How does a person survive in a world without knowing the basics of math, the most hated subject of everyone (or almost everyone)? But, in this class, we only discussed counting numbers. Simple? Well not really. It took me quite a few activities and meetings to familiarize the basics:

Number | In writing | In pronunciation |

0 | Zéro | Zero |

1 | Un | An |

2 | Deux | Doo |

3 | Trios | Tua |

4 | Quatre | Cat |

5 | Cing | Sank |

6 | Six | Sis |

7 | Sept | Sept |

8 | Huit | Hooi |

9 | Neuf | Noof |

10 | Dix | Dits |

11 | Onze | Onz |

12 | Douze | Dooz |

13 | Treize | Trez |

14 | Quatorze | Katorz |

15 | Quinze | Kanz |

16 | Seize | Sez |

17 | Dix-sept | Diz-sept |

18 | Dix-huit | Diz-ooit |

19 | Dix-neuf | Diz-noof |

20 | Vingt | Vant |

21 | Vingt et un | Vante-an |

22 | Vingt-duex | Vant-doo |

30 | Trente | Trant |

40 | Quarante | Karant |

50 | Cinquante | Sangkant |

60 | Soixante | Suasan |

70 | Soixante-dix | Suasan-diz |

80 | Quatre-vingts | Katra-vant |

90 | Quatre-vingt-dix | Katra-vant-diz |

100 | Cent | Sent |

1000 | Mille | Mil |

Cool, right? Memorizing could be difficult at first; but with practice, it can be very handy. Unlike regular way of counting numbers in English, in French,

Property | Rule |

Numbers ending in one except 71 and 91 | Add the word “et un” Eg. 51 is cinquante et un |

Numbers ending in other digits except those under 70+ and 90+ | Add hyphen and units digits Eg. 89 is qutre-vingt-nuef |

Numbers under 70+ and 90+ | Replace “dix” with those under eleven to nineteen Eg. 75 is soixante-cinq |

As you might be wondering, numbers with a tens digit of 7 to 9 uses a different approach. Numbers with a tens digit of 7 uses the number 60 as its base and adds numbers 10 – 19 to produce the numbers 70 – 79. The tens digit 8, on the other hand is simply multiplying 20 with 4, then simply add the units digit. The tens digit 9, similar to that of 7, uses 80 as its base and adding numbers 10 -19 to produce the numbers 90 -99. Confusing? Here’s another thing that I did:

Number | In writing | Technique |

0 | Zéro | Still the same |

1 | Un | Its pronunciation “An” is an article representing a unit |

2 | Deux | Sounds like “two” |

3 | Trios | Sounds like “two – a” or 2 + a, which is a unit again. |

4 | Quatre | Its pronunciation “Cat” has four legs! |

5 | Cing | Sank |

6 | Six | Still sounds like six to me^^ |

7 | Sept | Sept |

8 | Huit | Hooi |

9 | Neuf | Noof |

10 | Dix | Sounds like 10 in Spanish |

11 | Onze | Sounds like 1, just ending with a z |

12 | Douze | Sounds like 2, just ending with a z |

13 | Treize | Sounds like 3, just ending with a z |

14 | Quatorze | Sounds like 3, just ending with torz |

15 | Quinze | Kanz |

16 | Seize | Sez |

17 | Dix-sept | 10 + 7 |

18 | Dix-huit | 10 + 8 |

19 | Dix-neuf | 10 + 9 |

20 | Vingt | Vant |

21 | Vingt et un | 20 and 1 |

22 | Vingt-duex | 20 - 2 |

30 | Trente | The first 3 letters of the word three plus “ant” |

40 | Quarante | Karant |

50 | Cinquante | 5 plus “ant” |

60 | Soixante | Suasan |

100 | Cent | Still means a hundred |

1000 | Mille | Still means a thousand |

Another reason for the importance of numbers is in stating the telephone number. In France, numbers are grouped by 2’s. For example, the telephone number 07 95 65 43 71 is stated as “zero sept, quatre-vingt-quinze, soixante-cinq, quarante-trois, soixante-onze.” Quite a mouthful, ain’t it? But, it’s fun if you love to learn a new language!

“Et vous, quel est votre numéro de téléphone?”

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