Expressing numbers 70 to 99

Between 20 and 69, the numbers follow the same pattern:

20: vingt  -> 23: vingt-trois
40: quarante   ->  41: quarante et un
Note: No hyphen with 'et'

70 = soixante-dix

In French, we actually say "sixty-ten" (60 + 10) to express 'seventy'.

71 = 60 + 11 = soixante et onze    (No hyphen)
72 = 60 + 12 = soixante-douze
73 = 60 + 13 = soixante-treize
74 = 60 + 14 = soixante-quatorze
75 = 60 + 15 = soixante-quinze
76 = 60 + 16 = soixante-seize
77 = 60 + 17 = soixante-dix-sept
78 = 60 + 18 = soixante-dix-huit
79 = 60 + 19 = soixante-dix-neuf

80 = quatre-vingts

In French, to express 'eighty', we actually say "four-twenties
(4 x 20).

Note that quatre-vingts takes an 's' when on its own, but the 's' disappears when it is followed by another number.

85 = quatre-vingt-cinq
89 = quatre-vingt-neuf

Note also that 81 does "quatre-vingt-un" with no et  inbetween.

90 = quatre-vingt-dix

As for seventy, ninety becomes "eighty-ten" (80 + 10) in French.

91 = 80 + 11 = quatre-vingt-onze    (Note: NO et, just like 81)
92 = 80 + 12 = quatre-vingt-douze
93 = 80 + 13 = quatre-vingt-treize
94 = 80 + 14 = quatre-vingt-quatorze
95 = 80 + 15 = quatre-vingt-quinze
96 = 80 + 16 = quatre-vingt-seize
97 = 80 + 17 = quatre-vingt-dix-sept
98 = 80 + 18 = quatre-vingt-dix-huit
99 = 80 + 19 = quatre-vingt-dix-neuf

Numbers + nouns

Ma grand-mère a quatre-vingt-quatorze ans.My grandmother is ninety-four years old.

Mon oncle a soixante-douze poules.My uncle has seventy-two hens.

Laurent a dépensé soixante-dix-huit euros hier.Laurent spent seventy-eight euros yesterday.

J'ai quatre-vingt-trois dollars dans ma tirelire.I have eighty-three dollars in my piggy bank.

Il y a quatre-vingt-dix-neuf animaux dans ce zoo.There are ninety-nine animals in that zoo.

Note that to say how many things there are, you simply use the number + thing (plural after 1), for numbers up to 999.

For larger numbers, see lesson Expressing large numbers: thousands, millions and billions

Examples and resources

quatre-vingtseighty
soixante-dix-septseventy-seven
J'ai quatre-vingt-trois dollars dans ma tirelire.I have eighty-three dollars in my piggy bank.
quatre-vingt-quinzeninety-five
soixante-douzeseventy-two
Laurent a dépensé soixante-dix-huit euros hier.Laurent spent seventy-eight euros yesterday.
quatre-vingt-quatorzeninety-four
Ma grand-mère a quatre-vingt-quatorze ans.My grandmother is ninety-four years old.
quatre-vingt-huiteighty-eight
Mon oncle a soixante-douze poules.My uncle has seventy-two hens.
quatre-vingt-troiseighty-three
Il y a quatre-vingt-dix-neuf animaux dans ce zoo.There are ninety-nine animals in that zoo.

Q&A Forum 6 questions, 10 answers

CharlesC1Kwiziq community member

91–error in lesson?

In the lesson, for 91, it says: “Note: NO et, just like 81.” Do you mean just like 71, which, like 91, includes onze?

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

The comment for 91 says: "No et, just like 81," and this is correct:

61 -- soixante et un (WITH et)

71 -- soixante et onze (WITH et)

81 -- quatre-vingt-un (no et)

91 -- quatre vingt-onze (no et)

91–error in lesson?

In the lesson, for 91, it says: “Note: NO et, just like 81.” Do you mean just like 71, which, like 91, includes onze?

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MartinA1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

So only hyphenated between numbers

Bonjour,

Please confirm, are we saying that the hyphen is only used between numbers and never when 'et' is involved?

Merci

Hi Martin,

Yes, this rule is true for numbers up to 100.

So only hyphenated between numbers

Bonjour,

Please confirm, are we saying that the hyphen is only used between numbers and never when 'et' is involved?

Merci

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TaylorA1Kwiziq community member

Doesn't Sound Right

Laurent a dépensé soixante-dix-huit euros hier.

Does anyone else hear "euros l'hier"?

Thanks for pointing this out Taylor, we have changed it.

We hope you like it!

Doesn't Sound Right

Laurent a dépensé soixante-dix-huit euros hier.

Does anyone else hear "euros l'hier"?

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SandraA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Question doesn’t make sense

"Elle habite à quatre-vingts kilomètres d'ici." How far does she live?

This is not a full sentence. ‘How far does she live?’ How far does she live from what?

Hi Sandra,

Q: How far does she live? Elle habite loin d'ici?

A: She lives eighty km from hereElle habite à quatre-vingts km d'ici

Ici= here

wherever you want it to be, it is an example testing numbers.

Hope this helps!

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

"How far does she live" is a bit colloquial in English (at least to my American trained ears). It would be better to say "How far away..." or "How far off..." or "How far from here...".

Question doesn’t make sense

"Elle habite à quatre-vingts kilomètres d'ici." How far does she live?

This is not a full sentence. ‘How far does she live?’ How far does she live from what?

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Doubts in Dialects

Mais .......   People in Switzerland  use Septante for Soxiante-Dix And Nonante for Quatre-Vingts

What if we write these in kwiz/test ?

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

They'd be graded as a mistake. But it is an interesting question also from a linguistic and historic point of view. Because septante, huitante/octante nd nonante used to be the proper way in France, too, up to about 100 or so years ago.

Here is a discussion you might find interesting: https://forum.wordreference.com/threads/french-numbers-septante-huitante-octante-nonante-soixante-dix-quatre-vingts-quatre-vingt-dix.4205/

And for the record, I find quatre-vingt-dix-neuf a ludicrous way to cobble together 99: 4-20-10-9? Come on! :)

CécileKwiziq team member

Unfortunately the use of these archaic numbers still make French people smile and are not acceptable in French from France.

MirandaA1Kwiziq community member

In Belgium they use Septante, Nonante too :)

Doubts in Dialects

Mais .......   People in Switzerland  use Septante for Soxiante-Dix And Nonante for Quatre-Vingts

What if we write these in kwiz/test ?

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StevenB1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Alternative Numbers

Just a fun fact for those who might not know - A lot of Swiss and Belgians will use septante (70), huitante (80) and nonante (90) to replace soixante-dix, quatre-vingts and quatre-vingt-dix

Hi Steven,

Your will hear 'octante' also for 80  (quatre-vingt) and a combination of all in Belgium and certain cantons of Switzerland but I believe time are changing...

However, what is certain and that these numbers are very amusing to French ears!

Hope this helps!

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hi Steven,

that would really make a lot of sense. The number 99 being represented in French as : 4 times 20 plus 19 (quatre-vingt-dix-huit) requires some getting used to.

-- Chris.

Alternative Numbers

Just a fun fact for those who might not know - A lot of Swiss and Belgians will use septante (70), huitante (80) and nonante (90) to replace soixante-dix, quatre-vingts and quatre-vingt-dix

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