Spanish numbers are adjectives when accompanying nouns, but they are also nouns when on their own. This lesson explains numbers from 1000 to 1000000.
It's important to note that the Spanish rule for the thousand separator is different to English:
- 1,000 = one thousand
- 3,800 = three thousand eight hundred
- 20,000 = twenty thousand
- 400,000 = four hundred thousand
- 1,000,000 = one million
In Spanish, numbers with four digits are written with no space and no thousand separator (no comma, no full stop/period):
Numbers with more than four digits are written with a space acting as the thousand separator:
- 20 000 50 000 38 900 99 076 1 000 000
Let's see how to write these numbers.
1,000 = mil
To say 1,000 we use the invariable "mil". Be careful not to use the article "un mil" - this is a common mistake for English speakers because of the presence of the article in "a thousand".
Here are some numbers above 1,000:
- 2,000 = dos mil
- 5,000 = cinco mil
- 10,000 = diez mil
- 50,000 = cincuenta mil
- 99,000 = noventa y nueve mil
When there are hundreds within the thousands, the verbal construction is the same in Spanish and English. For example:
20,300= twenty thousand three hundred = veinte mil trescientos
Bear in mind that used as adjectives, the hundreds must agree with the noun they accompany:
Había veinte mil trescientas personas en el concierto.There were twenty thousand three hundred people at the concert.
Había veinte mil trescientos coches en la carretera.There were twenty thousand three hundred cars on the road.
When we add tens and units, the verbal construction in Spanish is different to English, for example:
20,354 = twenty thousand three hundred and fifty four = veinte mil trescientos cincuenta y cuatro
Notice how in Spanish we need to add "y" between the tens and the units (cincuenta y cuatro), whereas in English numbers the "and" is placed between the hundreds and the tens, although you can also drop it, especially in the U.S:
20,354 : twenty thousand three hundred (and) fifty four
However in English numbers there is never "and" between the tens and the units, instead there is a hyphen:
54: fifty and four
Hundreds of thousands
100,000 = one hundred thousand = cien mil
The number 100 is invariable when it is only 100; but if it is over 100, e.g 101, 130..., then it becomes "ciento". For example:
Ciento treinta y cinco mil135,000
Ciento is invariable and doesn't have to agree with the noun it accompanies, for example:
Ciento treinta y cinco mil casasOne hundred and thirty-five thousand houses
Ciento treinta y cinco mil cochesOne hundred and thirty-five cars
When we say 101 thousand, "uno" becomes "un" for masculine nouns, and "una" for feminine nouns. For example:
Ciento un mil pájarosOne hundred and one thousand birds
Ciento una mil mujeresOne hundred and one thousand women
Here are other examples using hundreds of thousands:
Cuatrocientos cuarenta y cuatro mil niños.Four hundred and forty-four thousand boys.
Cuatrocientas cuarenta y cuatro mil niñas.Four hundred and forty-four thousand girls.
Novecientos sesenta y siete mil autobuses.Nine hundred and sixty-seven thousand buses.
Novecientas sesenta y siete mil cartas.Nine hundred and sixty-seven thousand letters.
Bear also in mind that if there are no tens, but only hundreds and units, there is no "y" ("and") between them unlike in English:
Quinientos dos mil candidatos.Five hundred and two thousand candidates (male).
Quinientas dos mil candidatas.Five hundred and two thousand candidates (female).
When the number is 21, 31, 41, 51, etc, and we are talking about "thousands" followed by a plural, feminine noun, i.e. 21.000 casas, 41.500 personas, 31.000 libras, etc, both the masculine and the feminine form are accepted. For example:
Setecientos veintiún mil dólares.Seven hundred and twenty-one thousand dollars.
Setecientas veintiuna mil libras.Seven hundred and twenty-one thousand pounds.
Setecientas veintiún mil libras.Seven hundred and twenty-one thousand pounds.
Note how with the noun "libras" (feminine plural) both veintiún and veintiuna can be used.
In Spanish one million is: un millón
To learn about large numbers see Expressing large numbers in Spanish: hundreds, thousands, millions and billions
When we mention a specific year, if we write in it digits it's written with no spaces. We read it as a normal number, i.e. as if we were saying a quantity, unlike in English where it is read in "twos", for example:
Nací en el año mil novecientos setenta y dos.I was born in 1972.
Not "diecinueve setenta y dos" (nineteen seventy-two)
Compró un perro en dos mil diez.He bought a dog in 2010.
Not "veinte diez" (twenty ten)
See also Expressing large numbers in Spanish: hundreds, thousands, millions and billions.
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