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Learn French Numbers With Audio and Exercises

Camille Chevalier-Karfis By Camille Chevalier-Karfis - updated on Jun 17, 2020
French numbers audio guide

Learn numbers in French with audio. Study with my free French number audio lesson so you understand French numbers quickly. Lesson + audio + exercises.

Learning numbers in another language is not easy.

The main problem is that most students “calculate” their numbers in French: they think “twenty” and “five” to make “twenty five”.

But that is not how a French native would think.

A native is so accustomed to numbers that “twenty five” is one piece of information.

Table of Contents

French Number Quiz

Let’s see how well you understand your French numbers.

I’ve created this unique audio-based test to challenge your understanding of French numbers.

The test has 10 questions and will take you about 8 minutes to complete.

Take the number quiz now!

1 – You Must Change the Way you Learn Numbers in French

Learning the number itself, not putting it together is the key to understanding numbers in French fast.

This is even more true in French where numbers can get really silly.

For example, the French number for 99 is “quatre-vingt dix-neuf”. In other words “four twenty ten nine”…

If you think like this when you hear/think of “99”, you will never get numbers fast enough! You should think of it as “katrevindizneuf”.

The only way to get French numbers fast is to train with audio and do lots of repetition.

Check out my French number audiobook. Over four hours of clear explanations, and random number drills recorded at several speeds. Click on the link for more info, a full list of content and audio samples.

ALL LEVELS Mastering French Numbers
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US$47.99US$38.39

This 4+ hours audiobook goes in-depth on how to construct the numbers and how to pronounce them properly with all the modern glidings and elisions that can sometimes completely change the number from its written form!

I also cover many French expressions that use numbers as well as the many ways to tell the time and say prices.

All throughout the audiobook, you will find extensive audio drills recorded at 3 different speeds and featuring numbers out of order so you really get a true workout!

As with all my French audiobooks, it’s available on all platforms with a single purchase and comes with 100% money-back.

french numbers audio lesson

2 – Speed and Numbers in French

Speed is also a big reason why students don’t understand French numbers – when numbers are all glided and meshed together, you have less time to think and break them apart, and it can get challenging.

This is why, just like in the French novel part of my French audiobook method to learn French, I recorded these lessons at different speeds.

Start with the beginning – conquering the smaller digits will unlock large numbers for you.

3 – How to Write French Numbers?

A – Hyphen and French Numbers

The rule has changed in 1990. Before, an hyphen was used only between some numbers.

Now, you may write hyphens between all the digits of one number, although both spellings are still accepted (source http://www.question-orthographe.fr/question/le-trait-dunion-dans-les-nombres)

B – Comma Period and French Numbers

Here again, the rule has changed.

A period was used to separate the digits of larger French numbers.
Exemple: 300.000.000

Because it was so confusing for English speakers, we changed the rule: now, we use a space: 300 000 000.

However, we still use a comma where a period is used in English, like for prices.

5.25 in English = 5,25 in French

C – Uppercase or Lowercase For French Numbers?

French numbers are written using lowercase, unless the first letter starts the sentence.
Soixante-dix-neuf-mille-quatre-cent-vingt-huit.

4 – How To Work With This French Number Lesson

We will start by studying the numbers in French and I’ll point out some spelling or pronunciation things.

Then I’ll read random lists of numbers at different speeds. It is essential to train with lists out of order, otherwise your brain will memorize the order as well!

In this lesson more than in any other, repetition is the key. So repeat, repeat, and repeat again!

Bookmark this page and revisit often!

5 – How To Memorize Numbers in French

Use the audio recordings to memorize the numbers in French.

  1. First, play the recording in order. Repeat WITHOUT READING so the letters do not fool you into a wrong pronunciation.
  2. Repeat until the numbers don’t feel foreign to you and you can count in order on your own. Then, if you’d like to memorize the spelling play the audio again and read out loud as you memorize the spelling.
  3. Use the same recording but instead of repeating, say the number and then use the recording to check your pronunciation.
  4. Use the recording as a dictation to write the numbers in letters, and check your spelling.
  5. Finally, use the audio exercises to test yourself

6 – French Number Free Quizz

Use my audio quizz to test your understanding of numbers in French!

I suggest you do the quizz before and after working with this guide.

Remember, repetition is the key!

Now let’s dive into French numbers!

Call me overly zealous but I think numbering paragraphs about numbers is confusing… So I’ll switch to letters!

