Cardinal Numbers 101+
While you may not think about it, numbers are adjectives too! Cardinal numbers are adjectives that answer the question, how many. They indicate a specific number of a noun but don’t have to match that noun in gender or number except for a few cases (uno , ciento ).
To form numbers 101-199, combine the number for 100 (ciento) with any number below 100.
Notice that you do not use y to separate the hundreds from tens. Y is only used in numbers 31-99 and other multiples of those numbers (131-199, 231-299, 331-399, etc.)
To form multiples of 100, most numbers are a combination of the numbers 1-9 + cientos, the plural form of ciento. There are, however, exceptions, so keep an eye out!
To form numbers up to 999, apply the rules you have already learned.
Above 999,999, you just need to learn the words for one million (un millón ) and one billion (mil millones ) and follow all the previous rules.
Note on extremely large numbers:
In English, the pattern of number grouping generally repeats itself after every three digits so that a newly named number grouping occurs at each successive interval.
- 1,000 = one thousand
- 1,000,000 = one million
- 1,000,000,000 = one billion
- 1,000,000,000,000 = one trillion
In Spanish, however, the pattern of introducing new numerical terms occurs once every six digits. Instead of introducing the term billón after 999,999,999 (as it is in English), it is only introduced after exhausting the thousand million/mil millones place value holders, which creates several false cognates!