Learn the Numbers in Portuguese: All you need to know

Learn the Numbers in Portuguese . Portuguese lesson with all you need to know about the numbers in Portuguese

Today you will learn the numbers in Portuguese. You will learn all that you need to use the numbers correctly in any situation in Brazil.

Knowing the numbers is more than knowing how to count from 1 to 10 or being able to understand the price of everyday items. There are several details to learn.

For instance, can you break years in two groups and say, for example, nineteen eighty-one?

Is it twenty-one or twenty and one?

Do numbers have a masculine and a feminine version?

At the end of this lesson you will be able to use the numbers with confidence when speaking Portuguese.

Needless to day, learning the numbers in your foreign language is important to many everyday activities, such as exchanging phone numbers, shopping, scheduling dates and meetings, telling the time, and more.

Funny thing about numbers in a foreign language

Numbers are a funny thing in the world of foreign language speaking, in my humble opinion. I have been living in the US for almost two decades. I went to graduate school in the US. So, I feel I can say that my English is decent. But when I am reading, and there is a date, I read the year in Portuguese in my head.

In addition, when I need to say in English a phone number that I have learned in Portuguese, such as my mom’s number in Brazil, for example, I have to think about it. And vice-versa: If I need to say my husband’s phone number in Portuguese, I need to translate it in my head.

Another funny thing is that I simply cannot do math in my head in English. When I need to give or receive change, for instance, I translate it to Portuguese in my head so I can make sense of the numbers.

What is your experience learning the numbers in a foreign language?

Zero to 19 in Portuguese

Some numbers have a feminine version. That is the case of numbers 1 and 2, as well as numbers that end in 1 and 2. The hundreds from 200 to 900 also have a feminine version. I indicate the feminine version of the numbers below. 

In addition, there is a section ahead with the details on when and how to use the feminine version of numbers.

Watch the video to learn the pronunciation.

Here you go, zero thru 19 in Portuguese. 

0 – zero

1 – um/uma

2 – dois/duas

3 – três

4 – quatro

5 – cinco

6 – seis

7 – sete

8 – oito

9 – nove

10 – dez

11 – onze

12 – doze

13 – treze

14 – quatorze / catorze

15 – quinze

16 – dezesseis

17 – dezessete

18 – dezoito

19 – dezenove

Numbers 20 to 99

From here on, we have a little more rhythm and repetition:

20 – vinte

21 – vinte e um/vinte e uma (Notice the “e” there. You need to use the preposition.)

22 – vinte e dois/vinte e 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

30 – trinta

The pattern repeats:

31 – trinta e um/trinta e uma

32 – trinta e dois/trinta e duas

33 – trinta e três, etc.

This is true until 99:

40 – quarenta

41 – quarenta e um, etc.

50 – cinquenta

51 – cinquenta e um, etc.

60 – sessenta

61 – sessenta e um, etc.

70 – setenta

71 – setenta e um, etc.

80 – oitenta

81 – oitenta e um, etc.

90 – noventa

91 – noventa e um, etc.

99 – noventa e nove

From 100 to 999 in Portuguese

100 – cem

You only say cem when it is 100 round number. It can be one hundred, one hundred thousand, one hundred million etc.

But the moment it is not 100 round number, it becomes cento:

101 – cento e um

And now it gets into a pattern, so I will not show  you all the numbers. I will show you enough to make the pattern apparent:

102 – cento e dois

103 – cento e três

115 – cento e quinze

120 – cento e vinte

121 – cento e vinte e um (Notice that I have two prepositions here. This is a pattern.)

126 – cento e vinte e seis

129 –  cento e vinte e nove

130 – cento e trinta

137 – cento e trinta e sete

140 – cento e quarenta

150 – cento e cinquenta

160 – cento e sessenta

170 – cento e setenta

180 – cento e oitenta

190 – cento e noventa

200 – duzentos/duzentas

The hundreds from 200 to 900 have a feminine version.

The pattern continues:

201 – duzentos e um

210 – duzentos e dez

220 – duzentos e vinte

222 – duzentos e vinte e dois (Is this a lucky number? 😉)

Keep going with the same pattern:

300 – trezentos/trezentas

400 – quatrocentos/quatrocentas

500 – quinhentos/quinhentas

600 – seiscentos/seiscentas

700 – setecentos/setecentas

800 – oitocentos/oitocentas

900 – novecentos/novecentas

999 – novecentos e noventa e nove (This has to be a lucky number!)

