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# Cardinal Numbers by Fernanda L. Ferreira, Ph.D.

These numbers are used for counting and expressing quantities. In Portuguese, the number one has two forms: um for masculine and uma for feminine. The same is true for the number two: dois and duas. The basic number sequence that you must learn is zero through fifteen. See the following table.

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## Numbers Zero to Fifteen

 zero zero ZEH-roh one um, uma UHN, UHN-ah two dois, duas DOY-sh, DOO-ahsh three três TREYSH four quatro KWA-troh five cinco SIN-koo six seis SEYSH seven sete SEH-tchee, SHE-tee eight oito OY-too nine nove NOH-vee ten dez DEH-ish eleven onze OHN-zee twelve doze DOH-zee thirteen treze TREH-zee fourteen catorze kah-TOHR-zee fifteen quinze KEEN-zee

Notice that the number sete (seven) has variable pronunciation in different regions of Brazil. The speakers from the southeast, especially those from Rio de Janeiro, will have a more palatal variant (SEH-tchee), which is heard with the combinations te and ti, such as the word tia (aunt), pronounced TCHEE-ah. Now the next set of numbers is a combination of “ten” plus a unit number. See the following table:

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## Numbers Sixteen to Nineteen

 sixteen dezesseis deh-zeh-SEYSH seventeen dezessete deh-zeh-SEH-tchee eighteen dezoito deh-ZOY-too nineteen dezenove deh-zeh-NOH-vee

Notice that the combination of — ss — indicates a soft pronunciation of an [s] sound in English, not a [z] sound that is associated with a — s — that is common between vowels. The next set of numbers is from vinte (twenty) to cem (one hundred). When we need to express the combination of tens and units, we simply use the word e (and) in between the numbers. See the following examples.

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## Numbers Twenty to One Hundred

 twenty vinte VEEN-tchee twenty-one vinte e um, uma VEEN-tchee-ee-UHN, -UHN-ah twenty-two vinte e dois, duas VEEN-tchee-ee-DOYSH, - DOO-ahsh twenty-three vinte e três VEEN-tchee-ee-TREYSH thirty trinta TREEN-tah forty quarenta kwa-REHN-tah fifty cinqüenta sin-KWEN-tah sixty sessenta seh-SEHN-tah seventy setenta seh-TEHN-tah eighty oitenta oy-TEHN-tah ninety noventa noh-VEHN-tah one hundred cem SEH-in

After cem (one hundred), any combination of 100 plus another unit, such as 101, results in a change to cento (hundred) plus the word e followed by the unit. The same is repeated after each case. See the following examples.