How to Count to Ten in Spanish

Instructor: Janet Long

Janet has taught college Spanish and English courses and has master's degrees in Spanish literature and TESOL.

We all know that numbers are important because we use them every day, so you'll want to learn them when you study a new language. In this lesson, you'll learn the numbers 1-10 in Spanish and practice their pronunciation.

Numbers Are Everywhere

How many times do you use numbers every day? A lot! You use them to count fruit at a store, to see how many people are in your group at a restaurant, or to order your food. This lesson will teach you how to use the numbers you need to know to do these things in Spanish. By the end of the lesson, you'll know the names of the numbers 1-10, practice their pronunciation, and learn how to order food.

The Numbers 1-10

Let's go to a Mexican restaurant for dinner! What would you like to eat? Tacos? Burritos? How many are you going to have? When we get to the restaurant, you decide that you want to order two tacos. How can you order that in Spanish? You need to use numbers whenever you order something, whether it's tacos for dinner or a cup of coffee in the morning.

But, before you order your tacos, we need to go over the vocabulary and pronunciation for the numbers 1-10. Here are the names and the pronunciation for the numbers in Spanish:

Number Spanish Pronunciation
1 uno oo-noh
2 dos dohs
3 tres trays
4 cuatro kwah-troh
5 cinco seen-koh
6 seis says
7 siete syay-tay
8 ocho oh-choh
9 nueve nway-vay
10 diez dyays

Pronunciation tips

Some of the sounds in Spanish can be a little tricky, so here are a couple of tips to help you with the pronunciation of the words.

The letter u in Spanish sounds the same as the double oo in the word boot. You push your lips out, like when giving a kiss. The word uno begins with this sound.

Whenever there is an -s or -z at the end of a word in Spanish, it sounds just like the letter -s. So, the words dos, tres, seis, and diez all end with the same sound.

Counting

The best way to remember the vocabulary and the correct pronunciation for the numbers in Spanish is to practice saying them out loud. Let's practice by counting from 1-10.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
uno dos tres cuatro cinco seis siete ocho nueve diez

Alright, now let's try something a little more difficult. This time we'll count backwards, from 10 to 1.

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
diez nueve ocho siete seis cinco cuatro tres dos uno

We can also practice the numbers by counting with only the even numbers. Let's give it a try.

2 4 6 8 10
Dos cuatro seis ocho diez

Let's count one more time, using only the odd numbers this time.

1 3 5 7 9
Uno tres cinco siete nueve

Ordering Food

Now let's practice using these numbers by ordering some food in a restaurant. Say we're at the Mexican restaurant, and you want to order two tacos. In Spanish, you always say the number first, then you say the name of the food. So, if you order two tacos, you would say dos tacos.

Or, maybe you're pretty hungry and want three tacos. How would you order them? Remember that you want to put the number first, so you'd say tres tacos.

But, if you're really hungry, maybe you want a couple more. What would you say if you want to order five tacos? That's right! You would say cinco tacos.

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