Using numbers as pronouns

In Spanish, just like in English, you can use numbers as numeral (also sometimes called numerical) pronouns.

Read and listen to these examples:

¿Cuántos libros de alemán tienes? -Tengo uno.
How many German books do you have? I have one.

¿Cuántos cuadros había en la exposición? -Había cincuenta y cuatro.
How many paintings were there in the exhibition? -There were fifty-four.

¿Cuántos euros te quedan en la cartera? -Me quedan ochenta.
How many euros do you have left in your purse? -I have eighty left.

In the examples above, the numeral pronoun is invariable and it never changes form.

Now, look at these examples:

¿Cuántas personas acudieron a la manifestación? -Trescientas.
How many people attended the demonstration? -Three hundred.

¿Cuántas esculturas viste en el museo? -Quinientas.
How many sculptures did you see in the museum? -Five hundred.

¿Cuántos niños hay en ese colegio? -Setecientos.
How many children are there in that school? -Seven hundred.

Note that in the examples above, whole hundreds from 200 onwards (200, 300, 400, 500, 600, etc.) agree with the noun they refer to.

Be careful because when we use "non-whole" hundreds like 203, 345, etc., the tens and units do not change, just the hundreds.

For example:

¿Cuántos hombres vinieron a la conferencia? -Seiscientos cuarenta y cinco.
How many men came to the conference? -Six hundred and forty-five.

¿Cuántas mujeres vinieron a la conferencia? - Seiscientas cuarenta y cinco.
How many women came to the conference? - Six hundred and forty-five.

Notice how in the examples above the number "seiscientos" changes to "seiscientas" when it refers to "women", however "cuarenta" and "cinco" remains the same for both.

See also Using plural definite article + number + noun and Using numbers + nouns.

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

¿Cuántos libros de alemán tienes? -Tengo uno.
How many German books do you have? I have one.


¿Cuántas personas acudieron a la manifestación? -Trescientas.
How many people attended the demonstration? -Three hundred.


¿Cuántas mujeres vinieron a la conferencia? - Seiscientas cuarenta y cinco.
How many women came to the conference? - Six hundred and forty-five.


¿Cuántos cuadros había en la exposición? -Había cincuenta y cuatro.
How many paintings were there in the exhibition? -There were fifty-four.


¿Cuántos hombres vinieron a la conferencia? -Seiscientos cuarenta y cinco.
How many men came to the conference? -Six hundred and forty-five.


¿Cuántos euros te quedan en la cartera? -Me quedan ochenta.
How many euros do you have left in your purse? -I have eighty left.


¿Cuántos niños hay en ese colegio? -Setecientos.
How many children are there in that school? -Seven hundred.


¿Cuántas esculturas viste en el museo? -Quinientas.
How many sculptures did you see in the museum? -Five hundred.


Q&A

Meghan

Kwiziq community member

10 July 2018

2 replies

Hello - my question isn't about numbers as pronouns but about the following example listed in the details...

¿Cuántos euros te quedan en la cartera? -Me quedan ochenta.
How many euros do you have left in your purse? -I have eighty left. 

The above is using preterite translated to present perfect. This is a subject I have some trouble understanding. Wondering if quedar is one of those examples of language that doesn't translate exactly and have to accept it as an expression used and not over think it?

Inma

Kwiziq language super star

11 July 2018

11/07/18

Hi Meghan

I am not quite sure what you mean, sorry. Quedar is used in the present tense, not the preterite or the present perfect. Quedar is in fact a "special verb" as it doesn't have a straight forward translation. It means "to have left" (this "left" is not the participle of "leave" by the way. That may be where your confusion comes from?)

In English you say "to have left" as in "remain". For us it is simply one word, "quedar" accompanied by an indirect pronoun (me, te, le...).

Say you have 10 euros, and buy a necklace that costs 8 euros. You then would say:

"Me quedan 2 euros" --> I have 2 euros left. --> I have 2 euros remaining.

Verb quedar is one that works the same way gustar works. The order in the sentence is different:

Indirect object + queda/quedan + subject

           Me       +      quedan       + 2 euros

         To me     +      remain        + 2 euros

I hope this clarifies your doubts.

Inma

Meghan

Kwiziq community member

11 July 2018

11/07/18

Ah, yes,Thank you! I see my confusion now. There was no preterite or present perfect in either sentence. Quedar is a verb I should get "to know" better. Thanks again for your reply.
I'll be right with you...