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How to Count to 100 in French

Instructor: Amy Brotschul

Amy has taught all levels of high school French and holds a Master of Arts in Teaching French and English as a Second Language.

Knowing the numbers to 100 will allow you to understand phone numbers, dates, times, and prices in France. As you will see, learning the numbers in French is a bit like doing math, but it's very simple math.

Numbers 1-100 in French

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Learning the numbers to 100 in French can be done systematically. It is very important to master the numbers 1-20 because you will see these numbers used again and again.

The numbers or les numéros (lay new may ro) from 1 to 20 in French are:

number in French pronunciation
0 zéro zay ro
1 un uh
2 deux duh
3 trois twah
4 quatre kat ruh
5 cinq sank
6 six sees
7 sept set
8 huit wheet
9 neuf nuhf
10 dix dees
11 onze onz
12 douze dooz
13 treize trez
14 quatorze kah tohrz
15 quinze cans
16 seize sez
17 dix-sept dees set
18 dix-huit dees wheet
19 dix-neuf dees nuhf
20 vingt van

You probably noticed that the numbers 17, 18, 19 are simple math problems:

17 = 10 + 7, dix-sept

18 = 10 + 8, dix-huit

19 = 10 + 9, dix-neuf

Next, you should learn the numbers by tens.

number in French pronunciation
10 dix dees
20 vingt van
30 trente tront
40 quarante ka ront
50 cinquante san kont
60 soixante swa sont
70 soixante-dix swa sont dees
80 quatre-vingts ka tre van
90 quatre-vingt-dix ka tre van dees
100 cent san

You will quickly notice a pattern for all the numbers between 21 and 69. The numbers 21, 31, 41, 51, and 61 join the numbers with the conjunction ''and'' or et (ay) in French, as in vingt et un. The other numbers are joined by a hyphen, like in English. Twenty-two is vingt-deux, thirty-four is trente-quatre, and sixty-seven is soixante-sept. The first number is the multiple of 10, the second number comes from the ''ones'' place.

Look at the examples in the chart below:

number in French pronunciation
21 vingt et un vant ay uh
22 vingt-deux van duh
23 vingt-trois van twa
24 vingt-quatre van kat ruh
25 vingt-cinq van sank
26 vingt-six van sees
27 vingt-sept van set
28 vingt-huit van wheet
29 vingt-neuf van nuhf
30 trente tront
31 trente et un tront ay uh
32 trente-deux tront duh
33 trente-trois tront twa
44 quarante-quatre ka ront kat ruh
45 quarante-cinq ka ront sank
46 quarante-six ka ront sees
57 cinquante-sept san kont set
58 cinquante-huit san kont wheet
59 cinquante-neuf san kont nuhf
60 soixante swa sont
61 soixante et un swa sont ay uh
63 soixante-trois swa sont twa
65 soixante-cinq swa sont sank
68 soixante-huit swa sont wheet

Numbers 70-100

So far, so good, right? French numbers follow a pretty simple pattern. From 70 on, the numbers do not follow quite the same pattern, but they recycle numbers that you already know.

It may be helpful to know that the French number system was originally based on the number 20, instead of 10 like our system. British numbers used a similar system. In President Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, he used the expression: ''four score and seven years ago.'' This was an eloquent way of saying ''87 years ago'' (4 score {20} = 80 and 7). Today, most of the numbers have been renamed. Nevertheless, the numbers 70 through 99 still follow this system.

The numbers 40 and 60 used to be: 40 = ''2 20'' or deux-vingts, short for ''2 times 20'' and 60 = ''3 20'' or trois-vingts, short for ''3 times 20''.

The number 80 remains the same to this day: ''4 20'', or quatre-vingts.

The number 70 used to be trois-vingt-dix. This has been adapted to soixante and dix, to become soixante-dix. The numbers between 11 and 19 continue to be added to soixante to make the numbers 71 to 79, as in the chart below.

number in French mathematical equation
70 soixante-dix 60 + 10
71 soixante et onze 60 + 11
72 soixante-douze 60 + 12
73 soixante-treize 60 + 13
74 soixante-quatorze 60 + 14
75 soixante-quinze 60 + 15
76 soixante-seize 60 + 16
77 soixante-dix-sept 60 + 17
78 soixante-dix-huit 60 + 18
79 soixante-dix-neuf 60 + 19

The numbers between 80 and 89 add the numbers 1-9 to quatre-vingts.

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