In this post I will be telling you all about the numbers in Portuguese till 1000! You will see that besides some minor exceptions, the way that numbers go in European Portuguese makes quite a lot of sense! To practise it, try to use them in sentences everyday of your Portuguese practice (or everyday in the interaction with other people if you are in a Portuguese speaking country) as much as you can.
I found out along the years that numbers are always a dread for students of any language. It is a bit like Math ahah! But have no fear. I will try to make them easy for you to get them!
So, with no further ado, let us start!
1- Um/ Uma
2- Dois/ Duas
These are the first ten numbers, as you can see, and they constitute the basics for many of the numbers that follow. I highlighted “um/uma” and “dois/duas”, because these can take the masculine and the feminine forms. This will be further explained below, as well as all the other highlighted numbers.
Now let us take a look at the following numbers:
So now we are done with the “worst” part. Once you know these numbers, you will be able to go further very easily. From now on, you just have to add the first nine numbers to the ones that come next. It seems a bit hard when explained, but just do as follows:
21- Vinte e Um/ Uma
22- Vinte e Dois/ Duas
23- Vinte e Três
24- Vinte e Quatro
25- Vinte e Cinco
26- Vinte e Seis
27- Vinte e Sete
28- Vinte e Oito
29- Vinte e Nove
So, did you get the picture? From now on, all you need to know is how the round numbers (30, 40, 50…) are called and then you are good to go until 100. So, here they are:
Be aware that there are some spelling differences between European Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese, also concerning numbers. In this case I am covering European Portuguese, so if you are studying the Brazilian variant, you should check the differences before you move on. Also, if you want to find out more about differences between these two kinds of Portuguese, you can go to my previous blog post here.
At this point, we want to go and get the first nine numbers again to say 101, 102, 103….be aware, however, that “cem” transforms into “cento”. Check it out:
101- Cento e Um/ Uma
102- Cento e Dois/ Duas
103- Cento e Três
104- Cento e Quatro
105- Cento e Cinco
106- Cento e Seis
107- Cento e Sete
108- Cento e Oito
109- Cento e Nove
Easy, right? To do the rest of the numbers until 200, we just have to pick all the other numbers between 10 and 99, so 110, 147 and 199 would be, for example:
110- Cento e Dez
147 – Cento e Quarenta e Sete
199 – Cento e Noventa e Nove
So, all we need now, once again, is the round numbers (200, 300, 400….) and we will be good to go and reach 1000. Here they are:
200- Duzentos/ Duzentas
300- Trezentos/ Trezentas
400- Quatrocentos/ Quatrocentas
500- Quinhentos/ Quinhentas
600- Seiscentos/ Seiscentas
700- Setecentos/ Setecentas
800- Oitocentos/ Oitocentas
900- Novecentos/ Novecentas
Still with me? If you want to check it, let us say you want to write 248, 897 and 999. Can you think of it? How would it be? (Check out the answer at the end of this post).
Please also notice that the 200, 300 and 500 are a bit different, but all the others – 400, 600, 700, 800 and 900 – are a mix between the numbers 4, 6, 7, 8 and 9 with centos (which means hundreds), therefore they literally mean four-hundred, six-hundred, seven-hundred and so on.
Another thing you should take into consideration is that the numbers 200 to 900 can also take the feminine version of the word. That happens when the subject of the sentence is feminine, like in the example “Eu tenho quinhentas cadeiras”, which means “I have 500 chairs” (seriously, does anyone have so many chairs? aha!). “Chair” is feminine and therefore the number takes the feminine form.
And now, the “grand finale”, we reached our super-duper amazing number 1000.
Yes, such a big fuss for such a small word. But well, it is an important one to know!
#Difficulties that may (or may not) arise
Um/Uma or Dois/Duas – As I previously mentioned, this numbers are the only ones that assume masculine, feminine, singular and plural forms. So, if I want to say “One/A chair”, I will say “Uma cadeira”. On the other hand, if I want to say “Two chairs”, I will have to use the form “Duas cadeiras”. If the word is masculine, however, I will use the masculine forms. So, let´s say we wanted to write “One/A boy”, we would have to use “Um rapaz”, and if we wanted to say “Two boys”, we would have to write “Dois rapazes”. Simple, or?
Be also aware that when you have numbers that use 1 or 2 (besides the obvious numbers 1 and 2), like 101, 202, 302 and so on, you also have to adapt it to the feminine or masculine forms, depending on the subject. So, if you say “101 chairs”, you will have to say “Cento e Uma cadeiras”. Chair is feminine and therefore I have to adopt the feminine version of the number. On the other hand, if I were to say “202 cars”, as “carros” is masculine I would say “Duzentos e dois carros”, thus using the masculine form of the number.
Três and Treze – While teaching European Portuguese to different students along the years, I realised that many of them have difficulties distinguishing between três e treze, especially in terms of pronunciation. If you happen to be one of these people, please check the audio helpers I posted within this post.
Cinco, Quinze, Cinquenta and Quinhentos – Do you still remember these numbers? They mean five, fifteen, fifty and five hundred and just like in the previous case I mentioned, many students tend to mix them up pretty badly. If you need some audio aids, please refer to the audio examples I posted along with these numbers.
So, I hope you have enjoyed this post, at least as much as I enjoyed putting it together. I am going to say goodbye for now, but before here is the answer to the little quiz above:
248 – Duzentos e Quarenta e Oito
897 – Oitocentos e Noventa e Sete
999- Novecentos e Noventa e Nove
If you got all these numbers right, well done! If not, just don’t give up and keep trying and I am sure you will get there in no time!
Beijinhos for now,