Zero in French

  1. The number for ‘zero’ is “zéro” – watch out, “zé”, not “zi”!
  2. “Un chiffre” is a digit, “un nombre” is a number.

Don’t forget to put the noun that follows in the plural if you have more than one:

  1. Une fille (singular so no s)
  2. Sept filles (plural therefore with a silent s at filles)

1 to 19 – French Numbers

French digits 1 to 9 and French digits 10 to 19.

First work with the audio without looking at the way these numbers are written.

You need to first memorize the pronunciation, so the letters don’t fool you into a wrong pronunciation.

  1. un or une (if you are counting something feminine)
  2. deux
  3. trois
  4. quatre
  5. cinq
  6. six
  7. sept
  8. huit
  9. neuf
  10. dix
  11. onze
  12. douze
  13. treize
  14. quatorze
  15. quinze
  16. seize
  17. dix-sept
  18. dix-huit
  19. dix-neuf

“Un” to “dix-neuf ” are weird numbers. You really need to know them inside out if you want to eventually understand and handle large French numbers.

In my experience, students have problems with large numbers not because of the “big” part (100.000) but because of the smaller “last” part that they don’t understand fast enough.

French Numbers Pronunciation: 5, 6, 8, and 10

When pronouncing these four digits, you usually drop their final consonant in front of a word starting with a consonant (but not always…)

  • cinq minutes = sin minut (no K sound at the end of sin)
  • six minutes = si minut (so S sound at the end of si)
  • huit minutes = ui minut (no T sound at the end of ui)
  • dix minutes = di minut (no S sound of the end of di)

This is particularly important since this pronunciation will apply in larger numbers, when 5, 6, 8 and 10 are followed by hundred (cent) thousand (mille), million (million) milliard (billion) etc…

A – French Number Audio Drills

To learn numbers efficiently, always learn them out of order. (Just like when you drill with the French irregular verbs… When you learn in order, your brain prioritizes the info: first most important, last: less important.)

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You have several ways of doing these exercises:

  1. Repeat out loud after me.
  2. Read the digit/number out loud BEFORE I say it, and then check your pronunciation with mine.
  3. Use the audio as a dictation to write down the French digits or the French numbers (write in digits when it’s fast. When it’s slow enough, you may have time to write in words. Pause if you need to catch up.)

B – French Numbers Drills – Slower

Let’s test your French numbers with this out of order drill. We’ll start with a a slower number drill.

Answers to the French number audio drill
14, 12, 1, 3, 4, 0, 7, 18, 4, 14, 2, 19, 17, 16, 3, 6, 16, 19, 2, 5, 3, 15, 5, 8, 3, 18, 9, 16, 12, 16, 6, 13, 12, 2, 0, 1, 17.

C – French Numbers Drill – Faster

Now let’s drill our French numbers at a faster speed.

Answers to the French number audio drill
1, 6, 8, 3, 9, 17, 3, 19, 12, 3, 2, 1, 9, 10, 0, 14, 18, 3, 5, 7, 18, 13, 12, 18, 11, 10, 16, 13, 19, 3, 5, 15, 13, 17, 13, 12.

20 to 59 – The Easier French Numbers

These French numbers 20 to 59 seem easier and therefore are often overlooked by students.

Big mistake! You need to train with them as much as with the other numbers – they are part of telling the time in French, and are very important.

Make sure you listen to the audio to memorize these French numbers.

A – How to Count 20 -29 in French

Watch out with vingt – don’t say the T when it’s alone, but do say the T when it’s followed by another number.

20 Vingt
21 Vingt et un (or vingt et une if feminine)
22 Vingt-deux
23 Vingt-trois
24 Vingt-quatre
25 Vingt-cinq
26 Vingt-six
27 Vingt-sept
28 Vingt-huit
29 Vingt-neuf

B – How to Count 30 – 39 in French

30 Trente
31 Trente et un/une
32 Trente-deux
33 Trente-trois
34 Trente-quatre
35 Trente-cinq
36 Trente-six
37 Trente-sept
38 Trente-huit
39 Trente-neuf

C – How to Count 40 – 49 in French

40 Quarante
41 Quarante et un/une
42 Quarante-deux
43 Quarante-trois
44 Quarante-quatre
45 Quarante-cinq
46 Quarante-six
47 Quarante-sept
48 Quarante-huit
49 Quarante-neuf

D – How to Count 50 – 59 in French

50 Cinquante
51 Cinquante et un/une
52 Cinquante-deux
53 Cinquante-trois
54 Cinquante-quatre
55 Cinquante-cinq
56 Cinquante-six
57 Cinquante-sept
58 Cinquante-huit
59 Cinquante-neuf

As with everything in French, repetition is the key. So bookmark this page and come back often to train on your French numbers!

