italian numbers

Italian Numbers: Your All-in-one Guide to Counting from 0 to 1,000,000+

Nobody thinks about numbers when learning Italian, but they clarify our communication and enrich our imagination. So numbers do count… a lot.

It’s not just about eggs—it’s about how many eggs are in the basket. How many people are coming? What time did you arrive? How much is that watch?

These all require you to know Italian numbers. They are essential to day-to-day, real-life conversation.

 Now, let’s find out how to count from zero up to a sextillion in Italian.

Contents

Counting from 0 to 100 in Italian

So here are the first 10 numbers in Italian. You’re going to have to memorize them as they’re the building blocks of any Italian number you can think of:

NumberItalian
0Zero
1Uno
2Due
3Tre
4Quattro
5Cinque
6Sei
7Sette
8Otto
9Nove
10Dieci

For numbers 11-20, you’ll have an easier time remembering them if you think:

11 is “1 and 10” combined, where uno and dieci → undici

12 is “2 and 10” combined, where due and diecidodici

Following this pattern, you’ll get:

NumberItalian
11Undici
12Dodici
13Tredici
14Quattordici
15Quindici
16Sedici
17Diciasesette
18Diciotto
19Diciannove
20Venti

If you notice above, the order of names becomes inverted from 17 to 19.

Instead of dici coming second, it gets written first for numbers diciassette, diciotto and diciannove.

From here on out, the tens get written before the ones digit.

For example:

23 — ventitre

76 — settantasei

84 — ottantaquattro

Except for dieci (10) and venti (20), all tens digits are named based on their roots. So 50, coming from cinque (five), becomes cinquanta.

Here are the tens:

NumberItalian
10Dieci
20Venti
30Trenta
40Quaranta
50Cinquanta
60Sessanta
70Settanta
80Ottanta
90Novanta
100Cento

Note that Italians have found ways to save time and pronounce their numbers faster. This is primarily done by dropping a letter or two.

For example, when two vowels happen to be sitting side by side, the first vowel is dropped. So instead of venti-uno, you’d drop the i of venti and say “ventuno” for the number 21. 

Ventuno is a little smoother on the tongue, don’t you think?

Other examples include:

38 — trentotto (instead of trenta-otto)

51 — cinquantuno (instead of cinquanta-uno)

98 — novantotto (instead of novanta-otto)

Counting from 100 to 1,000 in Italian

The hundreds are formed by adding the suffix -cento to the multiplier digit. Here are your hundreds:

NumberItalian
100Cento
200Duecento
300Trecento
400Quattrocento
500Cinquecento
600Seicento
700Settecento
800Ottocento
900Novecento
1000Mille

From the ones, tens and hundreds, the bigger your number is, the longer its written form will be. This is because Italian doesn’t separate the hundreds, tens and ones. They have it as one long word with no breaks or spaces.

For example:

154 — centocinquantaquattro

747 — settecentoquarantasette

948 — novecentoquarantotto

Counting from 1,000 to 1,000,000 in Italian

The thousands are formed by adding the suffix -mille to the digit multiplier.

But unlike the hundreds which used -cento throughout the series (because cento has no plural form), the thousands use the plural of mille which is mila.

Here are your thousands series:

NumberItalian
1,000Mille
2,000Duemila
3,000Tremila
4,000Quattromila
5,000Cinquemila
6,000Seimila
7,000Settemila
8,000Ottomila
9,000Novemila
10,000Diecimila

For the hundred-thousands, we use the suffix -centomila.

NumberItalian
100,000Centomila
200,000Duecentomila
300,000Trecentomila
400,000Quattrocentomila
500,000Cinquecentomila
600,000Seicentomila
700,000Settecentomila
800,000Ottocentomila
900,000Novecentomila
1,000,000Un milione

Now that we have reached the million, it’s time to talk about really big numbers in Italian. 

Italian Numbers Greater Than a Million

In Italian, to form the plurals of regular nouns, we change the e to i. So one million is un milione, and two million becomes due milioni.

This pattern carries on through the millions, so tre milioni, quattro milioni, etc. 

Once you get beyond the millions, Italian alternates between the suffixes -ione and -iardo. Here are some of those bigger numbers: 

NumberItalian
One billionUn miliardo
One trillionUn bilione
One quadrillionUn biliardo
One quintillion Un trilione
One sextillionUn triliardo

Note that the Italian bilione refers to the English trillion, not billion. This is due to the differences in long and short-scale naming systems used in the different countries. 

So when an American thinks of, say, “a billion,” his Italian counterpart thinks of it as “a thousand million.”

Ordinal Numbers in Italian

So far, we’ve talked about cardinal numbers, which are used for things like counting apples in a bag or counting the number of times you’ve seen a movie.

In this section, we’ll be talking about ordinal numbers, which tell us about the specific position or rank that an object has relative to an ordered set, such as “first,” “second” and “third.”

Here are the first ten ordinal numbers:

NumberItalian
FirstPrimo
SecondSecondo
ThirdTerzo
FourthQuarto
FifthQuinto
SixthSesto
SeventhSettimo
EighthOttavo
NinthNono
TenthDecimo

Examples:

terzo giro (third lap)

sesto mese (6th month) 

Ho vinto il primo premio! (I won first prize!)

 

Now that you know the Italian numbers, you just need to put them into practice!

It does involve a bit of memorization, but once you have the basics down, you’ll be able to count up to bigger numbers in Italian. Flashcards come in really handy for this kind of learning, with digital options like Anki available for those learning on the go.

Another option is the language learning program FluentU, as it has a number flashcard deck linked to a video library of Italian media clips. You can see the numbers used naturally by native speakers with the help of interactive subtitles.

With enough practice, you can boost your confidence when interacting with native speakers. Count on it!

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