#1 Easy Guide: Danish Numbers & Counting

Alright so you’re off on a journey to the land of many names and need to learn Danish numbers and how to count in Denmark!

You might be using some useful logic here and thinking Danish comes from the country Dane. Makes sense because they speak Spanish in Spain and Swedish is spoken in Sweden. However, things are not so straight forward with Danish.

Danish is actually spoken in Denmark which is home to the Danish people who also refer to themselves as Danes. Can you say confusing?

This ‘confusion’ also shows up in the Danish numbering system. Counting in the Danish language isn’t as simple as it is with other languages.

Learning a new language, especially learning how to count in Danish, is an important thing to learn. You’ll literally need to use this skill every day, so let’s get going and learn the process of counting in Danish!

Counting In Danish – Numbers 0-20

count in Danish

Maybe it’s just my ears, but when I hear the pronunciation of 0-20 in Danish, they sound similar to English numbers. This is the less complicated portion of learning how to count in The Netherlands.

English NumeralsDutch NumeralsPronunciation
0nul
1en
2to
3tre
4fire
5fem
6seks
7syv
8otte
9ni
10ti
11ellevu
12tolv
13tretten
14fjorten
15femten
16seksten
17sytten
18atten
19nitten
20tyve

Ordinal Numbers In Danish

Days Of The Month

ordinals in Danish

This information is useful for when you are discussing the date.

English OrdinalsDutch OrdinalsPronunciation
firstførste
secondanden
thirdtredje
fourthfjerde
fifthfemte
sixthsjette
seventhsyvende
eighthottende
ninthniende
tenthtiende
eleventhellevte
twelfthtolvte
thirteenthtrettende
fourteenthfjortende
fifteenthfemtende
sixteenthsekstende
seventeenthsyttende
eighteenthattende
nineteenthnittende
twentiethtyvende
twenty firstenogtyvende
twenty secondtyve sekunder
twenty thirdtreogtyvende
twenty fourthfireogtyvende
twenty fifthfemogtyvende
twenty sixthseksogtyvende
twenty seventhsyvogtyvende
twenty eighthotteogtyvende
thirtiethtredivte
thirty firstførst tredive

Ordinal Tens

You may need this information to talk about birthdays and how old people are turning.

English OrdinalsDutch OrdinalsPronunciation
fortiethfyrrende
fiftiethhalvtredsindstyvende
sixiethtresindstyvende
seventiethhalvfjerdsende
eightiethfirsende
ninetiethhalvfemsende
hundredthhundrededel

Danish Numbering System

Here, we’re going to try to attempt to answer the question:

Why Are Danish Numbers So Weird?

Unsure yet of how they’re so weird? Well take a quick scroll below and you’ll see what we mean.

The Danish number system is not a base ten system, rather it operates on a system called vigesimal. It’s called vigesimal because it’s a base 20 system. That means the base unit is 20. To further understand lets look at the look at the old word in Danish sinde which means multiply or times.

A base 20 number system uses multiples of 20. Here are some examples of what that looks like:

  • 60 is tres = coming from three twenties (tre x tyvea or 3 x 20)
  • 80 is firs = coming from four tyve (fire x tyve or 4 x 20)

Multiples of 20 are easier to understand, but let’s see what happens when a number is not easily divisible by 20.

  • 50 is halvtreds and is determined by how many 20’s fit into 50, which is 2 1/2. The rest of the number is made up of half of 20. Therefore 50 = 2 x 20 + half of 20
  • 70 is halvfjerds and is determined by how many 20’s fit into 70, which is 3 1/2. The rest of the number is made up of half of 20. Therefore 60 = 3 x 20 + half of 20
  • 90 is halvfems and is determined by how many 20’s fit into 90, which is 4 1/2. The rest of the number is made up of half of 20. Therefore 80 = 4 x 20 + half of 20

So when did this strange choice to use base 20 come about? Well, it remains a historical mystery. No one really understands why around the year 1300, the Danes decided to change to this number system.

Let’s see what this looks like when we count by tens in Danish if we calculate a different way to get the same end result.

