Cardinal numbers in Spanish

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What is a cardinal number?

In Spanish, the cardinal numbers (números cardinales) indicate quantities. They are used with countable nouns and answer the question how many.

How to write cardinal numbers in Spanish

1 uno 11 once 21 veintiuno 31 treinta y uno
2 dos 12 doce 22 veintidós 40 cuarenta
3 tres 13 trece 23 veintitrés 50 cincuenta
4 cuatro 14 catorce 24 veinticuatro 60 sesenta
5 cinco 15 quince 25 veinticinco 70 setenta
6 seis 16 dieciséis 26 veintiséis 80 ochenta
7 siete 17 diecisiete 27 veintisiete 90 noventa
8 ocho 18 dieciocho 28 veintiocho 100 cien
9 nueve 19 diecinueve 29 veintinueve 1000 mil
10 diez 20 veinte 30 treinta 1.000.000 un millón

Un or uno?

The form of the number uno varies depending on whether it is acting as a number or as an indefinite article:

  • when uno is the number one and is not accompanied by a noun, we use uno
    Vivo en la calle Mayor, en el número uno.I live on Main Street, at number one.
  • when it acts as the indefinite article (a) before a masculine noun, we use un
    – Sólo tengo un coche. ¿Tú cuantos tienes?–I only have one car. How many do you have?
    –I also have one.
    – Yo tambien tengo uno.
  • when it comes before a feminine noun as the indefinite article, we use una
    Hoy tengo una actuación en un festival.Today I have a concert at a festival.

Learn more about how to use the indefinite article in Spanish.

Numbers 21 to 99

Generally, Spanish numbers are written by separating the decade from the unit with the conjunction y (and).

34 – treinta y cuatro
99 – noventa y nueve

The numbers 21 – 29 are an exception to this. They are written together as one word: instead of the conjunction y the e on the end of veinte is replaced with an i.

24 – veinticuatro

Hundreds and thousands

The word cien only refers to the number 100. For the numbers 101 to 199 we use the word ciento. This is then followed by the tens and units.
100 – cien
101 – ciento uno
121 – ciento veintiuno
The numbers from 200 to 999 are formed as follows:
200 – doscientos/-as
300 – trescientos/-as
400 – cuatrocientos/-as
500 – quinientos/-as
600 – seiscientos/-as
700 – setecientos/-as
800 – ochocientos/-as
900 – novecientos/-as
These numbers agree in terms of gender and number with the noun they refer to:
230 árboles – doscientos treinta árboles
masculine plural noun árboles = masculine plural ending -os
950 personas – novecientas cincuenta personas
feminine plural noun personas = feminine plural ending -as

Separating the thousands

Many Spanish-speaking countries separate the thousands with a decimal point, while some Latin American countries use a comma.