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French Textbook

Collective numbers

Collective numbers are numbers used when dealing with an approximate number – higher than 7 – of items or when it’s a pack of items, such as a dozen eggs.

  • Most of French collective numbers are formed by adding -aine to the number itself.

--> vingt : une vingtaine (de) means about 20, or a pack of 20.

.

  • If the number itself ends with an -e, the -e is dropped

--> douze : une douzaine (de)

--> trente : une trentaine (de)

.

  • If the number ends with a -x, the -x becomes a –z

--> dix : une dizaine (de)

.

  • Big collective numbers work a bit differently. Don’t add –aine to the number, but rather un [number] de:

--> un millier (de), un million (de), un milliard (de)

--> a thousand (of), a million (of), a billion (of)

.

  • Note that before a noun, the preposition DE is added

--> une douzaine d’œufs: a dozen eggs

 

How to say “a person in her/his --ties”

  • un/e trentenaire -- a person in her/his thirties
  • un/e quarantenaire -- a person in her/his forties
  • un/e cinquantenaire or quinquagénaire -- a person in her/his fifties
  • un/e sexagénaire* -- a person in her/his sixties
  • un/e septuagénaire -- a person in her/his seventies
  • un/e octogénaire -- a person in her/his eighties
  • un/e nonagénaire -- a person in her/his nineties
  • un/e centenaire -- a person 100 years-old or older

* un soixantenaire est le soixantième anniversaire

Related: Buying Food . Chiffres, nombres ou numéro .

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