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Counting in Italian

Language overview

Forty-two 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 [0], uno [1], due [2], tre [3], quattro [4], cinque [5], sei [6], sette [7], otto [8], nove [9], and dieci [10].
  • From eleven to sixteen, numbers are formed from the root of the digit followed by ten: undici [11], dodici [12], tredici [13], quattordici [14], quindici [15], and sedici [16]. From seventeen to nineteen, the order is reversed, as the unit is put directly after the ten: diciassette [17], diciotto [18], and diciannove [19].
  • The tens have specific names based on the matching digit root except for ten and twenty: dieci [10], venti [20], trenta [30], quaranta [40], cinquanta [50], sessanta [60], settanta [70], ottanta [80], and novanta [90].
  • 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 [21], trentadue [32], quarantotto [48]). When a compound number ends with three, tre becomes tré and the stress is put on the last syllable (e.g.: cinquantatré [53]).
  • The hundreds are formed by prefixing the word hundred by the multiplier digit, except for one hundred: cento [100], duecento [200], trecento [300], quattrocento [400]…
  • Hundreds, tens and units are linked together with no space (e.g.: centonove [109], duecentotrenta [230], novecentonovantanove [999]).
  • 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.

Books

Schaum’s Outline of Italian Grammar, Third Edition Schaum’s Outline of Italian Grammar, Third Edition
by , editors McGraw-Hill (2007)
[Amazon.com Amazon.com, Kindle - Amazon.com Kindle - Amazon.com]

Italian Grammar Italian Grammar
by , editors Barron’s Educational Series (2002)
[Amazon.com Amazon.com]

Essential Italian Grammar Essential Italian Grammar
by , editors Dover Publications (1963)
[Amazon.com Amazon.com]

Gramática analítico descriptiva de la lengua italiana Gramática analítico descriptiva de la lengua italiana
by , editors Universidad de Oviedo (1999)
[Amazon.com Amazon.com]

Guide de conversation italien Guide de conversation italien
by , editors Assimil (2010)
[Amazon.com Amazon.com]

Grammaire Italienne Grammaire Italienne
by , editors BiblioBazaar (2009)
[Amazon.com Amazon.com]

Bescherelle italien Bescherelle italien
by , editors Hatier (2009)
[Amazon.com Amazon.com]

Les Idiomatics : Français-italien Les Idiomatics : Français-italien
by , editors Seuil (2003)
[Amazon.com Amazon.com]

Gramática Essencial De Italiano Gramática Essencial De Italiano
by , editors Presença (2008)
[Amazon.com Amazon.com]

Romance languages

Asturian, Catalan, Corsican, Eonavian, French, Friulian, Galician, Gallo, Italian, Jèrriais, Ladin, Latin, Lombard (Milanese), Occitan, Picard, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal), Proto-Indo-European, Romansh, Sardinian, Spanish, and Venetian.

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.

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