French Number Expressions

Valorie Delp
French Number Expressions Printable
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One of the first things a French student will learn is numbers. Whether you want to learn how to count or work on understanding what's going on during your daily interactions, memorizing numbers and numerical expressions will help you become more fluent. You can study directly from the article, or click the image to download a printable study sheet. Once you've studied, try to test yourself using this printable worksheet and check your work using the answer sheet (but don't peek until you try on your own!)

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One and Only

There are many different uses of the word 'one.' English speakers use the same word, but in French there are several different words depending on what you mean.

French Pronunciation English
un uhn one; used for counting or describing an item that is masculine
une oon one; used only for describing one item that is feminine
unique oo-neek the only one
celui-ci/celui-là suh-loo-ee see/suh-loo-ee lah this one or that one
lequel/laquelle luh-kell/lah-kell used for when you're asking which one

Ordinal Numbers

Do you want the first or second dessert in the case? What row are your seats for the theatre? To answer these questions, you have to learn ordinal numbers.

French Pronunciation English
premier/-ère pruh-mee-ay or pruh-mee-air first
deuxième duh-zee-em second
troisième twah-zee-em third
quatrième kah-tree-em fourth
cinquième sank-ee-em fifth
sixième see-see-em sixth
septième set-ee-em seventh
Huitième hweet-ee-em eight
Neuvième nuh-vee-em ninth
Dixième dee-see-em tenth

First and Last

Like with the word 'one,' English speakers really have only one word to express the idea of 'first,' and one word to express the idea of 'last.' In French, the expression changes, and there are several phrases and words that you'd use, depending on what you're trying to convey.

French Pronunciation English
tôt le matin toe luh mah-tehn first thing in the morning
en premier ehn pruh-mee-ay first, as in before anyone else
d'abord dah-borh first, as in before anything else
pour la première fois poor lah pruh-mee-air fwah for the first time
dernière dair-nee-yair last
l'année passée lah-nay pah-say last year
hier soir he-yair swahr last night
en dernier ohn dair-ne-yay finally

Basic Counting

Of course, any expression is useless if you don't know how to count and use basic numbers. Note in particular how the numbers 70, 80 and 90 are constructed.

French Pronunciation English
Numbers 1 to 100
un uhn one
deux duh two
trois twah three
quatre kah-truh four
cinq sank five
six sees six
sept set seven
huit hweet eight
neuf nuhf nine
dix dees ten
onze ohnze eleven
douze dooz twelve
treize trehz thirteen
quatorze kah-torz fourteen
quinze canz fifteen
seize sehz sixteen
dix-sept dees-set seventeen
dix-huit dees-hweet eighteen
dix-neuf dees-nuhf nineteen
vingt vahn twenty
vingt et un vahn-tay-uhn twenty-one
vingt-duex vahnt-duh twenty-two
trente trohnt thirty
quarante kair-ohnt forty
cinquante sank-ohnt fifty
soixante swahs-sohnt sixty
soixante-dix swahs-sohnt-dees seventy, literally sixty-ten
soixante-onze swahs-sohnt ohnze seventy-one, literally sixty-eleven
quatre-vignts kair-ohnt vahnt eighty
quatre-vignts-un kair-ohnt vahnt-uhn eighty-one
quatre-vignts-dix kair-ohnt vahnt-dees ninety
cent sohn one hundred
mille meeyuh one thousand
million mee-leeohn one million

Practice Makes Perfect

Numbers and expressions that use them are imperative to master if you're traveling through France. Numbers crop up while you're shopping, at a hotel, in a restaurant or even taking a tax or the train. Everywhere you go, you'll need to at least understand numbers. Practice frequently by studying online flashcards or ones you make yourself - or taking a quiz like the French numbers quizzes found at FunTrivia.com and OnlineWebShop.net.

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French Number Expressions