How to count in Dutch (plus audio, pronunciation)

How to count in Dutch? With a lot of things in our life like time, money, travelling and business situations you need to be able to understand or say Dutch numbers.

For English-speaking people Dutch numbers have some tricky aspects.

We’re going to look at :

  1. Dutch numbers until 1-10:
  2. Dutch numbers until 11-20:
  3. Dutch numbers until 21-29
  4. Dutch numbers until 30-90
  5. Dutch Ordinal Numbers 1-10

Dutch numbers until 1-10:

As in almost any language you’ll have to simply learn the numbers until 10 by heart: sometimes you recognize elements of other languages, sometimes not.

0 nul nuhl
1 een ayn
2 twee tvay
3 drie dree
4 vier feer
5 vijf fayf
6 zes zes
7 zeven zay-fern
8 acht akht
9 negen nay-khern
10 tien teen
0 nul
1 een
2 twee
3 drie
4 vier
5 vijf
6 zes
7 zeven
8 acht
9 negen
10 tien

Dutch numbers until 11-20:

We see that some structure starts to appear. Starting from 15 to 19, notice the built up:

For example 15 is just Vijf (five)+ Tien (ten) = Vijftien

11 elf elf
12 twaalf tvaalf
13 dertien dehr-teen
14 veertien fayr-teen
15 vijftien fayf-teen
16 zestien zes-teen
17 zeventien zay-fern-teen
18 achttien akh-teen
19 negentien naykh-ern-teen
20 twintig tvin-tikh
11 elf
12 twaalf
13 dertien
14 veertien
15 vijftien
16 zestien
17 zeventien
18 achttien
19 negentien
20 twintig

Dutch numbers until 21-29

One of the most difficult things in the Dutch counting, are the numbers 21 till 99. Other than in English, the Dutch say the last number first. This structure repeats itself until number 99.  (Complex numbers until 99 are typically written as one word)

21 (twenty one) is in Dutch: een-en-twintig (one-and-twenty).

Dutch starts with “één” and then adds “en twintig”

Let’s practice number 22

Start saying “twee” and then add the rest: “en twintig”. Try to do this until 29 

21 eenentwintigayn-ern-tvin-tikh
22 tweeëntwintigtvay-ern-tvin-tikh
23 drieëntwintigdree-ern-tvin-tikh
24 vierentwintigfeer-ern-tvin-tikh
25 vijfentwintigfayf-ern-tvin-tikh
26 zesentwintigzes-ern-tvin-tikh
27 zevenentwintigzay-fern-ern-tvin-tikh
28 achtentwintigakh-tern-tvin-tikh
29 negenentwintignay-khern-ern-tvin-tikh
21 eenentwintig
22 tweeëntwintig
23 drieëntwintig
24 vierentwintig
25 vijfentwintig
26 zesentwintig
27 zevenentwintig
28 achtentwintig
29 negenentwintig

The numbers from 21 onwards we place two dots on the en (and) when it is preceded by a number ending in an e – twee or drie. So, twenty-two would be tweeëntwintig and eighty-three would be drieëntachtig. This ë, a so-called trema, is placed in a word to indicate that the second (or third) e should actually be pronounced separately and is not just a long vowel. So the word is drie – ën- tach -tig.

Dutch numbers until 30-90

With the Dutch numbers 30-99 we can apply the same structure as before.
So 31: één, add en, add dertig = eenendertig

The 30 to 90 are following:

30 dertig dehr-tikh
40 veertig fier-tikh
50 vijftig fayf-tikh
60 zestig zes-tikh
70 zeventig zay-fern-tikh
80 tachtig takh-tikh
90 negentig nay-khern-tikh
30 dertig 
40 veertig 
50 vijftig 
60 zestig
70 zeventig
80 tachtig
90 negentig

Dutch Ordinal Numbers 1-10

Hopefully by now you know the basic numbers. But there are also numbers for sequences that are called ordinal numbers. Ordinal numbers tell the order of things in a set: first, second, third, etc. they do not show quantity. Ordinal numbers show rank or position. 

Here is a short summary of the Dutch Cardinal Numbers 1-10. Memorizing these Dutch ordinals will help you to express yourself in Dutch.

Here are the most frequently used ordinals:

1e eerste ayr-ster
2e tweede tvay-der
3e derde dehr-der
4e vierde feer-der
5e vijfde fayf-der
6e zesde zes-der
7e zevende zay-fern-der
8e achtste akh-ster
9e negende nay-khern-der
10e tiende teen-der
1e eerste 
2e tweede 
3e derde 
4e vierde 
5e vijfde 
6e zesde 
7e zevende 
8e achtste 
9e negende 
10e tiende 

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Being able to count is a big step towards interacting with people in Dutch. It will help you to get around and talk to and connect with Dutch people. People will appreciate that you are trying to speak Dutch. If you want to learn more common words and expressions, then please check out our other posts. 

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