Portuguese Numbers (With Audio): How to Count From 1 to Infinity

After the alphabet and how each letter sounds, learning how to count is one of the most fundamental steps to mastering any foreign language. As part of our series focusing on the language of Camões, we’ve prepared a very comprehensive article on numbers in Portuguese. 

Oh, and as soon as you feel like you can count 1 to 10 in Portuguese in a heartbeat, check out our post on the many ways to say “hello” and ask “how are you?” to make a great first impression on locals!

Shall we?

First off, watch out for gender agreement

Even country names in Portuguese are either masculine (green), feminine (purple), or neutral (yellow). No common nouns, however, are neutral. | Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

In case you’re familiar with other Romance languages (Spanish, Italian, French, and Romanian being the most spoken), you’re already aware that most articles, nouns, adjectives, pronouns, and even some verb forms are gendered. The trickiest part is that objects are either masculine or feminine too: you say duas cadeiras (meaning “two chairs”), but dois livros, not duas (i.e. “two books”).

In Portuguese, while you can more or less trust words ending in “a” to be feminine and those ending in “o” to be masculine, it gets completely random with ones ending in “e”: you say vinte e uma árvores (21 trees) and trinta e dois dentes (32 teeth).

The good news is that, from 1 through 100, only 1 and 2 (alone or following 20 through 90) are gendered. It then gets slightly tougher after 200. Don’t blame numbers, though! They’re only agreeing with whatever they’re determining.

Portuguese numbers from 1-10

Without further ado, let’s start off with the basics:

How to count 11-100 in Portuguese

Just because 1-10 are absolutely indispensable, doesn’t mean you can ignore numbers 11-100. In fact, in my opinion they’re equally essential. So take your time to learn them, yet make that one of the first goals of your Portuguese studies.

How to count in Portuguese from 101-1000

In addition to being useful to name years before the current millennium, the following numbers serve a very particular purpose in Brazil: virtually all apartments are numbered using hundreds (or early thousands on the 10th floor and upwards).

* In Portuguese, you separate decimals with commas and thousands with periods. Yet when writing years lower than 10.000, typically no separators are used (e.g. 2021).

Counting in Portuguese from 1001+

You shouldn’t fret about larger numbers, but do add them to the list of contents you should cover at some point. After all, you need them to name years, for example. Also, can you picture yourself talking about the global economy in Portuguese? Fancy!

  • 1.001 — mil e um/uma
  • 1.002 — mil e dois/duas
  • 1.121 — mil cento e vinte e um/uma
  • 1.200 — mil e duzentos/duzentas
  • 1.201 — mil duzentos e um/mil duzentas e uma
  • 1.300 — mil e trezentos/trezentas
  • 1.993 — mil novecentos e noventa e três/mil novecentas e noventa e três
  • 2.000 — dois mil
  • 2.001 — dois mil e um/duas mil e uma
  • 2.021 — dois mil e vinte e um/duas mil e vinte e uma
  • 2.222 — dois mil duzentos e vinte e dois/duas mil duzentas e vinte e duas
  • 3.000 — três mil
  • 10.000 — dez mil
  • 100.000 — cem mil
  • 100.001 — cem mil e um/uma
  • 101.000 — cento e um mil/cento e uma mil
  • 200.000 — duzentos mil/duzentas mil
  • 201.000 — duzentos e um mil/duzentas e uma mil
  • 1.000.000 — um milhão
  • 1.100.001 — um milhão, cem mil e um/uma
  • 1.200.000 — um milhão e duzentos mil/um milhão e duzentas mil
  • 5.632.481 — cinco milhões, seiscentos e trinta e dois mil, quatrocentos e oitenta e um/cinco milhões, seiscentas e trinta e duas mil, quatrocentas e oitenta e uma
  • 1.00.000.000 — mil milhões (PT) / um bilhão (BR)
  • 1.000.000.000.000 — um bilião (PT) / um trilhão (BR)

Ordinal numbers in Portuguese

While learning these is important if you really want to become fluent in Portuguese, don’t be too hard on yourself: even native speakers have a hard time with some ordinals, especially 50th through 80th. (Also, we haven’t included 200th through 900th because they sound too weird and are hardly used anyway.)

