The difference between "cien y ciento" and how you say the year "19 whatever" in Spanish

The difference between "cien y ciento" and how you say the year "19 whatever" in Spanish


Ok guys, this is probably trivial but it's one of those things that goes through my head at 3:00 in the morning... So here goes:

When I was learning how to count in Spanish, I was taught that 100 was "cien" but when I try to say 101 I'm not sure how to say that. Is it: uno cien y uno, o ciento uno, o un cien y uno? and do you say 200 as "dos cien" or "dos cientos"?

Next, when I say that my daughter was born in 1998, in English I say "nineteen ninety-eight" but in spanish I was taught to say one thousand nine hundred ninety eight. Do they ever say "diecinueve noventa y ocho"? Do you say 2009 as dos mil nueve or could you say veinte cero nueve or even just cero nueve?

updated MAR 18, 2015
posted by mthrsupior

2 Answers


When standing alone (that is, being 100 exactly) ciento is shortened to cien before preceding a noun of either gender; the longer form is used within longer numbers (except when preceding mil).

Examples: cien lápices (100 pencils), cien plumas (100 pens), ciento tres lápices (103 pencils), ciento tres plumas (103 pens), cien mil lápices (100,000 pencils), cien mil plumas (100,000 pens)


1999 - mil novecientos noventa y ocho

2008 - dos mil nueve

updated MAR 18, 2015
edited by Issabela
posted by Issabela
¡Muy bien Issabela! Excelente explicación - RicardoP, OCT 29, 2009
Muchas gracias Issabela! - mthrsupior, OCT 29, 2009
Issabela, your digit values do not match the palabras - 002f81b3, MAR 18, 2015

Hi mth, welcome to the forumsmile

Ciento uno is the correct form. Doscientos , one word.

El año dos mil nueve, we do not say the year like in English, just as a normal numberwink

updated OCT 29, 2009
edited by 00494d19
posted by 00494d19
"El año dos mil nueve" mi querida Heidita - RicardoP, OCT 29, 2009
jejejeje, I had to read that over and over .....Jesus, no lo veía, jejeje, soy un desastre! - 00494d19, OCT 29, 2009
Aquí no perdonamos ni media, como decimos en Colombia - RicardoP, OCT 29, 2009
as in English (or in the English way) not like in English. Finally got my chance! - 00515f39, OCT 29, 2009
Heidita, por favor no digas eso (soy un desastre), no es para tanto - RicardoP, OCT 29, 2009
Yo creo que es más bien la hora, pues deben ser como las 12 PM en España, aquí en América apenas son las 6 PM - RicardoP, OCT 29, 2009
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