How to Say Numbers in Arabic: A Comprehensive Guide

Arabic, a language with a rich history and vast cultural influence, is spoken by millions of people around the world. If you’re interested in learning Arabic or simply want to know how to say numbers in this beautiful language, you’ve come to the right place! In this guide, we will provide you with all the information you need to confidently express numbers in Arabic, including formal and informal ways, as well as some regional variations. So let’s dive in and start exploring the fascinating world of Arabic numbers!

Formal vs. Informal Ways of Expressing Numbers

In Arabic, just like in many other languages, there are different ways to express numbers depending on the context and level of formality. Let’s take a look at how you can say numbers formally and informally in Arabic.

Formal Expressions

When it comes to formal situations such as business meetings, official documents, or academic settings, Arabic uses a more structured and traditional way of expressing numbers. Here is a list of the formal Arabic numerals from zero to ten:

0 – صفر (sifr)
1 – واحد (wahid)
2 – اثنان (ithnan)
3 – ثلاثة (thalatha)
4 – أربعة (arba’a)
5 – خمسة (khamsa)
6 – ستة (sitta)
7 – سبعة (sab’a)
8 – ثمانية (thamania)
9 – تسعة (tisa’a)
10 – عشرة (ashara)

To express numbers greater than ten in a formal way, you need to combine the previously mentioned numbers. For example:

16 – ستة عشر (sitta ‘ashar)
25 – خمسة وعشرون (khamsa wa ‘ishrun)
39 – تسعة وثلاثون (tisa’a wa thalathun)
100 – مئة (mi’a)
1000 – ألف (alif)

Informal Expressions

Informal situations, such as casual conversations with friends or family members, allow for a more relaxed and colloquial way of expressing numbers in Arabic. Here’s a list of informal Arabic numerals from zero to ten:

0 – صفر (sifr)
1 – واحد (wahid)
2 – اتنين (itneen)
3 – تلاتة (talata)
4 – أربعة (arba’a)
5 – خمسة (khamsa)
6 – ستة (sitta)
7 – سبعة (sab’a)
8 – تمانية (tmanya)
9 – تسعة (tisa’a)
10 – عشرة (ashara)

When expressing numbers larger than ten informally, you follow the same method as in formal Arabic. Here are a few examples to illustrate this:

16 – ستة عشر (sitta ‘ashar)
25 – خمسة وعشرين (khamsa wa ‘ashrin)
39 – تسعة وتسعين (tisa’a wa tis’in)
100 – مية (meya)
1000 – الف (elf)

Tips for Pronouncing and Writing Arabic Numbers

To effectively say and write numbers in Arabic, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind:

1. Arabic Numbers are Written from Right to Left

Unlike English or many other languages, Arabic numbers are written from right to left. This means you start writing the largest digit on the right side and continue to the left. So when you encounter a multi-digit number, remember to start with the smallest value on the right side.

2. Pay Attention to Pronunciation

Arabic numbers have specific pronunciation rules. For example, the number 2 (اثنان) is pronounced as “ithnan” instead of “ithnain”. However, there are regional variations in the pronunciation of some numbers, so it’s important to be aware of those differences if you’re communicating with speakers from different regions.

3. Practice Counting

One of the best ways to become comfortable with Arabic numbers is to practice counting regularly. Set aside a few minutes each day to count from one to ten, and gradually increase the numbers as you become more confident. This exercise will not only improve your pronunciation but also strengthen your understanding of Arabic numerals.


Congratulations! You’ve completed this comprehensive guide on how to say numbers in Arabic. Whether you need to express numbers in a formal environment or engage in informal conversations, you now have the knowledge and tools to confidently do so. Remember to practice regularly and embrace the unique characteristics of Arabic numbers, such as their right-to-left writing style. With time and perseverance, you’ll become fluent in expressing numbers in Arabic, further deepening your connection to this magnificent language.

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