How To Count To 100 In French

Don’t get stuck counting on your fingers.
Counting in French represented by a photo of a French street with visible numbers on hanging signs.

You’re in Paris and want to order 53 baguettes when suddenly you realize you don’t know how to say “53.” What a horrible faux pas! You’ll have to order only trois, because that’s the only one of the French numbers you remember. Yes, that’s probably not something that’ll actually happen, but numbers do come up a lot in regular life. You’ll definitely want to learn the numbers up to at least a hundred before you make your trip to a French-speaking country. Here’s a quick guide to French numbers up to 100, which should help you along.

We could just list all of the French numbers 1 to 100, but that wouldn’t explain the logic behind it. So instead, we’ll start with the numbers you need to know, and then show you how to put it all together.

Counting From Zero To Twenty In French

Why count to twenty instead of ten? Well, like many languages, the teens work differently. In English, for example, “eleven” would technically make more sense if it was called “ten-one” to mirror “twenty-one.” With French numbers, a similar thing happens.

zerozéro
oneun
twodeux
threetrois
fourquatre
fivecinq
sixsix
sevensept
eighthuit
nineneuf
tendix
elevenonze
twelvedouze
thirteentreize
fourteenquatorze
fifteenquinze
sixteenseize
seventeendix-sept
eighteendix-huit
nineteendix-neuf
twentyvingt

The Rest Of The Tens

thirtytrente
fortyquarante
fiftycinquante
sixtysoixante
seventysoixante-dix
eightyquatre-vingt
ninetyquatre-vingt-dix
one hundredcent

French Numbers: Putting It All Together

French numbers can be a little tricky for English speakers. Up until 69, it progresses pretty normally. The number 32 is trente-deux, which is similar to the English fifty-seven. There is one exception before 69 which is that when there’s a “one,” or an un, you can attach it as et un or -et-un. Because of that, twenty-one is vingt et un or vingt-et-un.

Once you get into the 70s, it’s a little trickier. Seventy is soixante-dix, which literally translates as “sixty-ten.” Then it continues to soixante-onze “sixty-eleven” all the way up to 80. Then it transforms once again, because 80 is quatre-vingt, or “four-twenties.” Then it continues with quatre-vingt-un (81), quatre-vingt-deux (82) and on and on. Then 90 rounds it out as quatre-vingt-dix, or “four-twenty-ten.” Like the 70s, this goes through the teens like quatre-vingt-onze (“four-twenty-eleven”) until finally you reach 100, cent.

This can sound like a lot of rules, but there’s method to the madness. It’ll take some getting used to, but soon French numbers will be as easy as un, deux, trois.

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