French Numbers Can Be a Headache
Bonjour! If you are learning French, you might have started complaining about French numbers.
In this article, if you wish to be the master of numbers in French. A quick overview of the content:
 French numbers: 1100
 French numbers: the hundreds and the thousands
 French numbers: above the thousands
 Maths in French
 Years, Fractions, Phone Numbers in French
 Fun facts about French numbers
My name is Eden, and I’ve been teaching French for 5 years. Let me show you and guide you through the world of French numbers. Looking for tips on learning languages in general? Don’t forget to check out our guide to language learning.
Vous êtes prêts ? Trois, deux, un… C’est parti! Let’s begin counting in French!
French Numbers 110
First of all, let’s start with the basics. Counting from 1 to 10 in French is quite easy. The numbers are all independent. You just need to memorize them.
Numbers Song In French, Let’s hear how to read 110 in French!
French Numbers 1020
11 – onze
12 – douze
13 – treize
14 – quatorze
15 – quinze
16 – seize
17 – dixsept (literally: tenseven)
18 – dixhuit (literally teneight)
19 – dixneuf (literally tennine)
20 – vingt
When you are counting from 10 to 20 in French, you can now see two types of numbers : independent and composed numbers.
As you might have noticed, from 17 to 19 (dixsept, dixhuit, dixneuf) we have a first glance of composed numbers : tenseven, teneight and tennine.
Vingt is an independent number.
French numbers 2070
Counting 2070 is easy. Have a look at the first two rows and the first column in the image below.
The rules:

 Firstly: 20/30/40/50/60 are independent numbers.
 Secondly: 21/31/41/51/61 share the same rule: “vingt/trente/quarante/cinquante/soixante” plus “et un”
 Everything thing else: “vingt/trente/quarante/cinquante/soixante” plus “un/deux/trois/…/neuf”
How about 70?
Well, once you reach 70, the pattern changes. Let’s take a closer look in the next section.
French numbers 7080
Super easy addition based on “soixante (60)” is involved.
Numbers  FR  EN (literal) 
70  Soixantedix  sixtyten 
71  Soixanteetonze  Sixtyandeleven 
72  Soixantedouze  Sixtytwelve 
74  Soixantequatorze  Sixtyfourteen 
75  Soixantequinze  Sixtyfifteen 
76  Soixanteseize  Sixtysixteen 
77  Soixantedixsept  Sixtytenseven 
78  Soixantedixhuit  Sixtyteneight 
79  Soixantedixneuf  Sixtytennine 
80  Quatrevingts  Fourtwenties 
French numbers 81100
Now, similar to counting from 6179, counting from 81 to 99 in French is done by adding 119 to 80.
Numbers  FR  EN (lit.) 
80  Quatrevingts  Fourtwenties 
81  Quatrevingtun  Fourtwentyone (no “et”!) 
82  Quatrevingtdeux  Fourtwentytwo 
83  Quatrevingttrois  Fourtwentythree 
84  Quatrevingtquatre  Fourtwentyfour 
85  Quatrevingtcinq  Fourtwentyfive 
86  Quatrevingtsix  Four twentysix 
87  Quatrevingtsept  Fourtwentyseven 
88  Quatrevingthuit  Fourtwentyeight 
89  Quatrevingtneuf  Fourtwentynine 
90  Quatrevingtdix  Fourtwentyten 
91  Quatrevingtonze  Fourtwentyeleven 
92  Quatrevingtdouze  Fourtwentytwelve 
93  Quatrevingttreize  Fourtwentythirteen 
94  Quatrevingtquatorze  Fourtwentyfourteen 
95  Quatrevingtquinze  Fourtwentyfifteen 
96  Quatrevingtseize  Fourtwentysixteen 
97  Quatrevingtdixsept  Fourtwentytenseven 
98  Quatrevingtdixhuit  Fourtwentyteneight 
99  Quatrevingtdixneuf  Fourtwentytennine 
100  Cent  One hundred 
Notice that “quatrevingtun” does not add an extra “et” before “un”? Yep, it’s an exception.
Regarding the “s” at the end of “quatrevingts”, it only applies when “quatrevingts” is not followed by any other numeral: quatrevingts for 80, quatrevingttrois for 83.
Now you have mastered top 100 French numbers. Let’s review it through the video: French Lesson 1100
Fun Facts about Numbers in French
In Frenchspeaking Belgium and Switzerland, people don’t say “soixantedix, quatrevingts, quatrevingtdix”.
They will instead follow the usual pattern as from 20 to 60 and use :
Septante instead of Soixantedix.
Octante or Huitante instead of Quatrevingts (only in Switzerland).
Nonante instead of Quatrevingtdix.
This would be more logical if you take a step back and look at how 40, 50 and 60 are written. But French will always be French and if there are no complications in the language… it’s not real French!
French Numbers: What happens after 100?
Afterwards, let’s move on to the hundreds. It’s very similar to the English way of counting hundreds. Take a look at this table:
Hundreds (centaines)  FR 
100  Cent 
200  Deuxcents 
300  Troiscents 
400  Quatrecents 
500  Cinqcents 
600  Sixcents 
700  Septcents 
800  Huitcents 
900  Neufcents 
1000  Mille 
If you would like to read composed numbers out loud, let me show you how to do it:
Let’s take 152 as an example: centcinquantedeux. There are no particular tricks here, just assembling the numbers together. Hundreds + tens and units.
