If 16 is dieciséis and 17 is diecisiete, then 14 in Spanish should be diecicuatro. That is what a student told me after I said to him: “Even if it doesn’t make sense to you, the only way to say 14 in Spanish is catorce, like it or not.”
One of the first skills beginner Spanish students gain is to express numbers in Spanish. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at 5 common mistakes beginners make regarding the numbers 15, 50, 500, 30, and 14 in Spanish.
We’ll also take a look at numbers that have gender like 1 (uno/una) and the 100s (doscientos/doscientas.) When you finish reading this blog post you should understand why saying “trescientos cuarenta y un cucharas” is wrong.
How Do You Say 14 in Spanish? Not “Diecicuatro”
14 in Spanish: Spelling and Pronunciation
Number 14 in Spanish is spelled “catorce.” A common mistake students make is to assume this number is spelled “diecicuatro” or “diez y cuatro,” but the only way to say 14 in Spanish is “catorce.”
The number 14 in Spanish is spelled “catorce” and pronounced /ka-tor-se/. When using this number in a sentence, you can use it in the same way that you would use the number 14 in English.
For instance, Valentine ‘s Day, “El Día de los Enamorados,” is on February 14th. How do you say February 14th in Spanish? It is pronounced “catorce (/katorse/) de febrero.”
0 to 14 in Spanish Spelling
- 0 – cero
- 1 – uno
- 2 – dos
- 3 – tres
- 4 – cuatro
- 5 – cinco
- 6 – seis
- 7 – siete
- 8 – ocho
- 9 – nueve
- 10 – diez
- 11 – once
- 12 – doce
- 13 – trece
- 14 – catorce
Mistaking the Numbers 15, 50 and 500
Beginners tend to mistake the numbers 15, 50 and 500 in Spanish. The problem is that even though number 5 is “cinco,” the numbers 15 and 500 do not include the word “cinco” within them.
- 5 – cinco
- 15 – quince
- 50 – cincuenta
- 500 – quinientos
Both 15 and 500 start with the syllable “quin,” which derives from Latin words. In Latin, these numbers are quinque (cinco), quindĕcim (quince), quinquaginta (cincuenta), quingenti (quinientos).
One of the mistakes most students make is assuming that 500 is cincocientos or quincecientos. Now you know that the correct spelling of 500 in Spanish is “quinientos.”
A similar mistake happens with 70 and 90 in Spanish. Unfortunately, sietenta and nueventa do not exist. The correct ways to say 70 and 90 in Spanish are “setenta” and “noventa.” This is also the case for 700, “setecientos,” and 900, “novecientos.”
Do Not Say These
All of these are made up numbers that do not exist:
- diez y cinco
Pronunciation of Number 30: A Common Mistake
Another common mistake Spanish students make when they study the numbers in Spanish is to mispronounce ‘30’. The number 30 in Spanish is “treinta.”
Beginners tend to struggle with this number. Many students mispronounce “treinta” by switching the order of the vowels in the first syllable. Note that in the first syllable of “treinta”, the vowel ‘e’ comes before the ‘i’. However, instead of saying “treinta,” some Spanish students say “trienta.”
30 in Spanish: Spelling
The 30s are also a little bit confusing because, from 31 to 99, numbers in Spanish are written in three words: treinta y uno, sesenta y dos, noventa y tres. This is different from numbers from 0 to 30, which are written in one word: doce, trece, catorce.
- 30 – treinta
- 31 – treinta y uno
- 32 – treinta y dos
- 33 – treinta y tres
- 34 – treinta y cuatro
- 35 – treinta y cinco
- 36 – treinta y seis
- 37 – treinta y siete
- 38 – treinta y ocho
- 39 – treinta y nueve
Numbers That Have Gender
I told you before that when you finish reading this blog post you should understand why saying “trescientos cuarenta y un cucharas” is wrong.
Cucharas (spoons) is a feminine noun. Therefore, the correct sentence should be “trescientas cuarenta y una cucharas.” Why? The answer might shock native speakers as well.
There are numbers that have gender! The 100s (cientos, doscientos, trescientos, etc.) have gender and must be said in feminine form before a feminine noun. The same happens with number 1 (uno), which becomes “una” before feminine nouns. See more examples below:
- 31 bancos – treinta y un bancos
- 31 sillas – treinta y una sillas
- 451 palos – cuatrocientos cincuenta y un palos
- 451 pelotas – cuatrocientas cincuenta y una pelotas
- 781 bosques – setecientos ochenta y un bosques
- 781 montañas – setecientas ochenta y una montañas
Take one step ahead of most students and avoid common mistakes with the numbers 15, 50, 500, 30 and 14 in Spanish. Also, keep in mind that some numbers have gender and must be expressed in feminine form before feminine nouns.
Want to learn more about this topic?
Subscribe to Improve your Spanish
Did you enjoy this blog post? Subscribe to the newsletter to be the first one to hear when a new post is available! The best part? With your subscription you will get a free guide of useful Spanish phrases you need to know before you visit Argentina.
Your support is truly appreciated! If you are enjoying the content on this website, buy me a coffee and help me create incredible content for you to learn Spanish.
Don’t forget to follow me on social media:
Instagram – Pinterest – Linkedin
Sponsored by Day Translations
Learn more about la profe Melany here.