How to Count in Arabic

Using Arabic for numbers and counting can be a bit tricky if you need to work extensively with numbers, such as in mathematics and accounting. Arabic number can be confusing because the rules change depending on how the numbers are being used.

To make things easier, take a look look at just the most common usage — without worrying about the more advanced rules for case and gender. Even native speakers often default to a simplified form for numbers, except in the most formal situations.

The numbers you'll use the most often are those between 1 and 20.

1 to 20
waaHid 1
Ithnaan 2
Thalaatha 3
arba'a 4
Khamsa 5
Sitta 6
sab'a 7
Thamaaniya 8
tis'a 9
'ashara 10
aHad 'ashar 11
ithnaa 'ashar 12
thalaathat 'ashar 13
arba'at 'ashar 14
khamsat 'ashar 15
sittat 'ashar 16
sab'at 'ashar 17
thamaaniyat 'ashar 18
tis'at 'ashar 19
'ishriin 20

The numbers from 21 to 99 are formed by saying the ones digit first, then wa (and) followed by the tens digit. For example, waHid wa 'ashriin (21 [literally: one and twenty]).

21 to 99
waHid wa 'ishriin 21
ithnaan wa 'ishriin 22
thalaathiin 30
waHid wa thalaathiin 31
ithnaan wa thalaathiin 32
arba'iin 40
khamsiin 50
sittiin 60
sab'iin 70
thamaaniin 80
tis'iin 90

You should read Arabic numbers in the same order as English numbers, from the largest to smallest place, except for the ones digit, which comes before the tens. So 1964 would be read “one thousand, nine hundred, four, and sixty” or alf tis'a mi'a arba' wa sittiin.

100 and higher
mi'a 100
mi'a wa waHid 101
mi'a wa 'ashara 110
mi'a wa khamsa wa khamsiin 155
mi'ataan 200
thalaath mi'a 300
arba' mi'a 400
khamsu mi'a 500
sitta mi'a 600
sab'a mi'a 700
thamaanii mi'a 800
tis'a mi'a 900
alf 1,000
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