E – French Number Audio Practice – Slower

Answers to the French number audio practice
21, 38, 59, 33, 46, 22, 53, 33, 41, 55, 34, 39, 24, 32, 28, 41, 50, 33, 53, 26, 22, 40, 39, 25.

F – French Number Audio Practice – Faster

Now let’s train with French numbers out of order at the faster speed.

Answers to the French numbers audio practice
44, 32, 57, 40, 36, 28, 59, 41, 25, 34, 46, 20, 48, 59, 21, 45, 34, 22, 27, 30, 44, 52, 49, 45.

60 to 90 – The Crazy French Numbers 🤪

And now here are the crazy French numbers 60 to 99…

These French numbers are really ridiculous, but it’s essential that you don’t “build” them but learn them phonetically 99 = [katreuvindizneuf].

The problem is that most students think “four – twenty – ten – nine” and therefore “build up” their French numbers.

It may work when you are taking a written test, but not if you are learning French to communicate, and need to understand prices and numbers in a conversation.

Sixty is easy enough: then the “crazy ones” start with Seventy…

Here again, work with the audio, repeat out loud BEFORE you read the numbers, so the letters don’t fool you into a wrong pronunciation!

60 – Sixty in French

60 Soixante
61 Soixante-et-un/une
62 Soixante-deux
63 Soixante-trois
64 Soixante-quatre
65 Soixante-cinq
66 Soixante-six
67 Soixante-sept
68 Soixante-huit
69 Soixante-neuf

70 – Seventy in French

Here is how we say seventy in French.

Remember what I said at the beginning of this lesson: don’t “build” your French number but associate the number to the French sound. Seventy in not “sixty ten” in French, it’s [soissantdissss].

70 Soixante-dix
71 Soixante et onze
72 Soixante-douze
73 Soixante-treize
74 Soixante-quatorze
75 Soixante-quinze
76 Soixante-seize
77 Soixante-dix-sept
78 Soixante-dix-huit
79 Soixante-dix-neuf

80 – Eighty in French

When we reach eighty, the French language becomes ridiculous…

To say eighty in French we do say “four twenty”… but please, don’t think that way. To master French numbers, it’s essential you let go of this logic and associate the number with it’s pronunciation [katrevin].

That’s why learning French numbers with audio is essential!

80 Quatre-vingts
81 Quatre-vingt-un
82 Quatre-vingt-deux
83 Quatre-vingt-trois
84 Quatre-vingt-quatre
85 Quatre-vingt-cinq
86 Quatre-vingt-six
87 Quatre-vingt-sept
88 Quatre-vingt-huit
89 Quatre-vingt-neuf

90 – Ninety in French

And this logic culminates with ninety in French.

If you decipher the number, ninety in French is ‘four twenty ten” and ninety nine is ‘four twenty ten nine’. It’s funny, it’s crazy… but it’s also a very bad idea to think this way…

Imagine the time it takes for your brain to get to that number! If you want to understand French numbers in a conversation, French prices etc… it’s essential you link the French number to it’s pronunciation and learn the French numbers phonetically 99 = [katreuvindizneuf]

So please, repeat a couple of times the audio. Then look at the way the French numbers in the nineties are spelled.

90 Quatre-vingt-dix
91 Quatre-vingt-onze
92 Quatre-vingt-douze
93 Quatre-vingt-treize
94 Quatre-vingt-quatorze
95 Quatre-vingt-quinze
96 Quatre-vingt-seize
97 Quatre-vingt-dix-sept
98 Quatre-vingt-dix-huit
99 Quatre-vingt-dix-neuf
100 Cent

Note that eighty in French – quatre-vingts ends on a silent S, but not the following numbers (quatre-vingt-un).

Note also that eighty one in French – quatre-vingt-un and ninety in French quatre-vingt-onze don’t have an “et”. As if it was not difficult enough!!

