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TNs, U50: Numbers 2 (Vingt to Milliards)

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In French, most numbers are structurally similar to their English counterparts. They start as single words.

Number French Number French
0 zéro 10 dix
1 un 11 onze
2 deux 12 douze
3 trois 13 treize
4 quatre 14 quatorze
5 cinq 15 quinze
6 six 16 seize
7 sept 17 dix-sept
8 huit 18 dix-huit
9 neuf 19 dix-neuf

After seize (16), French starts combining a multiple of ten (e.g. dix) with a single digit (e.g. sept) to form a compound number (e.g. dix-sept). English also does this starting after 20. This pattern remains in French numbers up to 60, but notice the et (no hyphens) in the middle of 21, 31, 41, and 51. However, since 1990, all compound numbers may use hyphens.

Number French
20 vingt
21 vingt et un / 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
30 trente
31 trente et un / trente-et-un
...
40 quarante
41 quarante et un / quarante-et-un
...
50 cinquante
51 cinquante et un / cinquante-et-un

For 60 through 79, French combines soixante (60) with the numbers from 1 to 19. There is no separate word for 70.

Number French
60 soixante
61 soixante et un / 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
70 soixante-dix
71 soixante et onze / 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

The same thing happens from 80-99, except notice that quatre-vingts (80) has an ending -s while the rest of the set does not. Also, notice that there is no et in 81.

Number French
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
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

This pattern does not appear in Swiss or Belgian French, which instead uses septante (70), huitante or octante (80), and nonante (90) with the original pattern.

From 100 to 999, put the number of hundreds first, just like in English. Notice that multiples of 100 have an ending -s, but there is no ending -s if cent is followed by another number.

Number French
100 cent
108 cent huit / cent-huit
144 cent quarante-quatre / cent-quarante-quatre
200 deux cents / deux-cents
233 deux cent trente-trois / deux-cent-trente-trois
400 quatre cents / quatre-cents

Numbers in the thousands are also similar to English in structure. Note that French separates every three digits with a space or period instead of a comma and that mille is never pluralized.

Number French
1 000 mille
1 580 mille cinq cent quatre-vingts / mille-cinq-cent-quatre-vingts
4 181 quatre mille cent quatre-vingt-un / quatre-mille-cent-quatre-vingt-un
317 800 trois cent dix-sept mille huit cents / trois-cent-dix-sept-mille-huit-cents

Million (million) and milliard (billion) do pluralize, and they keep their ending -s even when followed by other numbers. Also, unlike cent and mille, million and milliard must be preceded by a number.

Number French
1 000 000 un million
4 000 000 quatre millions
9 227 465 neuf millions deux cent vingt-sept mille quatre cent soixante-cinq / neuf-millions-deux-cent-vingt-sept-mille-quatre-cent-soixante-cinq
1 000 000 000 un milliard

A noun can usually directly follow a number, but de must appear before nouns for million and milliard.

  • Il est distant de milliards d'années-lumières. — It is billions of light-years away.
  • Il y a soixante-cinq millions d'années — Sixty-five million years ago.

Important: If you find any errors in the Tips and Notes, have questions related to the grammar points above, or would like to discuss the topic in depth, please feel free to comment below. We ask that you keep your comments on topic so that this post stays educational and everyone can benefit from them. Any spam or unrelated comments will be deleted.

For more Tips and Notes, click HERE

1 week ago

3 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Jegge4
Jegge4
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Why?

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KaptianKaos8
KaptianKaos8
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What do you mean why?

  • Why is this post here? These are the tips and notes for the new French tree.

  • Why do the French count in such a strange way? It's just the way it is. The same reason we say twelve rather than tenty-two, ten-two, or even one-two.

  • Why don't they change it to a more logical counting system? 1) There are more important problems to deal with. 2) No one can agree on what a better counting system would be. 3) If a new system were to be agreed on people would still use the traditional system out of habit. All in all, it's not worth it.

Hopefully this answers your question.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/leonidBr__
leonidBr__
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Thank you very much! I am a beginner in Franch

1 week ago
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