Now let’s do the same thing with 368 : troiscentsoixantehuit. Have you noticed something? Yes. The “s” of “troiscents” has disappeared. This rule is the same as the “s” of “quatrevingts” : if it’s above 100 and not followed by any other numeral, the “s” stays (deuxcents, troiscents…).
Before you go ahead and read the next paragraph, try to train yourself and figure out how to spell these numbers now:
145 – 324 – 294 – 569 – 812 – 900
Answer:
Centquarantecinq / Troiscentvingtquatre / Deuxcentquatrevingtquatorze / Cinqcentsoixanteneuf / Huitcentdouze / Neufcents.
French Numbers: The Thousands
Thousands in French. Surprisingly, reading thousands in French is not the hardest part of the numbers chapter !
Thousands (milliers)  FR 
1000  Mille 
2000  Deuxmille 
3000  Troismille 
4000  Quatremille 
5000  Cinqmille 
6000  Sixmille 
7000  Septmille 
8000  Huitmille 
9000  Neufmille 
10 000  Dixmille 
100 000  Centmille 
500 000  Cinqcentmille 
In the case of thousands, “mille” stays the same, regardless if it’s followed by another numeral or none.
French numbers: the Hyphens –
Are you wondering if there’s an easy way to memorize the use of hyphens in numbers.
Well, it really depends on how obsessed you are with spelling French numbers out.
If you are not obsessed, the simple rule is to add hyphens between words in composed numbers. (This rule was mentioned in “Reforms of French Orthography“.)
Reading years in French
Reading years in French is simple, it only requires a little bit of training with numbers. The trick is to decompose the year into thousands + hundreds + tens and units :
1952 = milleneufcentcinquantedeux (1000 / 900 / 52)
1879 = millehuitcentsoixantedixneuf (1000 / 800 / 79)
Now, your turn! Train yourself how to read these numbers (or years) out loud:
2014 – 1789 – 1515 – 1981 – 1993 – 2003
Answers:
Deuxmillequatorze / Milleseptcentquatrevingtneuf / Millecinqcentquinze / Milleneufcentquatrevingtun / Milleneufcentquatrevingttreize / Deuxmilletrois.
French Numbers: Above Thousands
Above thousands come millions and billions:
One million (EN)= un million (FR)
Billion (EN) = un milliard (FR)
For composed numbers… you know the drill.
Mathematics in French
Add, subtract, multiply and divide in French
Reading mathematics is something that you might also have to master if you really want to know how to count in French. Here’s how you do it :
FR  EN  Example 
Addition __ plus ___ 
Add  Un plus deux 
Soustraction __ moins __ 
Subtract  Deux moins un 
Multiplication __ fois __ __ multiplié par __ 
Multiply  Trois fois cinq Trois multiplié par cinq 
Division __ divisé par __ 
Divide  Dix divisé par deux 
Est égal à __  Equals  Un plus deux est égal à trois 
Fractions in French
How do you read fractions in French? This first table will show you how to read some fixed expressions:
Usual fractions  FR 
1/2  Un demi 
1/3  Un tiers 
1/4  Un quart 
1/5  Un cinquième 
1/10  Un dixième 
1/20  Un vingtième 
Regarding other types of fractions, you will have to use this pattern:
(number) SUR (number)
Let me show you an example: 5/20 = cinq sur vingt. Easy, right?
And what if you would like to read a number such as x.y? (0.5 , 2.9 … )
Regarding decimal separators (the period between numbers) in French, we don’t use the period. In fact, we will use a comma (“,“) to separate decimals : 0,5 – 2,9 … If you would like to pronounce them out loud, just add “virgule” (comma) in between.
0,5 = zéro virgule cinq / 2,9 = deux virgule neuf .
Percentages in French
To read percentages in French, it’s even easier. You only will need to add “pourcent(s)” (or “pour cent”) at the end of your number. 15% = quinze pourcents / pour cent.
Note that “pourcent” will change and agree with the number (if there is more than 1%, then “pourcent” will be written with an “s”). “Pour cent”, on the other side, will always be invariable. In other words, “pourcent” is “perhundred”, a noun, and “pour cent” is the noun phrase “per one hundred”.
How to read phone numbers in French
Finally, let’s take a look at our last part of how to count in French… phone numbers! This may not be exactly counting, as I would say, but it’s part of the daily life.
Note that most French telephone numbers are written this way :
0x xx xx xx xx (Example: 04 . 98 . 10 . 20 . 32)
So we read them by pairs (zéro quatre , quatrevingtdixhuit, dix, vingt, trentedeux).
However, you may stumble upon different numbers using different formats (such as 3 by 3 instead of pairs), you may read them using “hundreds” :
851 – 121 (huitcentcinquanteetun / centvingtetun)
Conclusion
There you go! You now know pretty much everything about reading numbers in French and you may now start counting in French.
The key here is to train yourself to read numbers out loud, a little bit exercise with LingoDeer goes a long way.
Remember, with hard work and practice, it will be easier for you to master reading and pronouncing French numbers. Au revoir et à bientôt!