French Grammar Guide for non-francophones

NUMBERS (e.g.: un, deux, vingt, mille, etc.)

Questions about numbers

Q: Why is it quatre-vingt-deux and NOT quatre-vingts-deux?

The words vingt and cent never take an "s" when followed by another number (like deux in the example given above). On the other hand, million and millard do take an -s when followed by another number since they are considered nouns (we don't make up the rules, we just explain them!)

Q: Why is it vingt et un and NOT vingt un?

Unlike English, French requires the word et when joining un to a preceding number (for numbers less than 80).

Q: Why is it trente-deux and NOT trente et deux?

Only use et to join un to another number. Higher numbers are directly joined with a hyphen.

Q: Why is it 30e and NOT 30ième?

The abbreviated form of ordinal numbers higher than one is formed by simply adding "e" to the number.

Q: What is the difference between numéro, nombre and chiffre?

A chiffre is numeral or digit, basically anything from 0 to 9 ; a nombre is a group of one or more of numerals, e.g.: 207, or simply 6; a numéro is a set grouping, e.g.: a street address, a code, a phone number.

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