Septante, Octante, Nonante… So Much Simpler French Numbers

Some French speaking regions (Switzerland, Belgium…) have found a solution for these pathetic numbers: they use:

  • “septante” (70 seventy: “soixante-dix” in French)
  • “octante” (or huitante) (80 eighty: “quatre-vingts” in French)
  • and “nonante” (90 ninety: “quatre-vingt-dix” in French)

which, in my opinion, makes so much sense!!

Unfortunately, we don’t use these numbers at all in France.

The Key to Understanding French Numbers

Most French students “build” these weird numbers. For example, for 99 they think “quatre + vingt +  dix + neuf”. In other words “four twenty ten nine”.

This is a huge waste of time and energy. I guarantee you will never master larger French numbers if you think like that.

You need to learn French numbers with audio, stop thinking about the way we say the number, or the way we spell it, and just memorize that “99” is “katrevindizneuf”.

Learning the number itself, not putting it together is the key to understanding numbers fast in real-life.

Check out my French number audiobook. Over four hours of clear explanations, and random number drills recorded at several speeds. Click on the link for more info, a full list of content and audio samples.

French Numbers Audio Quiz – Slower

And now let’s mix-up the French numbers sixty to ninety-nine and test your understanding of them out of order.

Answers to the French Numbers Audio Quiz
87, 65, 96, 73, 90, 62, 76, 82, 72, 94, 85, 91, 69, 90, 87, 65, 76, 75, 81, 90, 83, 99, 66, 70, 93, 83, 77.

French Numbers Audio Quiz – Faster

And now let’s mix-up the French numbers sixty to ninety-nine and test your understanding of them out of order at a faster speed. You will need to hit pause if you are writing down these numbers in words.

Answers to the French Numbers Audio Quiz
79, 90, 87, 70, 72, 94, 85, 61, 87, 99, 81, 94, 66, 99, 66, 70, 93, 83, 76, 73, 80, 77, 69, 91, 85, 61, 94.

💯 French Numbers 100 to 999

Since larger numbers are going to be grouped in three digits, you need to be comfortable with numbers in the hundreds to be able to understand all large French numbers fast.

One Hundred in French = Cent

When talking about “one hundred” in French, we don’t say the “one”, so just “cent”, not “un cent”.

However, we do say “deux-cents”, “trois-cents” etc…

Numbers Above One Hundred in French

Make sure you first repeat the numbers out loud before concentrating on the way they are spelled.

  1. Cent
  2. Deux-cents
  3. Trois-cents
  4. Quatre-cents
  5. Cinq-cents
  6. Six-cents
  7. Sept-cents
  8. Huit-cents
  9. Neuf-cents

S or no S After Cent in French?

When “cent” is not followed by any other number, you’ll add an S starting at “deux-cents”.
Trois-cents, cinq-cents…

However, if it is followed by another number, then there is no S.
Trois-cent-quarante-deux.

The S would be silent, but pronounced Z in liaison if followed by a vowel or a mute h.
Huit-cents ans.

Pronunciation of Cinq Cents, Six Cents, Huit Cents

Just like I explained before, the French digits 5, 6, 8 and 10 drop their final consonant sound before another consonant.

This rule applies to the pronunciation of French numbers in the hundreds, so with cent:

  1. 500 – cinq-cents – the q is silent
  2. 600 – six-cents – the x is silent
  3. 800 – huit -ents – the t is silent

Confusing Cent et Centimes

Watch out. Do not mistake the English word “cent or cents” with the French word “cent”.

  1. “Cent” means hundred.
  2. “Un centime” means a cent.

French Numbers Audio Exercise – Slower

Let’s test your understanding of French numbers in the hundreds with this French number audio exercise. First, let’s drill at a slower speed.

Answers to the French Numbers Audio Exercise
103, 377, 836, 937, 820, 662, 192, 205, 199, 208, 193, 384, 782, 338, 284, 572, 740, 839, 439, 203, 835, 667, 982, 746, 485, 920, 933, 745, 234, 435, 937, 194.

French Numbers Audio Exercise – Faster

Answers to the French Numbers Audio Exercise
783, 279, 248, 292, 197, 908, 385, 685, 115, 930, 385, 395, 997, 142, 653, 823, 972, 979, 295, 673, 456, 293, 837, 345, 657, 869, 887, 386, 904, 848, 264, 491.

Learn Large French Numbers Thousand, Million, Billion… (with Audio Exercises)

With large French numbers over three digits, the logic is the same as in English.

Training with audio and knowing your smaller numbers inside out are the keys!

