Counting in Italian
Italian (italiano) is a romance language from the Indo-European family. Official language in Italy, San Marino, and Vatican City, co-official in Switzerland (alongside with French, German and Romansh), it counts about 62 million speakers.
Italian numbers list
- 1 – uno
- 2 – due
- 3 – tre
- 4 – quattro
- 5 – cinque
- 6 – sei
- 7 – sette
- 8 – otto
- 9 – nove
- 10 – dieci
- 11 – undici
- 12 – dodici
- 13 – tredici
- 14 – quattordici
- 15 – quindici
- 16 – sedici
- 17 – diciassette
- 18 – diciotto
- 19 – diciannove
- 20 – venti
- 30 – trenta
- 40 – quaranta
- 50 – cinquanta
- 60 – sessanta
- 70 – settanta
- 80 – ottanta
- 90 – novanta
- 100 – cento
- 1,000 – mille
- one million – un milione
- one billion – un miliardo
- one trillion – un bilione
Italian 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).
- Numbers from zero to ten are specific words, namely zero , uno , due , tre , quattro , cinque , sei , sette , otto , nove , and dieci .
- From eleven to sixteen, numbers are formed from the root of the digit followed by ten: undici , dodici , tredici , quattordici , quindici , and sedici . From seventeen to nineteen, the order is reversed, as the unit is put directly after the ten: diciassette , diciotto , and diciannove .
- The tens have specific names based on the matching digit root except for ten and twenty: dieci , venti , trenta , quaranta , cinquanta , sessanta , settanta , ottanta , and novanta .
- Compound numbers are formed by juxtaposing the ten and the unit, causing an apocope of the last vowel of the ten name before a digit starting with a vowel, i.e. one and eight (e.g.: ventuno , trentadue , quarantotto ). When a compound number ends with three, tre becomes tré and the stress is put on the last syllable (e.g.: cinquantatré ).
- The hundreds are formed by prefixing the word hundred by the multiplier digit, except for one hundred: cento , duecento , trecento , quattrocento …
- Hundreds, tens and units are linked together with no space (e.g.: centonove , duecentotrenta , novecentonovantanove ).
- Thousands are formed by prefixing the word thousand by the multiplier digit, except for one thousand: mille [1,000] (plural mila), duemila [2,000], tremila [3,000], quattromila [4,000], cinquemila [5,000]…
- Numbers are grouped in words of three digits, with the specific rule that a space is added after the word for thousand if its multiplier is greater than one hundred and does not end with a double zero (e.g.: duemilatrecentoquarantacinque [2,345], seicentomiladue [600,002], settecentosessantacinquemila duecento [765,200]).
- The Italian language uses the long scale for big numbers where the naming pattern of the scale words alternates between the suffixes -ione and -iardo: milione (106, million), miliardo (109, billion), bilione (1012, trillion), biliardo (1015, quadrillion), trilione (1018, quintillion), triliardo (1021, sextillion)…
- The digit one (uno) becomes un before a masculine noun, which is the case of all scale names. Besides, their plural construction is regular, the ending -e or -o becoming -i (e.g.: un milione [one million], due milioni [two million], un miliardo [one billion], due miliardi [two billion]).
Write a number in full in Italian
Let’s move now to the practice of the numbering rules in Italian. 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.
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by Joseph Germano, Conrad J. Schmitt, editors McGraw-Hill (2007)
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by Olga Ragusa, editors Dover Publications (1963)
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by Fausto Díaz Padilla, editors Universidad de Oviedo (1999)
Guide de conversation italien
by Ela Strieder, editors Assimil (2010)
by H. Monachesi, editors BiblioBazaar (2009)
by Gérard Genot, editors Hatier (2009)
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Gramática Essencial De Italiano
by Maria Antónia Esposito, Wolfgang Ressler, editors Presença (2008)
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