Italian Numbers: A Guide for Beginners

My English teacher at university was an Irish woman who had lived in Italy for over a decade. One day, she admitted to us that numbers were still a pain for her. Having learned several languages myself, I know firsthand how difficult it is to master numbers in a foreign language. But whether you visit Italy on vacation or live here, you will notice that numbers are everywhere: departure dates, prices, bills, ticket numbers, and so on. That is why you should try to master them from the beginning of your learning journey.

Italian Numbers 1 – 100

Numbers 0 – 20

The first 19 numbers have to be learned by heart.

0Zero
1Uno
2Due
3Tre
4Quattro
5Cinque
6Sei
7Sette
8Otto
9Nove
10Dieci
11Undici
12Dodici
13Tredici
14Quattordici
15Quindici
16Sedici
17Diciassette
18Diciotto
19Diciannove
20Venti
Italian numbers 0-20

Numbers 20 – 100

To learn the numbers from 20 to 99, it’s preferable to learn the tens first.

20Venti
30Trenta
40Quaranta
50Cinquanta
60Sessanta
70Settanta
80Ottanta
90Novanta
Italian decimals

Once you’ve memorized these numbers, all you have to do now is match them to the numbers 1 through 9.

Examples:

21Ventuno
22Ventidue
23Ventitré
24Ventiquattro
25Venticinque
26Ventisei
27Ventisette
28Ventotto
29Ventinove
Italian numbers 21-29

Now repeat the pattern through number 99. With a couple of exceptions, this is a fairly consistent pattern.

When using the numbers 1 (uno) and 8 (otto), the decimal numbers will drop the last vowel. The reason for this is to avoid using two vowel sounds at the same time.

So you’ll say:

Vent-uno, instead of ventiuno (21)

Vent-otto, instead of venti-otto (28)

The same pattern applies for all numbers with 1 and 8 through 99.For example:

  • 58 is cinquantotto 
  • 71 is settantuno
  • 81 is ottantuno
  • etc…

Italian Numbers 100 – 999 

Unlike English, we don’t say “One Hundred” in Italian; instead, we say “cento,” which means “hundred” by itself. “Cento” is an invariable word, so it’s always the same.

To express a multiple of “cento”, add numbers 1-9 before “cento”.

100Cento (and NOT ‘un cento’)
200Duecento
300Trecento
400Quattrocento
500Cinquecento
600Seicento
700Settecento
800Ottocento
900Novecento
Italian hundreds

How to read the hundred in Italian:

To read the hundreds in Italian, follow this pattern.

hundreds + decimals  

for example:

112 

cento + dodici = centododici

345 

trecento + quarantacinque = trecentoquarantacinque  

450

quattrocento + cinquanta = quattrocentocinquanta 

The pattern is the same through 999! 

Italian Numbers 1000 – 1 million 

The Italian word for a thousand is “mille”.

When it comes to multiples of a thousand, mille becomes “mila”.

1000Mille (and NOT ‘un mila’)
2000Duemila
3000Tremila
4000Quattromila
5000Cinquemila
6000Seimila
7000Settemila
8000Ottomila
9000Novemila
10000Diecimila
20000Ventimila
70000Settantamila
100000Centomila
Italian thousands

How to read the thousands in Italian

To read the thousands in Italian you will follow this order 

thousand + hundred + decimals 

For example:

1654 

mille + seicento + cinquantaquattro  

5647

cinque + mila + seicento + quarantasette

10.220

dieci + mila + duecento + venti 

600.410

seicento + mila + quattrocento + dieci 

The pattern is the same through 999999! 

The word for  million is  milione

the word for billion is miliardo 

How to say “the years” in Italian

English speakers divide the year into two parts, so 2023 is read as twenty-twentythree.  This is not possible in Italian.

To read a year, you should read it as a regular number, e.g. two thousand twenty-three.

So, 2023 is read duemilaventitre

How to say a date in Italian

Let’s use the day of the Unification of Italy, as an example:

  • 17 marzo 1861 (diciassette marzo milleottocentosessantuno)

Unlike English, where you have  month + number + year, the Italian pattern goes like this: number + month + year .

Another significant difference from English is the use of ordinal numbers rather than cardinal ones (17 and not 17th)

Useful expressions with numbers

ItalianEnglish
Una decinaA dozen
Centinaia diHundreds of
Migliaia diThousands of

About the Author

Serena Capilli

I’m the creative force behind both this blog and my collection of short stories in simple Italian for language learners, available on Amazon.

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Ciao, I'm Serena!

I’m the creative force behind both this blog and my collection of short stories in simple Italian for language learners, available on Amazon.

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