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Numbers And Counting In Afrikaans

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Numbers And Counting In Afrikaans

One of the most important things you’ll need to learn when you’re learning a new language is how to count and use numbers in their many forms – from telling the time to counting money, and everything else in between.

Afrikaans is no exception. You won’t get far in the language without some understanding of numbers and counting. Being able to state the date or your age will also make you feel much more confident and competent in the language.

Because we realize how important it is to learn all the different ways that numbers show up in Afrikaans (cardinal numbers, fractions etc.), we’ve put together a comprehensive guide that covers them all.

Cardinal Numbers in Afrikaans

Numbers and counting in afrikaans poster

Cardinal numbers (1, 2, 3 etc.) are the most basic form of numbers, and they’re pretty straightforward… that is until you get to twenty-one and beyond.

Forming teens is done almost identically to the way it’s done in English, by adding the -tien (ten) suffix to the singular number (dertien, veertien etc.). But things get a little, erm, let’s say Germanic (see what I did there?) when you get past twenty.

In Afrikaans, as in German, the units come before the tens. For example, “twenty-one” is “een-en-twintig” (one and twenty).

Though this may seem strange, this method of counting isn’t actually as alien as you might think. English once followed this pattern too, something you’ll see in Shakespeare. (For those who are familiar with the 18th century nursery rhyme, Sing a Song of Sixpence, you’ll know it’s used there, too.)

Cardinal Numbers (English)

Kardinale Getalle / Nommers (Afrikaans)

Zero

Nul

One

Een

Two

Twee

Three

Drie

Four

Vier

Five

Vyf

Six

Ses

Seven

Sewe

Eight

Agt

Nine

Nege

Ten

Tien

Eleven

Elf

Twelve

Twaalf

Thirteen

Dertien

Fourteen

Veertien

Fifteen

Vyftien

Sixteen

Sestien

Seventeen

Sewentien

Eighteen

Agtien

Nineteen

Negentien

Twenty

Twintig

Twenty-one

Een-en-twintig

Twenty-two

Twee-en-twintig

Thirty

Dertig

Forty

Veertig

Fifty

Vyftig

Sixty

Sestig

Seventy

Sewentig

Eighty

Tagtig

Ninety

Negentig

Hundred

(N) honderd

One hundred and one

Honderd en een

One hundred and twenty-five

Honderd vyf en twintig

Thousand

(N) duisend

Million

(N) miljoen


Ordinal Numbers in Afrikaans

Ordinal numbers (1st, 2nd, 3rd etc.) are used to denote rank or position. In Afrikaans, they work in a similar way to cardinal numbers, but with a few slight changes.

For example, the ordinal number for first is “eerste”, for second is “tweede”, and from third right up to nineteenth (minus eighth, which is “agste”), they all end in -de. From twentieth onward, ordinal numbers are formed using the cardinal number plus the suffix -ste.

Ordinal Numbers (English)

Ordinale Getalle / Ranggetalle (Afrikaans)

First

Eerste

Second

Tweede

Third

Derde

Fourth

Vierde

Fifth

Vyfde

Sixth

Sesde

Seventh

Sewende

Eighth

Agtste

Ninth

Negende

Tenth

Tiende

Twentieth

Twintigste

Forty-sixth

Ses-en-veertigste


Fractions in Afrikaans

You’ll want to know how to say things like “half” or “quarter”, and luckily, it’s not too difficult. You’ve already encountered some of these words in the list above.

Fractions (English)

Breuke (Afrikaans)

Half

Die helfte

A quarter

Kwart

Two thirds

Twee derdes

A third

Derde

Three fifths

Drie vyfdes

Three quarters

Driekwart


Equations in Afrikaans

Recognizing and being able to do simple mathematical Afrikaans equations will make you feel as though you have super powers! Okay, maybe not super powers, but it’s still a neat ability.

In fact, the ability to actually add, subtract and multiply in a new language is a sign that you’re really starting to get the hang of things.

Here are some basic mathematical operation terms you’ll encounter during your studies.

Maths (English

Wiskunde (Afrikaans)

Plus

Plus

Minus

Minus

Divided by (÷)

Gedeel deur

Times

Maal

Equals

Is

Afrikaans equations worksheet for beginners

Download this free Afrikaans color by equations worksheet to practice your Afrikaans arithmetic!


Other

This section includes the most common tuples (double, triple etc.) and multiplicative numbers (once, twice etc.). You’ll likely be using them a lot on your journey to fluency in Afrikaans.

Double

Dubbel

Triple

Driedubbel

Dozen

Dosyn

Once

Een keer (eenmaal)

Twice

Twee keer (twee maal)


Age in Afrikaans

Someone somewhere at some point will want to know your age, and if you don’t respond by telling them to mind their own business, you’ll probably want to know how to answer them.

How old are you?

Hoe oud is jy?

I am twenty-five years old

Ek is vyf-en-twintig jaar oud

I’m twelve years old

Ek’s twaalf jaar oud


Time in Afrikaans

Telling the time is straightforward enough, so it shouldn’t give you too much trouble. We’ve provided some examples below, but for a more in-depth look at the rules associated with the time, check out our post, Days of the Week, Months of the Year, Seasons, Weather and Time in Afrikaans.

What’s the time?

Hoe laat is dit?

It is seven o’clock

Dit is sewe-uur

It is four o’clock

Dit is vieruur


The Date in Afrikaans

Just like with telling the time, saying the date is a pretty easy task. Now that you know the ordinal numbers, which are used to form dates, you’ll have no trouble at all. But we’ve provided some examples of how to structure your sentences should you decide to ask or answer the very important question, “What’s the date?”

What’s the date?

Wat is die datum?

It is the fifth of March

Dit is die vyfde Maart

It’s the twenty-third of October

Dit is die drie-en-twintigste Oktober


Wanna learn some more foundational Afrikaans vocabulary? Check out our Body Parts and Clothes in Afrikaans post.