One Hundred and One Thousand in French

When talking about “one hundred” or “one thousand” in French, we don’t say the “one”, we only say “cent” and “mille”.

However when talking about “one million”, “one billion” we do say the one: “un million, un milliard”.

Larger French Numbers

  • Mille
  • Deux-mille
  • Trois-mille
  • Quatre-mille
  • Cinq-mille
  • Six-mille
  • Sept-mille
  • Huit-mille
  • Neuf-mille
  • Dix-mille
  • Onze-mille
  • Vingt-mille
  • Quatre-vingt-dix-sept-mille
  • Cent-mille
  • Deux-cent-cinquante-trois mille-quatre-cent-vingt-cinq
  • Un-million-quatre-cent-trente-trois-mille-six-cent-quatre-vingt-deux.

S or no S After The Large French Number?

How to Spell French Numbers Over one Thousand

Mille never takes an S.
Trois-mille.

Spelling Huge French Numbers

When spelling million, milliard, billion, billiard, trillion, trilliard in French, add a silent S when it’s over 1.
Deux-billions d’Euros.

De or no de After Your French Number ?

When “mille” is followed by a noun, there is not “de”:
Deux-mille Euros.
Quatre-mille ans.

When million, milliard etc… are followed by a noun, there is a “de” (or a d’).
Quatre-millions d’Euros.
Six-milliards d’années.

Watch Out For the Pronunciation of Five, Six, Eight and Ten in French Numbers

Just like I explained before, the French digits 5, 6, 8 and 10 drop their final consonant sound before another consonant.

This rule applies to larger French numbers: cent, mille, million, milliard, billion, billiard, trillion, trilliard…

  • Cinq-mille-six-cents – No q sound at cinq
  • Dix-milliards d’Euros – No s sound at dix

Understanding The Logic Of Larger French Numbers

The logic of big numbers is exactly the same between French and English

You group your number by digits of 3, dividing your groups with the words mille, million, milliard…

So you need to develop your ear to focus on these “separating” words so you can get the whole number.

  • Trois-milliards-deux-cent-vingt-cinq-millions-trois-cent-quatre-vingt-six-mille-sept-cent-huit = 3 225 386 708

So, if you want to master very large French numbers, you need to drill a lot on numbers of three digits (so up to 999) since these numbers will form the blocks for larger numbers.

How To Say Huge Numbers in French?

You have to be careful with the word “billion” that doesn’t translate the same way in French, US/Canadian English and British/Australian English…

Note that these numbers, although written “ill” which usually makes a Y sound in French, keep the “il” sound of the exceptions “mille villes tranquilles” (see Secrets of French Pronunciation)

  • 1000 – mille (remember, no “un” there…)
  • 1 000 000 – un million
  • 1 000 000 000 – un milliard (!! one billion in US/CA English)
  • 1 000 000 000 000 – un billion
  • 1 000 000 000 000 000 – un billiard
  • 1 000 000 000 000 000 000 – un trillion

The final d – if any – is silent.

For even bigger numbers, I encourage you to check out wikipedia

Most people (myself included!) have trouble reading a number over six digits, so it’s normal to read it somewhat slowly.

French Large Numbers Audio Test – Slow

Answers to the French Large Numbers Audio test
15 937, 2 737, 33 984, 82 755, 103 942, 1 813, 52 972, 93 484, 77 283, 69 487, 92 174, 86 931, 56 237, 3 372, 1 840, 87 669, 9 375, 28 159.

French Large Numbers Audio Test – Faster

Answers to the French Large Numbers Audio test
90 385, 2 973, 6 837, 1 948, 1 704, 101 743, 3 846, 9 927, 774 388, 3 640, 82 839, 2 744, 3 049, 19 938, 2 940, 38 098, 980 283.

French Huge Numbers Audio Test

Now let’s train with French numbers over one million!

Answers to the French huge numbers audio test

16 458 350

10 845 858

895 456 123 127

45 000 135

89 145 687

16 789 456 698

103 000 000

456 128 137

758 168 238

78 456 128 684

794 135 498 759

32 124 138

Voilà. I hope this lesson helped you. Check out my French number audiobook. Over four hours of clear explanations, and random number drills recorded at several speeds – including much faster speeds than in this lesson. Click on the link for more info, a full list of content and audio samples. As with all my French audiobooks, it’s available on all platforms with a single purchase and comes with 100% money-back.

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