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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), 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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