Counting in French

Language overview

Forty-two in French French (français) is an indo-european language belonging to the romance group. Official language in 29 countries, including France, Belgium (with Dutch and German), Switzerland (with German, Italian and Romansh) and Canada (with English), it is spoken by about 80 million native speakers.
The French language used in France is also known as international French to distinguish it from its local varieties. Canadian French, Belgian French or Swiss French to name a few have different pronunciation, some vernacular vocabulary, and they may also differ in some gramatical rules.
Their numbering rules are the same nonetheless, even if some numbers are different. For example, septante (for soixante-dix) is used in both Belgium and Switzerland, but not in France, nor in any other French-speaking country.

French numbers list

  • 1 – un
  • 2 – deux
  • 3 – trois
  • 4 – quatre
  • 5 – cinq
  • 6 – six
  • 7 – sept
  • 8 – huit
  • 9 – neuf
  • 10 – dix
  • 11 – onze
  • 12 – douze
  • 13 – treize
  • 14 – quatorze
  • 15 – quinze
  • 16 – seize
  • 17 – dix-sept
  • 18 – dix-huit
  • 19 – dix-neuf
  • 20 – vingt
  • 30 – trente
  • 40 – quarante
  • 50 – cinquante
  • 60 – soixante
  • 70 – soixante-dix
  • 80 – quatre-vingts
  • 90 – quatre-vingt-dix
  • 100 – cent
  • 1,000 – mille
  • one million – un million
  • one billion – un milliard
  • one trillion – un billion

French numbering rules

  • Digits and numbers from zero to sixteen are specific words, namely zéro [0], un (une in its feminine form) [1], deux [2], trois [3], quatre [4], cinq [5], six [6], sept [7], huit [8], neuf [9], dix [10], onze [11], douze [12], treize [13], quatorze [14], quinze [15], seize [16]. Seventeen to nineteen are regular numbers, i.e. named after the word for ten followed by a hyphen and the unit (dix-sept [10+7], dix-huit [10+8], dix-neuf [10+9].
  • The tens are specific words too from ten to sixty, namely dix [10], vingt [20], trente [30], quarante [40], cinquante [50] and soixante [60].
  • From sixty-one to ninety-nine, the base 20 is used (this vigesimal system seems to be an inheritance from Celtic languages), hence soixante-dix [60+10], soixante-dix-neuf [60+10+9], quatre-vingts [4*20], quatre-vingt-dix [4*20+10].
  • Tens and units are joined with a hyphen (e.g.: quarante-six [46]), unless the unit is a one. In that case, the word et (and) is inserted between tens and units (e.g.: quarante et un [41]).
  • Vingt (twenty) and cent (hundred) are set to the plural form when multiplied by a number greater than one while ending the number (e.g.: mille deux cents [1,200], but deux cent quarante-six [246]), or when they are directly before the big scale names as million, milliard (billion, 109)… (e.g.: six cents millions [600,000,000]).
  • French language uses the long scale for big numbers where every new word greater than a million is one million times bigger than the previous term. Thus, un milliard is 109 (the US billion), and un billion (1012) worths a thousand US billions.

Write a number in full in French

Enter a number and get it written in full in French.


Schaum’s Outline of French Grammar, 5edSchaum’s Outline of French Grammar, 5ed
by , editors McGraw-Hill (2008)
[, Kindle - Kindle -]

A Comprehensive French GrammarA Comprehensive French Grammar
by , editors Wiley-Blackwell (2007)

French Grammar: A Complete Reference GuideFrench Grammar: A Complete Reference Guide
by , editors McGraw-Hill (2004)

Le petit GrevisseLe petit Grevisse
by , editors Duculot Louvain (2009)

Nouvelle grammaire françaiseNouvelle grammaire française
by , editors Duculot Louvain (1994)

Gramática Essencial de FrancêsGramática Essencial de Francês
by , editors Editorial Presença (2008)

Idioms with numbers

  • Un point à temps en vaut cent
    A stitch in time saves nine (word for word: a stitch in time worths one hundred).
    In other words, doing your work at the right time can save a lot of work later.
  • Être tiré à quatre épingles
    To be dressed to the nines (literally, to be stretched with four pins).
    Pins are used by tailors to stretch the fabric and avoid any fold.

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Romance languages

Asturian, Catalan, Corsican, Eonavian, French, French (Belgium), French (Switzerland), Friulian, Galician, Italian, Jèrriais, Ladin, Latin, Lombard (Milanese), Occitan, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal), Romansh, Sardinian, Spanish, Spanish (Puerto Rico), and Venetian.

Other supported languages

Languages classified by languages families
As the other currently supported languages are too numerous to list extensively here, please select a language from the following select box, or from the full list of supported languages.

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