Counting in Serbian

Language overview

Forty-two in Serbian The Serbian language (Српски in Cyrillic, Srpski in Latin alphabet) is a South Slavic language from the Indo-European family. Official language in Serbia, it is co-official in Bosnia and Herzegovina (with Bosnian and Croatian), and counts about 7 million speakers.

Serbian numbers list

  • 1 – један (jedan)
  • 2 – два (dva)
  • 3 – три (tri)
  • 4 – четири (četiri)
  • 5 – пет (pet)
  • 6 – шест (šest)
  • 7 – седам (sedam)
  • 8 – осам (osam)
  • 9 – девет (devet)
  • 10 – десет (deset)
  • 11 – једанаест (jedanaest)
  • 12 – дванаест (dvanaest)
  • 13 – тринаест (trinaest)
  • 14 – четрнаест (četrnaest)
  • 15 – петнаест (petnaest)
  • 16 – шеснаест (šesnaest)
  • 17 – седамнаест (sedamnaest)
  • 18 – осамнаест (osamnaest)
  • 19 – деветнаест (devetnaest)
  • 20 – двадесет (dvadeset)
  • 30 – тридесет (trideset)
  • 40 – четрдесет (četrdeset)
  • 50 – педесет (pedeset)
  • 60 – шездесет (šezdeset)
  • 70 – седамдесет (sedamdeset)
  • 80 – осамдесет (osamdeset)
  • 90 – деведесет (devedeset)
  • 100 – сто (sto)
  • 1,000 – хиљада (hiljada)
  • one million – један милион (jedan milion)
  • one billion – једна милијарда (jedna milijarda)
  • one trillion – један билион (jedan bilion)

A short overview of Serbian declension

Nouns (as well as adjectives and pronouns) are declined in seven cases in Serbian, depending on their grammatical function. They are grouped in four declension classes according to their ending in the nominative case, singular. The scale numbers are either masculine (hundred (сто / sto), million (милион / milion), trillion (билион / bilion), or feminine (feminine form of hundred (стотина / stotina), thousand (хиљада / hiljada), billion (милијарда / milijarda)).
When the multiplier is the unit or ends with the unit (21, 31, 41, etc.), the scale name is set in nominative singular (e.g.: једна стотина (jedna stotina) [100], двадесет и један милион (dvadeset i jedan milion) [21 million]). When a digit between two and five is combined with a noun, the noun is set in the genitive singular, giving it the -a ending for masculine, and the -e ending for feminine (e.g.: два милиона (dva miliona) [2 million], две милијарда (dve milijarda) [2 billion]). If the multiplier is bigger than five, the case is then the genitive plural, which is -a for all genders (e.g.: три милиона (tri miliona) [3 million]).
The word for billion (милијарда / milijarda) however is an exception to the rule. As a feminine noun of the class II (as it ends with -a in nominative singular), it would, were it be regular, take the -a ending in genitive plural. It should also follow the rule named nepostojano or inconsistant a, which is when a letter a is added between two consonants in genitive plural to separate them. We should thus have milijarada, the exception here being that we have milijardi instead.

Serbian 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).

  • Digits from zero to nine are specific words, namely нула (nula) [0], један (jedan) [1], два (dva) [2], три (tri) [3], четири (četiri) [4], пет (pet) [5], шест (šest) [6], седам (sedam) [7], осам (osam) [8], and девет (devet) [9]. The digits one and two have both a feminine, a masculine and a neuter form: једна/један/једно (jedna/jedan/jedno) [1], две/два/два (dve/dva/dva) [2] (feminine/masculine/neuter).
  • The tens are formed by adding the ten word (десет / deset) at the end of the multiplier digit, with the exception of ten where the unit is implicit: десет (deset) [10], двадесет (dvadeset) [20], тридесет (trideset) [30], четрдесет (četrdeset) [40], педесет (pedeset) [50], шездесет (šezdeset) [60], седамдесет (sedamdeset) [70], осамдесет (osamdeset) [80], and деведесет (devedeset) [90].
  • The numbers are constructed from the matching units in the masculine form, followed by the suffix -ест (-naest, which is the contraction of на десет (na deset), meaning on ten) with no space from eleven to nineteen (eg. дванаест (dvanaest) [12], тринаест (trinaest) [13]…), and with the и (i) (and) word and the ten from twenty-one to ninety-nine (eg. двадесет и три (dvadeset i tri) [23]).
  • The hundreds, formed from the matching multiplier digit and the word for hundred (сто / sto), except for one hundred itself, are: сто (sto) [100], двеста (dvesta) [200], триста (trista) [300], четиристо (četiristo) [400], петсто (petsto) [500], шестсто (šeststo) [600], седамсто (sedamsto) [700], осамсто (osamsto) [800], and деветсто (devetsto) [900].
  • The hundreds can also be made by using the feminine form of hundred (стотина, stotina): једна стотина (jedna stotina) [100], две стотине (dve stotine) [200], три стотине (tri stotine) [300], четири стотине (četiri stotine) [400], пет стотина (pet stotina) [500], шест стотина (šest stotina) [600], седам стотина (sedam stotina) [700], осам стотина (osam stotina) [800], and девет стотина (devet stotina) [900].
  • Being gendered, all the higher scale names follow the declension rules of Serbian. Besides, one and two share the same gender as the following scale unit if any, even when composed as in twenty-one trillion for instance. For instance, the word for thousand (хиљада (hiljada)) is feminine, as is the word for billion (милијарда (milijarda)), hence they follow the same patterns as the feminine form of hundred (две хиљаде (dve hiljade) [2,000], једна милијарда (jedna milijarda) [one billion] and две милијарда (dve milijarda) [2 billion]). The same occurs with the millions, but million is a masculine word (један милион (jedan milion) [one million] and два милиона (dva miliona) [two million]).
  • The Serbian language follows the long scale system for naming big numbers: every new word greater than a million is one million times bigger than the previous term. Thus, једна милијарда (jedna milijarda) is equivalent to 109 (one billion in the US) and један билион (jedan bilion) is one trillion (1012).

Write a number in full in Serbian

Let’s move now to the practice of the numbering rules in Serbian. 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.


Complete Serbian: A Teach Yourself Guide Complete Serbian: A Teach Yourself Guide
by , editors McGraw-Hill (2011)

Simplified Grammar of the Serbian Language Simplified Grammar of the Serbian Language
by , editors BiblioBazaar (2009)

Serbian-English/English-Serbian Dictionary & Phrasebook Serbian-English/English-Serbian Dictionary & Phrasebook
by , editors Hippocrene Books (2004)

Introduction to the Croatian and Serbian Language Introduction to the Croatian and Serbian Language
by , editors Pennsylvania State University Press (1995)

South Slavic languages

Bulgarian, Macedonian, Old Church Slavonic, Serbian, and Slovene.

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