Spanish Grammar

Cardinal numbers (Los números cardinales)

0 cero   10 diez   20 veinte 30   30 treinta   101 ciento uno
1 uno 11 once 21 veintiuno 31 treinta y una 200 doscientos
2 dos 12 doce 22 veintidós 32 treinta y dos 300 trescientos
3 tres 13 trece 23 veintitrés 40 cuarenta 400 cuatrocientos
4 cuatro 14 catorce 24 veinticuatro 50 cincuenta 500 quinientos
5 cinco 15 quince 25 veinticinco 60 sesenta 600 seiscientos
6 seis 16 dieciséis 26 veintiséis 70 setenta 700 setecientos
7 siete 17 diecisiete 27 veintisiete 80 ochenta 800 ochocientos
8 ocho 18 dieciocho 28 veintiocho 90 noventa 900 novecientos
9 nueve 19 diecinueve 29 veintinueve 100 cien 1.000 mil

The three word forms for the numbers 16-29 are also considered correct, e.g.: diez y seis, veinte y uno.

NOTE: Before masculine nouns, the uno of these numbers (31, 41, etc.) becomes un; before feminine nouns, it becomes una. E.g.: treinta y un libros, treinta y una mesas.

Cien is used for 100 except before numbers smaller than 100: cien casas, cien mil [100,000]; but: ciento dos [102].

When the numbers 200 through 900 modify a noun, they must agree with the noun in gender: trescientas mujeres; quinientas una personas.

Mil = one thousand; do NOT use "un mil". 2.000 = dos mil. NOTE: Numbers like "nineteen hundred" must be expressed with mil in Spanish: 1982 mil novecientos ochenta y dos.

1.000.000 = un millón, 2.000.000 = dos millones. When millón or its plural form millones is used with a noun, it must be followed by de. E.g.: tres millones de dólares.

Equations: y (plus), menos (minus), son (equals). E.g.: diez y treinta son cuarenta [10 + 30 = 40]; noventa menos veinte son setenta [90 - 20 = 70]

Ordinal numbers (Los números ordinales)

Ordinal numbers give the "order" in which something occcurs: first, second, etc. Ordinals exist for all numbers, but normally only the forms from one to ten are used in Spanish:

primero first   sexto sixth
segundo second séptimo seventh
tercero third octavo eighth
cuarto fourth noveno ninth
quinto fifth décimo tenth

These are adjective forms, so the usual endings are used, depending on the noun modified: -o, -os, -a, -as. In addition, note the special shortened forms primer and tercer, used before masculine singular nouns: mi primer examen. The ordinals are most frequently used before nouns, but may appear afterwards, especially with names. After names, the word "the" is omitted in Spanish.

Felipe III  =   Felipe Tercero   Felipe the Third
Isabel II  = Isabel Segunda Isabel the Second

Fred Jehle <>
Indiana U.-Purdue U. Fort Wayne
Fort Wayne, IN 46805-1499

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Last updated: Jan. 5, 2013