Counting In Danish – Tens 10-100

counting in Danish
EnglishDutchPronunciation
10ti
20tyve
30tredivetredive
40fyrre
50halvtreds [(3-½) x 20]
60treds [3 x 20]
70halvfjerds [(4-½) x 20]
80firs [4 x 20]
90halvfems [(5-½) x 20]
100et hundrede

Danish Fractions

fractions in Danish

Knowing how to say “half” or “quarter” in Danish for example is crucial, especially when it comes to saying numbers in Danish.

English FractionsDutch FractionsPronunciation
halfen halv
thirden tredjedel
quarteren kvart
one eighthen ottendedel
two thirdsto tredjedele
three quarterstrekvart
one and a halfhalvanden
two and a halfto en halv

Counting In Danish – Numbers 21-30

danish numbers
English NumbersDutch NumbersPronunciation
21enogtyve
22toogtyve
23treogtyve
24fireogtyve
25femogtyve
26seksogtyve
27syvogtyve
28otteogtyve
29niogtyve
30tredive

Danish Numbers 31-40

danish numbers
English NumeralsDutch NumeralsPronunciation
31enogtredive
32to­og­tredive
33tre­og­tredive
34fire­og­tredive
35fem­og­tredive
36seks­og­tredive
37syv­og­tredive
38otte­og­tredive
39ni­og­tredive
40fyrre

Count In Danish 41-50

danish numbers
English NumeralsDutch NumeralsPronunciation
41en­og­fyrre
42to­og­fyrre
43tre­og­fyrre
44fire­og­fyrre
45fem­og­fyrre
46seks­og­fyrre
47syv­og­fyrre
48otte­og­fyrre
49ni­og­fyrre
50halvtreds

Numbers In Danish 51-60

danish numbers
English NumbersDutch NumbersPronunciation
51en­og­halvtreds
52to­og­halvtreds
53tre­og­halvtreds
54fire­og­halvtreds
55fem­og­halvtreds
56seks­og­halvtreds
57syv­og­halvtreds
58otte­og­halvtreds
59ni­og­halvtreds
60tres

Count In Danish 61-70

danish numbers
English NumeralsDutch NumeralsPronunciation
61en­og­tres
62to­og­tres
63tre­og­tres
64fire­og­tres
65fem­og­tres
66seks­og­tres
67syv­og­tres
68otte­og­tres
69ni­og­tres
70halvfjerds

Danish Numbers 71-80

danish numbers
English NumbersDutch NumbersPronunciation
71en­og­halvfjerds
72to­og­halvfjerds
73tre­og­halvfjerds
74fire­og­halvfjerds
75fem­og­halvfjerds
76seks­og­halvfjerds
77syv­og­halvfjerds
78otte­og­halvfjerds
79ni­og­halvfjerds
80firs

Danish Numbers 81-90

danish numbers
English NumeralsDutch NumeralsPronunciation
81en­og­firs
82to­og­firs
83tre­og­firs
84fire­og­firs
85fem­og­firs
86seks­og­firs
87syv­og­firs
88otte­og­firs
89ni­og­firs
90halvfems

Danish Numbers 91-100

danish numbers
English NumbersDutch NumbersPronunciation
91en­og­halvfems
92to­og­halvfems
93tre­og­halvfems
94fire­og­halvfems
95fem­og­halvfems
96seks­og­halvfems
97syv­og­halvfems
98otte­og­halvfems
99ni­og­halvfems
100hundrede

How To Say Or Read Numbers Greater Than 100

large numbers in Danish

Sometimes numbers in Danish are written with a space like tre hundrede (300), fire hundrede (400) or tre tusinde (3,000). Technically this isn’t correct but can make it more useful to read numbers in Danish. Because we’re sticklers for perfection, we’ll show the numbers as they should be, sans space.

English NumbersDutch NumbersPronunciation
100et hundrede
200tohundrede
300trehundrede
400fire­hundrede
500fem­hundrede
600seks­hundrede
700syv­hundrede
800otte­hundrede
900ni­hundrede
1,000tusind
2,000totusinde
1 millionen million
1 billionen milliard
1 trillionen billion

Learn Even More Danish

Now that you’ve learnt the basics of Danish numbers, why not strap in and continue learning even more!

Knowing how to count in Danish is important but imagine how much more you can communicate in Denmark if you knew more?! Check out how to describe things in color and importantly, how to introduce yourself. You’ll learn loads of useful vocabulary and phrases as well!

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