Learn the Arabic Numbers

Learn the Arabic Numbers

Arabic numbers

This lesson covers a very widely used element in Arabic which is the numbers. It will help you understand the numbers (cardinal numbers) in Arabic and enable you to use them in real-world applications.

Arabs make use of two kinds of numerical systems. A Western system commonly known as “Arabic numerals” which are the ten digits (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9) widely used in North African countries from Libya to Morocco.

Unlike African Arabic countries Eastern Arabic numerals (٠.١.٢.٣.٤.٥.٦.٧.٨.٩) known as “Hindi numerals” are used in the Middle East.

How to say the Arabic Numbers from zero to ten (0-10):

0Zero٠Sifr      صفر
1One١Wāḥid      وَاحٍدْ
2Two٢Ithnān      إِثْنان
3Three٣Thalāthah      ثَلاَثَة
4Four٤Arba’ah      أَرْبَعة
5Five٥Khamsah      خَمْسَة
6Six٦Sittah      سِتَّة
7Seven٧Saba’ah      سَبْعَة
8Eight٨Thamāniah      ثَمَانِيَة
9Nine٩Tisa’ah      تِسْعَة
10Ten١٠‘Ashra      عَشْرَة

Note: The number “one” wāḥid (at)-, functions as a regular adjective:

One childwaladun wāḥid      ولد واحد
One girlbintun wāḥidatun      بنت واحدة

The number “two” as a pronoun or needed to emphasize the dual —which is all that is normally necessary for “two”—also functions as a regular dual adjective.

Two children (nom.)waladāni ‘ethnāni      ولدان اثنان
Two children (obl.)waladayni ‘ethnayni      ولدين اثنين
Two girls (nom.)bintāni ‘ethnatāni      بنتان اثنتان
Two girls (obl.)bintayni ‘ethnatayni      بنتين اثنتين

The Arabic numbers from three through ten exhibit a unique phenomenon called chiastic concord: A numeral in masculine gender should agree with a feminine referrer and vice versa. In other words, if the singular of the noun being counted is masculine, the number appears feminine with tā’ marbūṭa (ة). If the singular is feminine, the number appears masculine with no tā’ marbūṭa.

Three childrenthalāthatu ‘awlād      ثلاثة اولاد
Three girlsthalathu banāt      ثلاث بنات

Notes: While Arabic letters are written from right to left, numbers in Arabic are written from left to right.
e.g.       ١٧٢٨ is the number “1728” not “8271”.

The numbers 11 and 12 are irregular numbers, so for now, just remember how to write them.

11١١eḥadā ‘ashar      إحدى عشر
12١٢ithnā ‘ashar      إثنا عشر

From 13 to 19 you just place the Arabic number before ten just like in the number 13 which is formed by placing the number three before ten, instead of thirteen in English, 15 is five ten in Arabic, and so on. From 21 to 99, you just need to reverse the numbers and add “wa-” which means “and” between the two numbers. For example, 67 would be seven + wa- + sixty instead of sixty-seven in English (Saba’ah wa-sittūn).

13١٣thalathata ‘ashar      ثلاثة عشر
14١٤arba’ata ‘ashar      أربعة عشر
15١٥khamsata ‘ashar      خمسة عشر
16١٦sittata ‘ashar      ستة عشر
17١٧sab’ata ‘ashar      سبعة عشر
18١٨thamāniyata ‘ashar      ثمانية عشر
19١٩tis’ata ‘ashar      تسعة عشر
20٢٠‘ishrūn      عشرون
21٢١wahedun wa-’ishrūn      واحد و عشرون
30٣٠thalathūn      ثلاثون
40٤٠arba’ūn      أربعون
50٥٠khamsūn      خمسون
60٦٠sittūn      ستون
70٧٠sab’ūn      سبعون
80٨٠thamānūn      ثمانون
90٩٠tis’ūn      تسعون
100١٠٠mi’ah      مائة
1000١٠٠٠alf      ألف

As you can see, forming numbers in Arabic is quite an easy process, except when matching the gender and the number. This rule will be much more intuitive once you get used to it and you shouldn’t be put off by it if you find it complicated.

Please feel free to comment using the form below or subscribe to our feed for more lessons.


  1. Hi JS, The 1st form (w/o ghunnah, aka “un”) you’ve mentioned is acceptable, but the correct form is the one with “un”. For 57 you’d say Saba’tun wa khamsun.

    Best Luck

  2. To say 23 for instance can I say thalatha wa ishrun? or I have to say something close to 21 and add an “un” at the end to finally say thalathun wa isrhun. How can I say 57 for instance, saba’ wa khamsun?

  3. Araib study for all interesting people thats really good,because we have a book of quraan that is writed to arabic language,thats reason we have teach arabic then another language…
    thanks for spain your good time

    also arabic is very easy language

  4. If I forgot to count in writing or memorizing numbers, your website is an SOS for me! Time is difficult and I have your “Telling time” in my phone for easy access. Thank you for making it easier especially for a non-arabic speaking like me.

  5. I am writing a short note to an Arab man, I know some of the greeting phrases, but don’t know how to end it. This person is only an acquaintance.
    I want to “write” with respect, but am unsure of the form.
    Thank you in advance!

  6. hi thanks for making this website inshallah you will get lots of good point from allah ameeen…

  7. Salam Sister,
    Congratulation on your brave move. May Allah reward you and guide you and all of us to the straight path. I’ll try to be helpful as much as I can Inchallah. my contribution to the world is this website, I’ll try to do my best as time permit.
    I’m pretty you’re a smart woman to come to such a great conclusion to join Islam, especially, in this time. But, Allah has chosen you and only he knows why.

  8. I just came across your blog and i’m sure it would be very useful. I’m a muslimah revert, 2months as a muslim and im trying to learn to read Arabic before Ramadan. If there’s anyway you can help i would be grateful. Keep it up.

  9. Ana Liz, It’s great to hear that you found this article useful. I hope it will help in both your job and life as well. Thanks for the feedback

  10. good greetings to everyone, im a filipina and it was indeed a pleasant to read your articles in arabic numbers in which it has a simple step on how can i understand the translation of english in arabic numbers, I have to learn it , memorize and be part of my daily life and also in my work as a cashier, thanks, hope i will learnmuch more than i wanted..

  11. I learnt to read Arabic in a week.( last week)My small daughter taught me. She taught me 1 to 10 and I want to learn more basic number and this site is very useful. Thanks

  12. Assalaam-o-Alaikum Nasir, I really appreciate your comment. I’m glad I could help. I see that you’re making a big progress toward your goal.
    أعانك الله

  13. Assalaam-o-Alaikum, i am trying to learn Arabic on my own so that I can understand Quran without any translation. Numbers always seemed so confusing to me. For the first time I could grasp the concept so easily.
    شكرا جزيلا
    جزاك الله احسن الجزاء

  14. Thanks Sukayna for your great feedback. It’s because of people like you that I keep writing on this blog. I hope this website helps you speak Arabic fluently inshaAllah.

  15. Indeed arabic is a wonderful language & am learning arabic in india. softarabic.com hs helped me alot 4 pronounciation.
    May ALLAH b pleased wid u.

  16. Thanks Amber,
    I’m glad I was able to help a sister such as yourself. I really admire the effort you are putting into learning Arabic an reading the Quran. You’ll be rewarded Incha’Allah!

  17. I’m learning Arabic from a tutor in Pakistan online b/c I am a muslimah revert. I have learned to read Quran but my teacher didn’t teach me numbers, so its hard to practice on my own because i don’t know which ayat im on this page helped a lot they are very east and just like numbers in english. Thanks a lot!

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