# 1.1: Números y acentos

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# Numbers (los números)

## Cardinal Numbers

Cardinal numbers are the numbers we use to count (i.e., 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc.).

1. The spelling of uno changes depending on the gender of the noun it modifies. Uno is spelled un before a masculine noun and una before a feminine noun.
Ejemplo(s):
--un ejemplo (m.)
an example
--una pregunta (f.)
a question
1. Mil (1,000) is not pluralized when it is part of a specific number. Millón is pluralized.
Ejemplo(s):
--veinte mil, cien mil
twenty thousand, one hundred thousand
--dos mil dólares ($2,000) two thousand dollars --dos millones de dólares ($2,000,000)
two million dollars
2. Mil may be used in the plural in more general statements.
Ejemplo(s):
--Miles de personas visitan 'El Parque de la Amistad' en Tijuana.
Thousands of people visit 'El Parque de la Amistad' in Tijuana.
2. Numbers 16 to 29 are commonly written as one word or as two words connected by "y" (and). An accent is added to the one-word spelling of 16, 22, 23 and 26.
Ejemplo(s):
16 = dieciséis
17 = diecisiete
21 = veintiuno
22 = veintidós
23 = veintitrés
26 = veintiséis
1. Cien is used for the number 100 and before all nouns.
2. To say 101, 102-199, the form ciento is used.
Ejemplo(s):
--ciento uno, ciento dos, ciento noventa y nueve.
3. When plural (200-999) an -os or -as is added depending on the gender of the noun.
Spanish English
Cien 100 or one hundred
Cien dólares 100 dollars
Cien páginas 100 pages
Ciento un dólares 101 dollars
Doscientos dólares 200 dollars
Doscientas páginas 200 pages
3. Spanish uses “.” (points) and “,” (commas) differently than English does. Points are used where one would expect a comma in English and vice versa.
 Spanish English 1.000 (mil) 1,000 (one thousand) 1.000.000 (un millón) 1,000,000 (one million) 86,5% 86.5% “ochenta y seis con 5 por ciento” “eighty six point five percent”

### Numbers 0 - 2.000.000

 0 cero 10 diez 20 veinte 30 treinta 1 uno 11 once 21 veintiuno 31 treinta y uno 2 dos 12 doce 22 veintidós 32 treinta y dos 3 tres 13 trece 23 veintitrés 33 treinta y tres 4 cuatro 14 catorce 24 veinticuatro 34 treinta y cuatro 5 cinco 15 quince 25 veinticinco 35 treinta y cinco 6 seis 16 dieciséis 26 veintiséis 36 treinta y seis 7 siete 17 diecisiete 27 veintisiete 37 treinta y siete 8 ocho 18 dieciocho 28 veintiocho 38 treinta y ocho 9 nueve 19 diecinueve 29 veintinueve 39 treinta y nueve
 10 diez 100 cien 1 mil 10 diez mil 20 veinte 200 doscientos 2 dos mil 20 veinte mil 30 treinta 300 trescientos 3 tres mil 30 treinta mil 40 cuarenta 400 cuatrocientos 4 cuatro mil 40 cuarenta mil 50 cincuenta 500 quinientos 5 cinco mil 50 cincuenta mil 60 sesenta 600 seiscientos 6 seis mil 60 sesenta mil 70 setenta 700 setecientos 7 siete mil 70 setenta mil 80 ochenta 800 ochocientos 8 ocho mil 80 ochenta mil 90 noventa 900 novecientos 9 nueve mil 90 noventa mil
 1.000.000 un millón 2.000.000 dos millones

## Ordinal Numbers

Ordinal numbers are adjectives that we use to rank things, name streets, etc. (i.e. 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc.). The last letter of ordinal numbers is variable so that it agrees in gender and number with the noun it modifies (like all adjectives). However, the "o" is dropped before masculine nouns for 1st and 3rd (primer párrafo, tercer párrafo). Ordinal numbers are rarely used beyond 10 in Spanish.

Número Ordinal Spanish English
• El problema (m.)
• La solución (f.)
• The problem
• The solution
1st Primero
• el primer problema
• la primera solución
• the first problem
• the first solution
2nd Segundo
• el segundo problema
• la segunda solución
• the second problem
• the second solution
3rd Tercero
• el tercer problema
• la tercera solución
• the third problem
• the third solution
4th Cuarto
• el cuarto problema
• la cuarta solución
• the fourth problem
• the fourth solution
5th Quinto
• el quinto problema
• la quinta solución
• the fifth problem
• the fifth solution
6th Sexto
• el sexto problema
• la sexta solución
• the sixth problem
• the sixth solution
7th Séptimo
• el séptimo problema
• la séptima solución
• the seventh problem
• the seventh solution
8th Octavo
• el octavo problema
• la octava solución
• the eighth problem
• the eighth solution
9th Noveno
• el noveno problema
• la novena solución
• the ninth problem
• the ninth solution
10th 10º Décimo
• el décimo problema
• la décima solución
• the tenth problem
• the tenth solution

