Counting in Icelandic
Icelandic (Íslenska) is an Indo-European language that belongs to the North Germanic or Nordic branch of the Germanic languages. Official language of Iceland, it counts about 360,000 speakers.
Icelandic numbers list
- 1 – einn
- 2 – tveir
- 3 – þrír
- 4 – fjórir
- 5 – fimm
- 6 – sex
- 7 – sjö
- 8 – átta
- 9 – níu
- 10 – tiu
- 11 – ellefu
- 12 – tólf
- 13 – þréttán
- 14 – fjórtán
- 15 – fimmtán
- 16 – sextán
- 17 – sautján
- 18 – átján
- 19 – nitján
- 20 – tuttugu
- 30 – þrjátíu
- 40 – fjórutíu
- 50 – fimmtíu
- 60 – sextíu
- 70 – sjötíu
- 80 – áttatíu
- 90 – níutíu
- 100 – hundrað
- 1,000 – þúsund
- one million – ein miljón
- one billion – einn miljarður
Icelandic numbering rules
Now that you’ve had a gist of the most useful numbers, let’s move to the writing rules for the tens, the compound numbers, and why not the hundreds, the thousands and beyond (if possible).
- In Icelandic, the digits one to four have different gender forms depending on whether they refer to a masculine, a feminine, or a neutral noun, and they are declined too. They also have a plural form used to count items that come in pairs, such as shoes or socks, as well as plural nouns, like scissors. These plural forms are einir, tvennir, þrennir and fernir, and they are declined like strong adjectives. While counting, however, they remain in the masculine form. The other numbers only have one form.
- Digits and numbers from zero to twelve are specific words: núll , einn  (feminine: ein, neutral: eitt), tveir  (feminine: tvær, neutral: tvö), þrír  (feminine: þrjár, neutral: þrjú), fjórir  (feminine: fjórar, neutral: fjögur), fimm , sex , sjö , átta , níu , tiu , ellefu , and tólf .
- From thirteen to nineteen, the numbers are formed from the matching digits, adding a form of the word for ten (tán or tján) at the end: þréttán , fjórtán , fimmtán , sextán , sautján , átján , and nitján .
- The tens are formed by adding the word for ten (tiu) at the end of the multiplier digit, with the exception of ten and twenty: tiu , tuttugu , þrjátíu , fjórutíu , fimmtíu , sextíu , sjötíu , áttatíu , and níutíu .
- From twenty-one to ninety-nine, the tens and units are joined with the word og (and) (e.g.: þrjátíu og einn , þrjátíu og fimm ).
- Scale numbers are nouns with a particular gender, and they usually have a plural form distinct from the singular one: hundrað  is neutral (hundruð in plural), þúsund [1,000] is neutral too, and invariable, miljón [million] is feminine (plural form: miljónir). Being gendered, they use the matching gender form of their multiplier if it is one to four (e.g.: tvö hundruð , þrjú þúsund [3,000], fjórar miljónir [4 million]).
- The word og (and) is used only one time per number, linking the last two units independently of their scale factor, like ten and digit, or hundred and ten (e.g.: tuttugu og einn , fjögur hundruð og þrjátíu , tvö þúsund og fimm hundruð [2,500]).
- The Islandic language uses the long scale for big numbers where the naming pattern of the scale words alternates between the -jón and -jarður suffixes: miljón (106, million), miljarður (109, billion), billjón (1012, trillion), billjarður (1015, quadrillion), trilljón (1018, quintillion)…
Write a number in full in Icelandic
Let’s move now to the practice of the numbering rules in Icelandic. Will you guess how to write a number in full? Enter a number and try to write it down in your head, or maybe on a piece of paper, before displaying the result.
Colloquial Icelandic: The Complete Course for Beginners
by Daisy L. Neijmann, editors Routledge (2015)
[ Amazon.com, Kindle - Amazon.com]
Complete Icelandic with Two Audio CDs: A Teach Yourself Guide
by Hildur Jonsdottir, editors McGraw-Hill Education (2014)
[ Amazon.com, Kindle - Amazon.com]
Gramática del islandés contemporáneo
by Rafael García Pérez, editors CreateSpace (2012)
Parlons islandais : langue et culture
by Solveig Bjarnason, editors L’Harmattan (1998)
North Germanic languages
Danish, Faroese, Icelandic, Norwegian (Bokmål), and Swedish.
Other supported languages
As the other currently supported languages are too numerous to list extensively here, please select a language from the full list of supported languages.