Spanish numbers are adjectives when accompanying nouns, but they are also nouns when on their own. This lesson explains numbers from 1000 to 1000000.
It's important to note that the Spanish rule for the thousand separator is different to English:
- 1,000 = one thousand
- 3,800 = three thousand eight hundred
- 20,000 = twenty thousand
- 400,000 = four hundred thousand
- 1,000,000 = one million
In Spanish, numbers with four digits are written with no space and no thousand separator (no comma, no full stop/period):
- 1000 2500 4888 7900
Numbers with more than four digits are written with a space acting as the thousand separator:
- 20 000 50 000 38 900 99 076 1 000 000
Let's see how to write these numbers.
To say 1,000 we use the invariable "mil". Be careful not to use the article "un mil" - this is a common mistake for English speakers because of the presence of the article in "a thousand".
Here are some numbers above 1,000:
- 2,000 = dos mil
- 5,000 = cinco mil
- 10,000 = diez mil
- 50,000 = cincuenta mil
- 99,000 = noventa y nueve mil
When there are hundreds within the thousands, the verbal construction is the same in Spanish and English. For example:
Bear in mind that used as adjectives, the hundreds must agree with the noun they accompany:
When we add tens and units, the verbal construction in Spanish is different to English, for example:
Notice how in Spanish we need to add "y" between the tens and the units (cincuenta y cuatro), whereas in English numbers the "and" is placed between the hundreds and the tens, although you can also drop it, especially in the U.S:
20,354 : twenty thousand three hundred (and) fifty four
However in English numbers there is never "and" between the tens and the units, instead there is a hyphen:
54: fifty and four
Hundreds of thousands
The number 100 is invariable when it is only 100; but if it is over 100, e.g 101, 130..., then it becomes "ciento". For example:
Ciento is invariable and doesn't have to agree with the noun it accompanies, for example:
When we say 101 thousand, "uno" becomes "un" for masculine nouns, and "una" for feminine nouns. For example:
Here are other examples using hundreds of thousands:
Bear also in mind that if there are no tens, but only hundreds and units, there is no "y" ("and") between them unlike in English:
When the number is 21, 31, 41, 51, etc, and we are talking about "thousands" followed by a plural, feminine noun, i.e. 21.000 casas, 41.500 personas, 31.000 libras, etc, both the masculine and the feminine form are accepted. For example:
Note how with the noun "libras" (feminine plural) both veintiún and veintiuna can be used.
In Spanish one million is: un millón
To learn about large numbers see Expressing large numbers in Spanish: hundreds, thousands, millions and billions
When we mention a specific year, if we write in it digits it's written with no spaces. We read it as a normal number, i.e. as if we were saying a quantity, unlike in English where it is read in "twos", for example:
Not "diecinueve setenta y dos" (nineteen seventy-two)
Not "veinte diez" (twenty ten)
See also Expressing large numbers in Spanish: hundreds, thousands, millions and billions.
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