cinq mille


A déteminant is a word that introduces a noun in a sentence, like determiners and articles in English. As such, it is always followed by a noun, although in some cases, the two words will be separated by an (or more) adjective.

There are several types of déteminants in French:

Déterminant défini (Defined article): Introduces a known noun (like “the” in English) – le, la, l’, les, du, au, des, aux

E.g. : la pomme – the apple

Déterminant indéfini (Indefinite article): Introduces an unknown noun (like “a” in English) – un, une, des, chaque, plusieurs, tout, toute…

E.g. : un enfant – a child

Déterminant partitive (Partitive article): Introduces a noun that cannot be counted (such as sand, rain, etc.) – du, de l’, de la, des

E.g. : du sucre – sugar

Déterminant numeral (Numeral article): Indicates the quantity of a noun (usually through numbers) – un, une, deux, cinq, cent, mille…

E.g.: deux amoureux – two lovers

Déterminant possessif (Possessive article): Indicates possession (like “my” in English) – mon, ton, son, ma, ta, sa, notre, votre, leur, mes, tes, ses, nos, vos, leurs

E.g. : tes voisins – your neighbours

Déterminant démonstratif (Demonstrative article): Introduces a noun that is present in the context (like “this” in English) – ce, cet, cette, ces

E.g. : cette maison – this house

In most cases, déterminants must agree in both gender and number with their respective nouns. However, there are exceptions: numeral articles are invariable in every case, except when the numbers vingt (twenty) and cent (hundred) are preceded by another number but do not have any numbers after it. Therefore, “eighty boats” is translated as quatre-vingts bateaux and “three hundred boats” are trois cents bateaux, but “eighty-one boats” and “three hundred and one boats” are quatre-vingt-un bateaux and trois cent un bateaux respectively.


Hey buddies,

In this “lesson” I am going to teach you how to write the French numbers correctly, orthographically speaking. This will be helpful for learners of all levels, ‘cause even if you think you know the French numbers, it is always tricky to write them, especially the biggest ones, things like when to use and when not to use a hyphen.

I’ll leave the most basic things to you, as you can google it easily and learn. So before reading this be sure you know at least how to say the basic numbers.

1.  Reform of French orthography

               There was a reform in the French orthography in 1990 that recommends that every cardinal number should use the hyphen to link the words in its composition (only cardinal numbers). Remembering that this is not mandatory, it is just a recommendation to make it easier to write the numbers and to be able to differ some numbers, in fractions, for example. The numbers can be written in both ways, considering the reform or not. (vingt et un or vingt-et-un)

2. Rules for cardinal numbers

(The rules that are going to be shown below does not take in consideration the reform from 1990)

2.1 Numbers 1 to 20

           These numbers have its own name, without following any rule. Just always remember to put an hyphen in dix-sept, dix-huit and dix-neuf.

2.2 Numbers 21 to 69

           These compound numbers use the multiples of 10 with the following number from one to nine. Just be careful that the numbers 21, 31, 41, 51 and 61 does not have a hyphen, they use the word ET instead.

21 : vingt et un

22 : vingt-deux

35 : trente-cinq

2.3 Numbers 70 to 99

           These are the most complicated ones for French learners as they don’t follow the normal logic of using multiples of 10. All of them are written with hyphen, linking both parts of the number, except for the number 71. Ex :

71 : soixante et onze

81 : quatre-vingt-un (this doesn’t follow the same logic as the numbers from 20 to 69, when we didn’t have a hyphen with the numbers 21, 31, etc.)

91 : quatre-vingt-onze (doesn’t follow the logic used in the number 71 either)

2.4 Numbers above 100

           These numbers does not take a hyphen, only the part that originally has the hyphen (number below 100). Ex :

101 : Cent un

118 : Cent dix-huit

200 : Deux cents

2008 : Deux mille huit.

2500000 : Deux millions cinq cent mille

OBS : - We put an S at the end of CENT only when there is nothing after it, like in 200, 300, 400, etc.

- The word mille is invariable, so always used WITHOUT the letter S at the end.

- Million, Milliard, Trillion, etc. take the plural form if they are preceded by a number higher than 1.

 3. Belgium

               In Belgium, the following multiples of 10 are used differently:

70: soixante-dix (FRA) — septante (BEL)

90: quatre-vingt-dix (FRA) — nonante (BEL)

               Of course, the following 9 numbers after each of these ones follow the same rule (ex: 75 - septante-cinq)

4. Ordinal numbers

               The general rule for ordinal numbers is that they follow the orthography used in their respective cardinal numbers, always adding -ième at the end.

17: dix-sept — dix-septième

21: vingt et un — vingt et unième

403: quatre cent trois — quatre cent troisième

Some observations:

1: premier

19: dix-neuf — dix-neuVième (the ordinal numbers finished by NEUF will always have the letter F changed by the letter V)

5: cinq — cinqUième (if the number finished in a Q, we put an U before -ième)

5. Fractions

               In fractions, there is a numerator, the one that goes on top of the fraction line and which is always cardinal, and there is the denominator, the one that goes below the fraction line and it is an ordinal number in the plural form Ex:

(exceptions are the first 3 fractions, having 2, 3 and 4 on the denominator, like shown below)

½: un demi

5/3: cinq tiers

9/4: neuf quarts

5/7: cinq septièmes

8/15: huit quinzièmes

14/25: quatorze vingt-cinquièmes

OBS: We do not use a hyphen to link the numerator to the denominator

Well, this was very long but I consider it very important and it’ likely that learners won’t know all these rules and exceptions. Hope you’ve liked it, see ya soon.

Les hommes de chez toi, dit le petit prince, cultivent cinq mille roses dans un même jardin… et ils n'y trouvent pas ce qu'ils cherchent. Et cependant, ce qu'ils cherchent pourrait être trouvé dans une seule rose et un peu d'eau. Mais les yeux sont aveugles. Il faut chercher avec le cœur.
Antoine de St Exupéry, Le petit prince
Je m'effondre. Place Vendôme à sept heures du matin. Une fille à genoux qui mord sa main ensanglantée. Et qui hurle. Qui hurle une plainte incohérente. Comme si le désespoir avait pris forme. La forme d'un cri. Je crie la fin d'un rêve, je cris la fin du monde. Je crie la fin de l'homme que j'aime et qui s'est planté comme un con, en sortant de boîte, dans sa caisse à cinq cent mille balles qui n'a même pas été foutu de le préserver. Mort sur le coup. Mort. Je crie l'atroce réalité de cette vie de merde qui donne, et qui reprend. Je crie ce qu'on a vécu, ce qu'on aurait pu vivre encore. Je crie ce qu'il est. Était. Ce qu'il aurait pu devenir. Je crie ma détresse, ma douleur, mon amour, mon amour, mon amour…