Spanish Numbers Days and Months
There are no special tricks with any of the things remembered in this article – it’s just a case of remembering them.
NumbersThe Spanish number system is pretty straightforward:
0 cero, 1 uno/una, 2 dos, 3 tres, 4 cuatro, 5 cinco, 6 seis, 7 siete, 8 ocho, 9 nueve, 10 diez, 11 once, 12 doce, 13 trece, 14 catorce, 15 quince, 16 dieciseís, 17 diecisiete, 18 dieciocho, 19 diecinueve, 20 veinte, 21 veintino/a, 22 veinitdós, 23 veintrés, 24 veinticuatro, 25 veinticinco, 26 veintiséis, 27 veintiocho, 28 veintiocho, 29 veintinueve, 30 treinta, 31 treinta y uno/a (etc.), 40 cuarenta, 50 cincuenta, 60 sesenta, 70 setenta, 80 ochenta, 90 noventa, 100 cien/ciento, 200 doscientos, 500 quinientos, 900 novecientos, 1000 mil, 2000 dos mil.
Un or Uno?Uno loses its final vowel in front of a masculine noun or noun phrase, as does una before nouns beginning with stressed ‘a’ or ‘ha’. In the same way, veintiuno is also shortened.
So, one tiger would be un tigre.
But ‘bring a new one’ is Traiga uno nuevo.
Similarly, 21,000 men is veintiún mil hombres,
But ‘There are only 21’ would be Solo hay veintiuno.
Ordinal NumbersThese are numbers which in English translate as first, second, third etc.
In Spanish, these must agree with the noun they are describing, in number and gender.
For example, ‘the fifth book’ would be el quinto libro, but la quinta casa is how to say ‘the fifth house.’
Here they are:
First primero(a), Second segundo(a), Third tercero(a), Fourth cuarto(a), Fifth quinto(a), Sixth sexto(a), Seventh séptimo(a), Eighth octavo(a), Ninth noveno(a), Tenth décimo(a)
The use of these ordinal numbers above 10 is declining – and confined to official and formal language. However, the word for twelfth, doceavo, is widely accepted.
Primero and tercero lose their final letter before a singular masculine noun. So – es primero (he’s first) BUT el tercer libro – the third book.
Days of the WeekThe days of the week in Spanish are easy enough to remember, especially given their similarity to their French equivalents. Note the lack of an initial capital letter:
Monday - lunes, Tuesday - martes, Wednesday - miércoles, Thursday - jueves, Friday - viernes, Saturday - sábado, Sunday - domingo
The word for today is hoy, for yesterday ayer, and for tomorrow (you probably know this one) mañana. If you are saying ‘on’ a certain day, use ‘el’ – so that ‘on Thursday’ would be ‘el jueves.’
Let’s have a look at the seasons:
el invierno is winter, el otoño is autumn, el verano is summer, and la primerva is spring. (This last one is also the word for primrose.) To say ‘a season the year, a Spanish speaker will say ‘una estación del año’; literally a station of the year.
Months of the Year (Los Meses del Año)The months of the year are also quite similar to our own words for them – note that, just like days of the week, generally a capital letter is not used:
enero - January, febrero - February, marzo - March, abril - April, mayo - May, junio - June, julio - July, agosto - August, setiembre September, octubre - October, noviembre - November, diciembre - December,
The word for month is un mes.
Saying the Date (La Fecha) in Spanish
In Spanish you express the date, as follows:
the + (number) + of + (month)
So the 5th of May is el cinco de mayo – literally ‘the five of May’, rather than the fifth. The first day of the month is the exception to this, so that you would say el primero de abril, although el uno de abril is also sometimes heard.
To say ‘It’s the ninth of June’, say ‘Es el nueve de junio.’ (In English we might say June the ninth or the ninth of June, but in Spanish the word order is never reversed.)