1 thousand to the millions

1.000 – mil (American learners: notice the period instead of the comma. More about this ahead.)

Patterns are our friends:

1.001 – mil e um

1.002 – mil e dois

1.010 – mil e dez

1.020 – mil e vinte

1.021 – mil e vinte e um

1.088 – mil e oitenta e oito

1.099 – mil e noventa e nove

1.100 – mil e cem

There is a change of pattern here

From 1100 on, there is a change in the pattern. It has to do with the preposition “e”.

In round numbers like 1100, 1200, 1300, etc., you have the preposition just as you did before:

1.100 – mil e cem

1.200 – mil e duzentos

1.300 – mil e trezentos

Etc.

However, you lose the “e” above when the number is not round in the hundreds:

1.101 – mil cento e um

Notice that there is no preposition between one thousand and one hundred. But there is a preposition between one hundred and one.

Here are additional examples:

1.110 – mil cento e dez

1.954 – mil novecentos e cinquenta e quatro

1.999 – mil novecentos e noventa e nove

The above is true for all numbers that follow. For example:

2.000 – dois mil

2.022 – dois mil e vinte e dois

2.100 – dois mil e cem

2.122 – dois mil cento e vinte e dois (Notice the lack of a preposition between thousands and hundreds)

2.200 – dois mil e duzentos

2.235 – dois mil duzentos e trinta e cinco

And so on.

The book Ponto de Encontro puts it this way:

“Use e between all elements of compound numbers except between thousands and hundreds when hundreds are followed by tens or units.”

These patterns go on using the numbers you have learned above. Let me show you a few more examples. 

3.000 – três mil

4.000 – quatro mil

10.000 – dez mil

10.001 – dez mil e um

10.021 – dez mil e vinte e um

10.600 – dez mil e seiscentos

10.621 – dez mil seiscentos e vinte e um

20.000 – vinte mil

30.000 – trinta mil

When we say cem and when we say cento

Notice when we use cem and when we use cento:

100.000 – cem mil

100.001 – cem mil e um

101.000 – cento e um mil (Notice again that we change from cem to cento when it is not 100 round).

101.500 – cento e um mil e quinhentos

101.550 – cento e um mil quinhentos e cinquenta 

Keep going:

200.000 – duzentos/as mil

300.000 – trezentos/as mil

Etc.

900.000 – novecentos/as mil

999.000 – novecentos e noventa e nove mil

999.999 – novecentos e noventa e nove mil novecentos e noventa e nove

1.000.000 – um milhão

The use of preposition with millions

I showed you that the thousands lose the “e” between thousands and hundreds when hundreds are followed by tens or unit. It is similar with the millions. We also lose the “e” between millions and thousands when the thousands or the hundreds are followed by units. I know it sounds confusing, but observe the rule in the numbers below.

1.100.000 – um milhão e cem mil

However, we lose that “e” between the millions and the thousands here:

1.120.000 – um milhão cento e vinte mil

Here is another example:

2.000.000 – dois milhões

2.000.100 – dois milhões e cem

2.000.127 – dois milhões cento e vinte e sete

Billions, Trillions, etc. in Portuguese

I see! You want to be a billionaire 😉 Here you go:

  • um bilhão (a billion)
  • um trilhão (a trillion)
  • um quatrilhão
  • um quintilhão
  • um sextilhão
  • um septilhão
  • um octilhão
  • um nonilhão
  • um decilhão

How to say millionaire or billionaire in Portuguese

  • um milionário/uma milionária = a millionaire
  • um bilionário/ uma bilionária = a billionaire
  • um trilionário/uma trilionária = a trillionaire
  • um quatrilionário/uma quatrilionária = a quatrillionaire

Notice that the word milhão (million) is spelled with lh, but milionário (millionaire) is not.

Can you break numbers into groups in Brazil?

We usually do not break numbers into groups in Brazil the way we do in the US.

If you tell a friend in Brazil that you were born in “dezenove oitenta” (nineteen eighty) they will find it very strange. We do not break numbers like this in Brazil. We say the whole number. For example, a person born in 1980 will say:

  • Eu nasci em mil novecentos e oitenta. = I was born in 1980.

