Learning Danish Numbers


You may wonder why Danish numbers are somehow different than normal english numbers. Well it is not the number system, but they way they are spoken.

The Danish way of saying numbers is a bit unique and confusing. They use the same numeric system (1, 2, 3, etc.), but when they say a number like '26', it is literally 'six and twenty' instead of 'twenty-six'. This can be hard to grasp when people are giving you telephone numbers or addresses. The telephone number '36 74 21 86' is said (in Danish, of course) "six and thirty, four and seventy, one and twenty, six and eighty".

If that isn't bad enough, the pronunciation is often very hard for expats to grasp.

Telephone numbers are always given in double digits instead of single digits (e.g., '36-74-21-86' instead of '3-6-7-4-2-1-8-6'). Of course, it is okay to ask people to give you the numbers one at a time. Better to be sure than get the numbers wrong.

Below is a list of danish numbers so that you can have a better understanding.

P.S. You can put numbers in google translate and use the sound icon to hear each number.

0 - nul

1 - en

2 - to

3 - tre

4 - fire

5 - fem

6 - seks

7 - syv

8 - otte

9 - ni

10 - ti

11 - elleve

12 -tolv

13 - tretten

14 - fjorten

15 - femten

16 - seksten

17 - sytten

18 - atten

19 - nitten

20 - tyve

There is an interesting historical reason why Denmark has this system, so if interested you can learn more about it here.

30 - tredive

31 - enogtredive

32 -toogtredive

40 - fyrre

44 - fireogfyrre

45 - femogfyrre

can you see the pattern? this continues to 99

50 - halvtreds

60 - tres

70 - halvfjerds

80 - firs

90 - halvfems

100 - hundrede

150 - hundrede og halvtreds

200 - tohundrede

300 - trehundrede

1000 - tusind

2000 - totusinde

1,000,000 - million

1,000,000,000 - milliard

Note: the above rule about saying Danish numbers backwards does not start until you get to 'twenty-one'. Here are a few examples so that you can get the idea:

21- en og tyve (one and twenty)

49 - ni og fyrre (nine and forty)

86 - seks og firs (six and eighty)

The rule changes again when you get to one hundred. You don't say '3-1-1' for '113'. You say the number of hundreds and then the number as you would for the series 1-99. For example:

113 - et hundred og tretten (one hundred and thirteen)

456 - fire hundred seks og halvtreds (four hundred - six and fifty)

8576 - otte tusind fem hundred seks og halvfjerds (eight thousand - five hundred - six and seventy)

If you are going to be living in Denmark, it's important that you master this system of Danish numbers, since it applies to everything from banking and shopping to addresses and phone numbers - wherever you use numbers! It is not easy, but it can be learned.

Additional Danish Numbers Terms

Number - nummer

Half - halv

More - mere

Less - mindre

One half - en halv

One third - en tredjedel

One fourth - en kvart

One eight - en ottendedel

Two thirds - to tredjedele

Three quarters - trekvart

One and a half - halvanden

Two and a half - to en halv

First - første

(as in the first of june - første af juni)

Second - sekund

Third - tredje

Fourth - fjerde

Fifth - femte

Sixth - sjette

Seventh - syvende

Eight - ottende

Ninth - niende

Tenth - tiende

Last - sidste

Once - en gang

Twice - to gange

Well, when you master the danish numbers - try Danish dates and times. That is different too!

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