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French Numbers – Free French lesson w/ audio & fun quiz

Camille Chevalier-Karfis By Camille Chevalier-Karfis - updated on Sep 10, 2020
if you want to understand French numbers fast, there's just no time to do maths

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

In this audio lesson, I’m going to help you conquer French numbers. You’ll see, it’s easy when you study the right way!

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 and one sound.

Learn your French numbers this way, and you’ll see, big or small, numbers in French will no longer be a challenge!

This article features audio recordings. Click the blue text next to the headphone to hear me say that word or sentence in French.

Note that when applicable, I used a modern spoken French pronunciation.

Learn How to Count From 0 to 19 in French

Please press on the audio player to hear the audio recording for the French numbers 0 to 19.

Now let’s see the pronunciation of each number individually. This time you may look at the way they are spelled so you memorize the spelling at the same time.

  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.

0 to 19 in French Explained

Zero in French

Click the blue text next to the headphone to hear me say that word or sentence 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)

⚠️ Cinq, Six, Huit et Dix

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…

Audio Exercises

0-19 French Number Audio Exercises

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.)

Low Intermediate & Above French Verb Drills – Volume 1
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0-19 Audio Exercise – Slower

Let’s test your French numbers with this out of order drill. We’ll start with a a slower number drill. Please press play on the audio player to hear my recording.

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.

0-19 Audio Exercise – 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.

French Number Free Quizz

Before starting this lesson, you may want to check your present understanding of French numbers.

I’ve developed a fast and fun quizz for French numbers: the test has 10 questions and will take you about 8 minutes to complete. You’ll see how different it’s to take a test based on audio recordings and not written French!

Take the number quiz now!

Now let’s dive into this rather long lesson about French numbers! You don’t have to do it all in one sitting! Take your time, bookmark this page and come back often!

20 to 59 Free French Number Lesson

How to Count from 20 to 29 in French?

Please press play on the audio player to hear my recording.

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

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.

How to Count from 30 to 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

How to Count from 40 to 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

How to Count from 50 to 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

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.

As with everything in French, repetition is the key. Take you time to go through these numbers: bookmark this page and come back often to train on your French numbers!

Audio Exercises

20-59 Audio Exercise – 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.

20-59 Audio Exercise – Faster

Now let’s train with French numbers out of order at the faster speed. Please press play on the audio player to hear my recording.

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.

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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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.

60 to 99 – Free French Number Lesson

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

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

Please press play on the audio player to hear my recording.

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

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

60 to 99 Free French Number Lesson

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 Quatre-vingt-dix-neuf = 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.

Eighty and Ninety in French

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.

Audio Exercises

60-90 Audio Exercises – 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.

60-90 Audio Exercises – 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.

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.

100 to 999 Free French Number Lesson

  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

French Numbers Above 100 Explained

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.

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…

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.

Audio Exercises

100 to 999 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.

100 to 999 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.

Thousands & Above in French

  • 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.

How To Say Huge Numbers in French?

  • 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.

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)

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 Free Lesson

Let’s see how to spell the numbers above a thousand in French.

One or No One Before Large French Numbers?

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”.

S or no S After The Large French Number?

Mille never takes an S.
Trois-mille.

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.

Five, Six, Eight and Ten with 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.

Audio Exercises

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

How To Learn French Numbers

Use my 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 – keep it fun!

How to Write French Numbers?

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)

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

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.

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. 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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