This is true for addresses too. You need to say the entire number. Giving your street number as “five eighty” will not sound natural. Instead, you should say: quinhentos e oitenta (580).

This is also true for prices. It is true in general, except for phone numbers.

How to say Phone Numbers in Brazil

Here is a handy thing to know when saying phone numbers in Brazil: We usually say “meia” for six.

Meia means half. It comes from: meia dúzia = half a dozen.

Saying meia instead of “seis” prevents people from mishearing “três” instead of “seis”.

Luckily to all of us, we break phone numbers into groups in Brazil. There are different ways in which you can do this. Let’s see an example.

99967-2014

  • nove nove nove meia sete dois zero um quatro
  • nove nove nove meia sete vinte quatorze
  • nove nove nove meia sete dois mil e quatorze

There is not one right way to say a phone number. In my view, the most common way to say it is by saying digit by digit as in the first example above.

Cultural tidbit: Mobile numbers in Brazil

Mobile numbers in Brazil used to have eight digits grouped in two groups of four digits. The phone number above, for instance, would be: 9967-2014.

In 2012, Brazilian mobile numbers started to gain a ninth digit: the number 9 was added in front of the original number. This was done to increase the availability of numbers on mobile telephony. The addition of a digit was done gradually until 2016.

Because this extra 9 was added to numbers that we already had, we tend to say it individually, often with a little pause before continuing. For example, someone saying the phone number 99967-2014 could say:

  • nove (short pause) nove nove meia sete – vinte quatorze

The gender of numbers in Portuguese

The numbers 1 and 2 as well as all numbers ending in 1 or 2 have a feminine form. For instance:

  • 1 carro = um carro = one car
  • 1 casa = uma casa = one house
  • 2 copos = dois copos = two glasses
  • 2 mesas = duas mesas = two tables
  • 31 barcos = trinta e um barcos = 31 boats
  • 31 cadeiras – trinta e uma cadeiras = 31 chairs
  • 72 livros – setenta e dois livros = 72 books
  • 72 aulas = setenta e duas aulas = 72 classes

The hundreds

The hundreds from 200 and on also have a feminine version as I have indicated above. Therefore:

300 – trezentos/trezentas

400 – quatrocentos/quatrocentas

Etc.

Here are examples using these numbers:

1) Estou sobrecarregada de trabalho. Eu tenho duzentas tarefas para concluir hoje. = I’m overloaded with work. I have two hundred tasks to complete today.

2) Trezentas e quarenta e duas pessoas assinaram a petição. = Three hundred and forty-two people signed the petition.

The thousands

The thousands have a feminine version as well. For example:

1) Duas mil pessoas participaram da passeata pela paz. = Two thousand people took part in the peace march.

2) O governo distribuiu quinhentas mil vacinas esta semana. = The government distributed five hundred thousand vaccines this week.

The millions do not have a feminine version

Numbers in the millions do not have a feminine version. Therefore, you have:

1) Dois milhões de pessoas participaram do protesto. = Two million people took part in the protest.

2) O Brasil tem uma população de cerca de duzentos e doze milhões de pessoas. = Brazil has a population of around two hundred and twelve million people.

When to use the preposition DE with numbers

When a noun follows a number, you use the preposition de between the number and the object when you are talking about millions and up.

You can see that in the examples above. The following numbers are not followed by the preposition “de”:

  • setenta e dois livros
  • duzentas tarefas
  • trezentas e quarenta e duas pessoas
  • duas mil pessoas
  • quinhentas mil vacinas

We have the preposition de when the number is in the millions:

  • dois milhões de pessoas
  • duzentos e doze milhões de pessoas

Digital Grouping and Decimal Separation in Portuguese

In Brazil, we use a period to group digits, and we use a comma for the decimal separation. Let’s use prices as examples:

  • R$ 1.123,40 – mil cento e vinte e três reais e quarenta centavos
  • R$ 267.560,99 – duzentos e sessenta e sete mil quinhentos e sessenta reais e noventa e nove centavos

This is the opposite of what is used in the United States. I constantly have to switch my Excel between one notation and the other as I work regularly with Brazilians and Americans.

That is it! Now you know all about the numbers in Portuguese. Did you expect so many details to learn the numbers?

Now all you need is practice to get your numbers in autopilot so you don’t have to think about them.


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This lesson was originally posted in 2009. I has been updated and extended.

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