Persian Numbers III: 11-1000

For the numbers 1-10, see here.

Like English, Persian has slightly altered forms for the numbers 11-19 (though they all tack on the number ten, دَه, at the end, like the English “-teen” for ten) but then everything after that just takes the form “x and y” (in Persian, a number like twenty-four would read “twenty and four”), which is lucky for us because it means that after we get through 19 we just have to hit a few examples and we’ve got all the numbers covered to 1000 (really we could go past 1000, but numbers are infinite and our time here is not, so 1000 is where we’re stopping for now).

English name

Western Arabic numeral

Persian numeral

Persian name

Persian name transliterated

eleven

11

۱۱

یازده

yāzdah

twelve

12

۱۲

دوازده

davāzdah

thirteen

13

۱۳

سیزده

sīzdah

fourteen

14

۱۴

چهارده

chahārdah

fifteen

15

۱۵

پانزده

pānzdah

sixteen

16

۱۶

شانزده

shānzdah

seventeen

17

۱۷

هفده

hifdah

eighteen

18

۱۸

هجده

hijdah

nineteen

19

۱۹

نوزده

nūzdah

 

Now we can count by 10s or more:

  • 20 (twenty): ۲۰ (بیست, bīst)
  • 30 (thirty): ۳۰ (سی, )
  • 40 (forty): ۴۰ (چِهِل, chihil)
  • 50 (fifty): ۵۰ (پَنجاه, panjāh)
  • 60 (sixty): ۶۰ (شَصت, shaṣt)
  • 70 (seventy): ۷۰ (هَفتاد, haftād)
  • 80 (eighty): ۸۰ (هَشتاد, hashtād)
  • 90 (ninety): ۹۰ (نَوَد, navad)

And now by hundreds:

  • 100 (one hundred): ۱۰۰ (صَد, ṣad)
  • 200 (two hundred): ۲۰۰ (دِویست, divīst)
  • 300 (three hundred): ۳۰۰ (سیصد, sīṣad)
  • 400 (four hundred): ۴۰۰ (چَهارصد, chahārṣad)
  • 500 (five hundred): ۵۰۰ (پانصد, pānṣad)
  • 600 (six hundred): ۶۰۰ (شِشصد, shishṣad)
  • 700 (seven hundred): ۷۰۰ (هَفتصد, haftṣad)
  • 800 (eight hundred): ۸۰۰ (هَشتصد, hashtṣad)
  • 900 (nine hundred): ۹۰۰ (نُهصد, nuhṣad)
  • 1000 (one thousand): ۱۰۰۰ (هِزار, hizār)

Combining numbers is easy:

  • 21 (twenty-one): ۲۱ (بیست و یک, bīst-ū-yik, “beest-oh-yek”)
  • 84 (eighty-four): ۸۴ (هشتاد و چهار, hashtād-ū-chahār)
  • 562 (five hundred sixty-two): ۵۶۲ (پانصد و شصت و دو, pānṣad-ū-shaṣt-ū-du)
  • 1357 (one thousand three hundred fifty-seven): ۱۳۵۷ (هزار و سیصد و پنجاه و هفت, hizār-ū-sīṣad-ū-panjāh-ū-haft)

To somebody accustomed to a left-to-right writing system, it seems like Persian strangely writes its large numerals left-to-right (above, “562” is ۵۶۲), even though the rest of the language is written from right-to-left, and, frankly, this is strange in the case of Persian. However, this is how you write numbers in Arabic script because Arabic reads numbers from smallest to largest, not largest to smallest like us we do in English (or like they do in Persian). This is one case where the adopted script doesn’t completely map to the particulars of the language.

Persian numbers II: the ordinals

Now that we’ve learned the cardinal numbers, we can also learn their ordinal forms. Ordinal numbers deal with identifying things in order in a sequence, as in the English “first, second, third, fourth,” and so on. Persian has two forms of the ordinal, one that is placed after the noun it modifies, just like any other adjective, and another that is placed before the noun. To make the second form, you just add an “-īn” (“een”) ending to the first form. Below are the ordinals from “first” through “tenth”:

First  = یِکُم (yikum, “ye-kom”); یِکُمین (yikumīn) OR اوَّل (avval, “av-val”); اوّلین (avvalīn)

Second = دُوُّم (duvvum, “dov-vom”); دُوُّمین (duvvumīn)

Third = سِوُّم (sivvum, “sev-vom”); سِوُّمین (sivvumīn)

Fourth = چِحارُم (chiḥārum, “chehaa-rom”); چِحارُمین (chiḥārumīn)

(May be SPOKEN as “chaa-rom”)

Fifth = پَنجُم (panjum, “pan-jom”); پَنجُمین (panjumīn)

Sixth = شِشُم (shishum, “shesh-om”); شِشُمین (shishumīn)

Seventh = هَفتُم (haftum, “haf-tom”); هَفتُمین (haftumīn)

Eighth = هَشتُم (hashtum, “hash-tom”); هَشتُمین (hashtumīn)

Ninth = نُهُم (nuhum, “no-hom”); نُهُمین (nuhumīn)

Tenth = دَهُم (dahum, “da-hom”); دَهُمین (dahumīn)

Persian Numbers and Numerals, 0-10

For higher numbers, see here.

Persian takes its numbering system from the Eastern Arabic numerals (or “Indian numerals” in Arabic) but retains its own names for the numbers apart from zero. The table below shows names and numerals for the numbers from 0-10 (teens will have to wait for another time).

English name

Western Arabic numeral

Persian numeral

Persian name

Persian name transliterated

zero

0

۰

صِفْر

ṣifr (“sefr”)

one

1

۱

یِک

yik (“yek”)

two

2

۲

دو

du (like “doh”)

three

3

۳

سه

sah (“se”)

four

4

۴ (variant: ٤)

چِهار

chiḥār (“che-haar”)

five

5

۵

پَنج

panj

six

6

۶ (variant: ٦)

شِش

shish (“shesh”)

seven

7

۷

هَفت

haft

eight

8

۸

هَشت

hasht

nine

9

۹

نَو

nau (“nou”)

ten

10

۱۰

دَه

dah

Note the possible variant digits for 4 and 6. The forms in parentheses are the Arabic forms, but they may be encountered in Persian writing as well.