# Accent Rules (las reglas de acentuación)

In this section we are going to learn about why words need written accent marks in Spanish. These are sometimes referred to as “tildes” in Spanish. It is important to note that there is big difference between written accents, which tell us where the stress should fall in a word, and natural stress patterns. Where and why written accents are used in Spanish is a source of confusion to learners of Spanish until they accept that they are indeed meaningful (accents aren’t just random marks over words that need to be memorized) and ...they learn the three rules that follow:

1. For Spanish words that end in a vowel, the letter “n” or the letter “s”, the natural stress falls on the second-to-last (penultimate) syllable.
2. For Spanish words that end in any other letter that is not a vowel, “n” or “s”, the natural stress falls on the last syllable.
3. When a word contains the combination of “i” + another vowel or “u” + another vowel, these two vowel sounds blend to create one sound/syllable (known as a diphthong).

A Spanish word requires a written accent mark if it breaks any one of these three rules for natural stress. Note that a written accent mark over an “i” or a “u” breaks up a diphthong—it separates the two vowels into separate syllables.

Listen to the following words that require written accent marks and then decide why the accent mark is required. Which rule does the word break?

Audio Click to Guess Rule
ma-má ma-má
sim-pá-ti-co sim-pá-ti-co
Ma-rí-a Ma-rí-a
ca-fé ca-fé
cés-ped cés-ped
ma-íz ma-íz
en-ten-dió en-ten-dió
di-fí-cil di-fí-cil
rí-e rí-e
Can-cún Can-cún
ál-bum ál-bum
tí-o tí-o
ac-ción ac-ción
a-zú-car a-zú-car
re-ú-ne re-ú-ne
in-te-rés in-te-rés
Gon-zá-lez Gon-zá-lez
dú-o dú-o
pa-pá pa-pá
co-mí-a-mos co-mí-a-mos
trái-ga-me-los trái-ga-me-los
ángel ángel
cabezón cabezón

Listen to these pair of words and try to decide why one needs a written accent while the other does not:

## Written Accents—Single Syllable Words and Grammatical Distinctions

The following is a list of pairs of one-syllable words that require a written accent mark to let the reader know which word is being used. These words are always pronounced the same way regardless of the written accent mark.

1. dé - Déme el examen (usted command of the verb dar)
de - El hijo de mi amigo (preposition “de”)
2. él - ¿Lo quiere él? (3rd person singular pronoun, he)
el - El libro de español (definite article, the)
3. más - Yo soy más guapa que ella. (more)
mas - No quiero, mas he de hacerlo. (mas without the accent means “pero”)
4. mí - el libro es para mí (object of a preposition, me)
mi - éste es mi libro (possessive pronoun, my)
5. sé - Yo sé la respuesta. (“yo” form of the verb saber)
se - Se come bien en este restaurante. (pronoun)
6. sí - La respuesta es Sí. (yes)
si - Si no viene hoy, viene mañana. (if)
7. té - me gusta el té más que el café (tea)
te - ¿A ti, te gusta el té? (2nd person object pronoun)
8. tú - Tú eres la luz de mi vida. (2nd person subject pronoun, you)
tu - ¿Cuál es tu coche? (2nd person possessive pronoun, your)
solo/a - Prefiero estar solo cuando estudio. (alone)
10. aún - Me han dicho que aún no se sabe si va a regresar o no. (todavía)
aun - Continuaba trabajando aun cuando era viejo. (even)

## Written Accents and Question Words

All interrogative words require written accents to distinguish them from the same words that function as conjunctions (without accents). This is true for direct and indirect questions.

### Direct Questions

• ¿Qué tienes en la mano?
• ¿Cómo resuelves este tipo de problema?
• ¿Dónde queda tu casa?
• ¿Por qué no me quieres prestar diez dólares?

### Indirect Questions

• No sé qué tienes en la mano.
• Parece que no me quieres explicar cómo resuelves este tipo de problema.
• Antes de que te busquemos, necesitamos saber dónde queda tu casa.
• No tengo idea de por qué no me quieres prestar diez dólares.

### These words also require a written accent when they are used as exclamatives.

• ¡Cómo te quiero!
• ¡Cuánto quisiera acompañarte al concierto!

In other uses of these words—when they are not interrogatives or exclamatives—there is not a written accent. Here are a few examples in bold:

Ejemplo(s):
--Yo sé que mis padres me quieren.
I know that my parents love me.
--Tengo un perro que nunca hace lo que le digo.
I have a dog that never does what I tell him.
--Mario trabaja sólo cuando y donde quiere porque es flojo.
Mario works only when and where he wants because he is lazy

1.1: Números y acentos is shared under a CC BY-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.