NUMBERS: How to count in Dutch

numbers in Dutch - Nout looking to the side where a lot of numbers are displayed

One of the first things you should learn in Dutch is the numbers. It’s not rocket science but the numbers in Dutch offer a few surprises for English speakers. The numbers are exactly the same in Dutch from the Netherlands, only the pronunciation changes slightly.

From 0-19

0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
nul
één
twee
drie
vier
vijf
zes
zeven
acht
negen
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
tien
elf
twaalf
dertien
viertien
vijftien
zestien
zeventien
achttien
negentien

From 20-10.000

20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
100
1000
10.000
twintig
dertig
veertig
vijftig
zestig
zeventig
tachtig
negentig
honderd
duizend
tienduizend

Constructing numbers

showing how Dutch numbers are constructing - reverse from English
45
89
21
32
103
474
1048
9876
vierenvijftig
achtennegentig
eenentwintig
tweeëndertig
honderddrie
vierhonderdzevenenvertig
duizendachtenviertig
negenduizendachthonderdzesenzeventig

Notes:

  • The numbers from 21 onwards are constructed differently from English. In numbers with two digits (everything from 13-99), we say the last number (1-9) first, then we say “and” and only then we say the decimal (20, 30, …). This actually follows the same logic as the numbers in English from 13 to 19 (nineteen).
  • While in English a comma is placed to separate a long number, Dutch uses periods. Example: 12,352,252 (English) – 12.352.252 (Dutch)
  • We place two accents on the number one (één) to differentiate it from the article een.
  • We place two dots on the en (and) when it is preceded by a number ending in an e – twee or drie. So, twenty-two would be tweeëntwintig and eighty-three would be drieëntachtig. This ë, a so-called trema, is placed in a word to indicate that the second (or third) e should actually be pronounced separately and is not just a long vowel. So the word is drie – ën- tach -tig.

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