine.”

These French numbers aren’t that complicated when you understand how they are made up. Nonetheless, they still may seem a bit long to English speakers, especially the double-compound numbers 97-99. Luckily, the number for a hundred is an easy one!

91 quatre-vingt-onze ninety-one
92 quatre-vingt-douze ninety-two
93 quatre-vingt-treize ninety-three
94 quatre-vingt-quatorze ninety-four
95 quatre-vingt-quinze ninety-five
96 quatre-vingt-seize ninety-six
97 quatre-vingt-dix-sept ninety-seven
98 quatre-vingt-dix-huit ninety-eight
99 quatre-vingt-dix-neuf ninety-nine
100 cent a hundred, one hundred

French numbers around the world

Is what we’ve just seen all you need to know about how to count to 100 in French? Yes it is, if you are speaking French in France, in one of France’s overseas territories, one of France’s former colonies in West Africa, or even in Canada.

The French-speaking world, or la Francophonie, is quite vast though. Two Francophone countries in Europe, Belgium and Switzerland, actually have their own number words for 70, 80, and 90. The Democratic Republic of Congo in Central Africa also uses these French numbers.

  • 70: septante – seventy
  • 80: huitante – eighty
  • 90: nonante – ninety

These numbers in French function the same way as we saw for the numbers 20-60: you just need to add one of the numbers 1-9.

  • 78: septante-huit
  • 97: nonante-sept

So if you’re paying for your café in Belgium for €1,90, it may be slightly confusing when you’re charged “un Euro nonante” instead of “un Euro quatre-vingts-dix.” But don’t worry, you’ll still get the correct change!

Conclusion

In this post we’ve given a thorough explanation on how to count in French, introducing all the French numbers 1-100. In fact, since we started with zéro, you should now be comfortable with over one hundred numbers in French!

We started off learning to count to ten in French, and then moved up by tens. We saw that up to sixteen the French numbers are all single words, but from there the majority of the numbers in French are formed as compound numbers. We saw that the tens from 20 to 60 are also single words, whereas 70, 80, and 90 are again compound numbers!

Fortunately the French numbers 1-100 all follow a straightforward pattern from these basics, so with a bit of practice you’ll soon confidently know how to count in French. Bravo!

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