  • 1º/1ª — primeiro/primeira
  • 2º/2ª — segundo/segunda
  • 3º/3ª — terceiro/terceira
  • 4º/4ª — quarto/quarta
  • 5º/5ª — quinto/quinta
  • 6º/6ª — sexto/sexta
  • 7º/7ª — sétimo/sétima
  • 8º/8ª — oitavo/oitava
  • 9º/9ª — nono/nona
  • 10º/10ª — décimo/décima
  • 11º/11ª — décimo primeiro/décima primeira
  • 12º/12ª — décimo segundo/décima segunda
  • 20º/20ª — vigésimo/vigésima
  • 21º/21ª — vigésimo primeiro/vigésima primeira
  • 30º/30ª — trigésimo/trigésima
  • 40º/40ª — quadragésimo/quadragésima
  • 50º/50ª — quinquagésimo/quinquagésima
  • 60º/60ª — sexagésimo/sexagésima
  • 70º/70ª — septuagésimo/septuagésima
  • 80º/80ª — octogésimo/octogésima
  • 90º/90ª — nonagésimo/nonagésima
  • 100º/100ª — centésimo/centésima
  • 1000º/1000ª — milésimo/milésima
  • 1.000.000º/1.000.000ª — milionésimo/milionésima

Decimal numbers in Portuguese

You’ll be relieved to find out that decimals are the easiest bit about Portuguese numbers. You simply say the integer, then vírgula (i.e. comma), then the fractional part. You might occasionally hear ponto (“point”) instead of vírgula due to the influence of English over native speakers.

Take a look at a few examples:

  • 0,62 — zero vírgula sessenta e dois
  • 1,3 — um vírgula três
  • 10,5 — dez vírgula cinco or more commonly dez e meio
  • 41,4 — quarenta e um vírgula quatro
  • 78,1 — setenta e oito vírgula um
  • 126,7 — cento e vinte e seis vírgula sete
  • 237,9 — duzentos e trinta e sete vírgula nove

Telling the time in Portuguese

The only thing to bear in mind here is that the time in Portuguese-speaking countries is usually shown through a 24-hour format (though rarely said that way).

A couple specifics apply, as you can see below, but other than that replying to que horas são? (i.e. “what time is it?”) is pretty straightforward.

  • 00:04 — É meia-noite e quatro.
  • 02:25 — São duas e vinte e cinco (da manhã).

* 1-11 AM, 1-5 PM, and 7-11 PM are often followed by da manhã (“in the morning”), da tarde (“in the afternoon”), and da noite (“in the evening”) respectively. 6 P.M. can, depending on the season and personal preferences, be understood to be either tarde or noite.

  • 04:50 — São quatro e cinquenta (da manhã). / São (or Faltam) dez para as cinco (da manhã).

* People routinely say it’s 20, 15, 10, or 5 minutes to the next hour (yet almost never 25 minutes).

  • 12:12 — É meio-dia e doze. 
  • 12:40 — É meio-dia e quarenta. / São (or Faltam) vinte para a uma (da tarde).
  • 13:00 — É uma hora em ponto. (“It’s one o’clock PM.”) / São treze horas. (not very common)
  • 17:36 — São cinco e trinta e seis da tarde.
  • 18:00 — São seis horas (da tarde/da noite). / São dezoito horas em ponto. (not very common)
  • 21:45 — São nove e quarenta e cinco (da noite). / São (or Faltam) quinze para as dez (da noite).

How to say the date in Portuguese

Now, there are two sets of words we need to run over to help you from freezing whenever someone asks you que dia é hoje? (“what’s today’s date?”): days of the week and months in Portuguese. By the way, unlike English, neither should be capitalized (except when in the beginning of sentences, naturally).

So let’s get down to work:

1. Months:

2. Days of the Week:

As in the United States, Sunday is considered the first day of the week in Portugal, Brazil, and Mozambique. Angola, Cabo Verde, Guinea-Bissau, São Tomé and Príncipe, and Timor-Leste, on the other hand, start their calendars on Mondays, just like much of Europe.

You’ll notice how weekdays are radically different from most other western languages, which pay tribute to ancient Roman or Norse deities. That’s because Portuguese was the only Romance language to adopt the names used in Ecclesiastical Latin, which purged the days of the week of pagan influences upon the Christian conversion of the Roman Empire. 

