Although Spanish numbers can be memorized in a straightforward way, their use can be confusing for children new to Spanish. Numbers made up of more than one part are often formed differently than they are in English, and some Spanish numbers change according to the gender of the nouns they apply to.
Following are the basic Spanish numbers and patterns in which they are formed. Those that are in italics are forms that change according to gender, while the non-italic forms are fixed.
- 1. uno
- 2. dos
- 3. tres
- 4. cuatro
- 5. cinco
- 6. seis
- 7. siete
- 8. ocho
- 9. nueve
- 10. diez
Gender: As indicated above, the italicized portions of numbers vary according to gender. When a number ends in -uno (“one”), the form -un is used before masculine nouns, and -una before feminine nouns. The uno form is used only in counting. Accent marks are used where needed to maintain the correct pronunciation. The hundreds portions of numbers change in gender even when other parts of the number intervene before the noun.
Examples: un coche (1 car), una casa (1 house), veintiún coches (21 cars), veintiuna casas (21 houses), doscientos coches (200 cars), doscientas casas (200 houses), doscientos dos coches (202 cars), doscientas dos casas (202 houses).
For more basic numbers see education