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6. Numerals

Cardinal numbers

Ones Ten and over 20 and over 30 and over
0 siro 10 (un) des 20 du des 30 tri des
1 un 11 des un 21 du des un 31 tri des un
2 du 12 des du 22 du des du 32 tri des du
3 tri 13 des tri 23 du des tri 33 tri des tri
4 nelu 14 des nelu 24 du des nelu 34 tri des nelu
5 lima 15 des lima 25 du des lima 35 tri des lima
6 luka 16 des luka 26 du des luka 36 tri des luka
7 cheti 17 des cheti 27 du des cheti 37 tri des cheti
8 bati 18 des bati 28 du des bati 38 tri des bati
9 tisa 19 des tisa 29 du des tisa 39 tri des tisa
Ones Tens Hundreds Thousands
1 un 10 (un) des 100 (un) sento 1000 (un) kilo
2 du 20 du des 200 du sento 2000 du kilo
3 tri 30 tri des 300 tri sento 3000 tri kilo
4 nelu 40 nelu des 400 nelu sento 4000 nelu kilo
5 lima 50 lima des 500 lima sento 5000 lima kilo
6 luka 60 luka des 600 luka sento 6000 luka kilo
7 cheti 70 cheti des 700 cheti sento 7000 cheti kilo
8 bati 80 bati des 800 bati sento 8000 bati kilo
9 tisa 90 tisa des 900 tisa sento 9000 tisa kilo

Greater numbers follow the same logic as above.

10'000 = un des kilo
100'000 = un sento kilo
1'000'000 = un mega
10'000'000 = un des mega
100'000'000 = un sento mega
1'000'000'000 = un giga

The numerals that are greater than one hundred are borrowed from the International System of Units (SI). They are used in scientific words in the whole world.

Prefix Symbol Base 10 Decimal
kilo k 10³ 1'000
mega M 10⁶ 1'000'000
giga G 10⁹ 1'000'000'000
tera T 10¹² 1'000'000'000'000
peta P 10¹⁵ 1'000'000'000'000'000
exa E 10¹⁸ 1'000'000'000'000'000'000
zeta Z 10²¹ 1'000'000'000'000'000'000'000
yota Y 10²⁴ 1'000'000'000'000'000'000'000'000

Cardinal number before noun

Quantity can be expressed with numerals and other quantity-words. They are put before the word or phrase that they qualify.

un sing – one star
du sing – two stars
tri sing – three stars
kam sing – few stars
poli sing – many stars

un dai kursi – one big chair
du dai kursi – two big chairs
tri hau kursi – three good chairs

Ordinal numbers

Ordinal numbers are created with the particle me.

  • un me – first
  • du me – second
  • tri me – third
  • nelu me – fourth
  • lima me – fifth
  • luka me – sixth
  • cheti me – seventh
  • bati me – eighth
  • tisa me – ninth
  • des me – tenth

They are placed before the modified noun like normal adjectives.

un me fen – the first part
du me fen – the second part
tri me fen – the third part

Also the words for previous, next, first and last use the same particle.

pre 'before, precede' → pre me 'previous, preceding'
pos 'after, follow' → pos me 'next, following'
shuru 'begin' → shuru me 'the first'
fine 'end' → fine me 'the last'

Ordinal numbers are put before cardinal numbers.

un me tri kupa kafe – the first three cups of coffee

Ordinal number after noun

Another way to form ordinal numbers is to place the cardinal number after the noun.

fen un – part one (the first part)
fen du – part two (the second part)
fen tri – part three (the third part)

Classifiers of measurement

The classifier of measurement is a word that occurs between a numeral and a noun. It indicates how the referent of the noun is measured, contained or packaged. Classifiers of measurement is an open class of words, which includes, among many others, litre 'liter', metre 'meter', botle 'bottle', kupa 'cup, mug', pake 'package', pote 'pot', saku 'bag, sack', tin 'can, tin' tong 'cask, barrel', van 'bowl'.

du litre jus – two liters of juice
tri metre kable – three meters of wire
un kupa kafe – a cup of cofee
du botle vin – two bottles of wine
tri saku patato – three sacks of potatoes
nelu tin limon jus – four cans of lemonade


Fractions are formed with the help of the word fen 'part'.

Fractions can be interpreted in two ways. Firstly, the word fen can be interpreted as a classifier of measurement. Then, for example, du fen tri is interpreted as 'two parts of three (parts)'. Secondly, the last numeral can be understood as an ordinal number that modifies fen. Then, for example, du fen tri is interpreted as 'two thirds'. Both interpretations lead to the same result that du fen tri stands for '2/3' in mathematical symbols.

un fen du – a half (½)
un fen nelu – one fourth, one quarter (¼)
tri fen nelu – three fourths, three quarters (¾)
un fen sento – one hundredth, one percent (1%)
un fen kilo – one thousandth, one permille (1‰)

Fractions are connected to their noun head with de ('of').

un fen du de hor – a half (of an) hour
lima des fen sento de jen – fifty percent of people
du fen tri de keke – two thirds of a cake

In addition, there is also a longer pattern for forming fractions. It uses the pattern X de Y fen ('X of Y parts').

un de du fen – one of two parts, a half (½)
un de nelu fen – one of four parts, a quarter (¼)
tri de nelu fen – three of four parts, three quarters (¾)
un de sento fen – one of hundred parts, a percent, (1%)
un de kilo fen – one of thousand parts, a permille, (1‰)

Date and time

Days of the week

Days of the week are named after celestial bodies according to the historical international system and they include the word den ('day, 24 hours').

  1. lunaden – Monday
  2. marisden – Tuesday
  3. merkurden – Wednesday
  4. mushinden – Thursday
  5. zukraden – Friday
  6. shaniden – Saturday
  7. solden – Sunday


Names of the months are made up of the number of the month and mes ('month') is used.

  1. mes un – January
  2. mes du – February
  3. mes tri – March
  4. mes nelu – April
  5. mes lima – May
  6. mes luka – June
  7. mes cheti – July
  8. mes bati – August
  9. mes tisa – September
  10. mes des – October
  11. mes des un – November
  12. mes des du – December

Date format

The date formats use the ordinal number after the noun pattern. The day, month and year ordered from the longest period of time to the shortest, i.e. day first and year last, or vice versa i.e. year first and day last. Month is always in the middle.

nen 2022 mes 9 den 17 ~ den 17 mes 9 nen 2002

There are also two short formats without the year.

mes 9 den 17 ~ den 17 mes 9

Telling time

Time can be told with the word hor ('hour'). The 24 hour clock is the standard.

hor des du – twelve o'clock
hor des du i tri des – twelve thirty, half past twelve
hor du des – eight PM
hor du des i des lima – quarter past eight PM