* In colloquial usage, feira is generally omitted.

3. Day/Month/Year

Phew! Now we’re finally ready to say dates as a native Portuguese speaker would.  

  • 01/03/1565 — terça-feira, primeiro de março de mil quinhentos e sessenta e cinco

* You normally use the ordinal primeiro for the first day of each month.

  • 07/09/1822 — sábado, sete de setembro de mil oitocentos e vinte e dois
  • 11/11/1918 — segunda-feira, onze de novembro de mil novecentos e dezoito
  • 28/08/1963 — quarta-feira, vinte e oito de agosto de mil novecentos e sessenta e três
  • 25/04/1974 — quinta-feira, vinte e cinco de abril de mil novecentos e setenta e quatro
  • 20/01/2013 — domingo, vinte de janeiro de dois mil e treze
  • 31/12/2021 — sexta-feira, trinta e um de dezembro de dois mil e vinte e um

Going shopping and asking the price

Unless you can pull a Cher Horowitz and shop without minding the price tag, chances are you’ll have to work on the vocab we’re introducing in this section.

The best way to get a grip of what a basic interaction in Portuguese with a salesperson would involve is through practical examples. Just remember that the verb custar (“to cost”) should be conjugated in either singular or plural (custa/custam). 

And if you’re a beginner, don’t worry too much about getting the gender of every word right: unless you’re talking about an ambiguous thing, most native speakers will understand you over minor mistakes. Let’s see:

Exchange 1

Comprador (buyer): Quanto custam estes sapatos? (“How much do these shoes cost?”)

Vendedor (seller): Custam €72,99 [setenta e dois euros e noventa e nove cêntimos].

Comprador: Conseguiria dar um desconto? (“Could you do me a deal on this?”)

Vendedor: Sim/não, senhor/a. (“Yes/no, sir/ma’am.”)

Exchange 2

Comprador: Quanto custa aquele vestido (“that dress”)?

Vendedor: Custa R$67,15 [sessenta e sete reais e quinze centavos].

Comprador: Tem troco para cem? (“Do you have change for a hundred?”)

Vendedor: Não, senhor/a, mas aceito cartão. (“No sir/ma’am, but I accept card payments.”)

Exchange 3

Comprador: Quanto custa esta mochila (“this backpack”)?

Vendedor: Custa 8.250 Kz [oito mil duzentos e cinquenta kwanzas].

Comprador: Ótimo, vou levá-la. Poderia embalá-la para presente, se faz favor? (“Great, I’ll take it. Could you gift-wrap it, please?”)

Exchanging phone numbers in Portuguese

In Portuguese, there’s more than one way to ask someone what their phone number is. That’s partly due to different forms of address according to the level of formality (mostly restricted to Portugal, as we’ve briefly discussed on our “how are you?” post).

What’s more, much like Americans call cell phones what the British know as mobiles, Brazilians and the Portuguese can’t agree on a common name for their portable devices.

The first two digits of a Brazilian phone number always stand for the area code (locally known as DDD). Portugal, in turn, applies three-digit area codes exclusively to landlines. And in case you’re wondering, the latter’s country code is +351, whereas to call the South American country you have to dial +55 first.

Question:

Answer:

  • PT: Meu número é 921-684-309 [nove-dois-um, seis-oito-quatro, três-zero-nove].
  • BR: Meu número é 11 9-9843-1565 [onze, nove, nove-oito-quatro-três, quinze-meia-cinco].

* In Brazil, in sequences like phone numbers, seis usually becomes meia, from meia dúzia (i.e. half a dozen), so as to avoid confusion with três.

Feeling a bit overwhelmed after such a thorough lesson on numbers in Portuguese? That’s perfectly normal. Yet if you try to learn them one step at a time, sooner than you think you’ll be an expert at this major aspect of studying Portuguese.

Numbers 1-100 should definitely be your priority, but you’ll be using all the other stuff we’ve been through on a regular basis whenever you visit a Portuguese-speaking country.

And while you’re at it, make sure to go over our article on how to say hello in Portuguese, as well as the one on Portuguese days of the week, months, and seasons.

Leave a Comment