Greek Numbers, Learn How to Count in Greek

The Greek Numbers

Greek Numbers are similar to the Arabic Numbers. Greeks follow the international numeric system, with the symbols 1,2,3,4 etc.

Greek Numbers follow the cardinal metric system, meaning the one we use for counting such as one, two, three etc (in English), as opposed to the ordinal metric system (first, second etc).

learn the greek numbers

About Greek numbers

If you are familiar with the Arabic metric system, the corresponding Greek numbers should be easy for you. The Greeks have a similar way of counting to almost all Western languages.

The numbers from 0-10 have their own words– as in all languages; same with numbers 11 and 12.

  • 1 = ena – ένα
  • 2 = dio – δύο
  • 3 = tria – τρία
  • 4= tessera – τέσσερα
  • 5 = pente – πέντε
  • 6 = eksi – έξι
  • 7 = efta – εφτά
  • 8 = okto – οκτώ
  • 9 = enia – εννιά
  • 10 = deka – δέκα
  • 11 = endeka – έντεκα
  • 12 = dodeka – δώδεκα

The difference from the other languages is that numbers from 13 to 19 do not have their own word, but are compound words, formed by 10 + the word representing the second digit. For instance, number 14 is dekatessera, a compound word formed by 10 (deka) and 4 (tessera).

  • 13 = dekatria
  • 14 = dekatessera
  • 15 = dekapente
  • 16 – dekaeksi

  • 17 = dekaefta

  • 18 = dekaokto
  • 19 = dekaenia
  • 20 = eikosi
  • 21 = eikosiena, etc.

Larger 2-digit numbers are formed by the tens, followed by the digits (e.g., forty one). All these characteristics are same in Greek as in Latin based languages.

Same as in other languages, Greeks also have separate words for 100, 1.000 etc:

  • 100 is ekato – εκατό
  • 1.000 is hilia (pronounced heeleea) – χίλια
  • 1.000.000 is ena ekatommyrio (pronounced ena ekatomeereeo) – ένα εκατομμύριο

Decimals: in Greek, the use of commas and periods is different than in English.

Period is used to separate the thousands, while the comma is used as the decimal point.

So in Greek we write:

1.000 (one thousand – hilia – χίλια)

1,5% (one and a half percent – ena misi tois ekato – ενάμισi τοις εκατό, or ενα κόμμα πέντε τοις εκατό – ena comma pente tois ekato – one point five precent).

The easy way to to read a number with decimal, is to read the numbers and pronounce the word comma (which is a Greek word anyway) between the two parts of the number.

One detail that differs from many other languages is that in Greek, the cardinal numbers for one, three, and four, have the form of adjectives; hence, they can be declined following the gender and the case of the noun they accompany. All the other numbers have just a single, non declined form.

Greek Numbers and Greek Math Symbols

The math symbols in Greek are the same symbols as in the international math system.

The Greek symbol for – (minus) is called “meion” (μείον), pronounced “meeon” in Greek. If you want to read a negative number such -10, you will say “meion deka”.

The Greek symbol for + (plus) is called “syn” (σύν) and is pronounced as “seen” in Greek. So, the number +10 would be “syn deka”.  If you want to add two numbers, for example 2+2, then you must say “deeo seen deeo” – δύο συν δύο.

The Greek sign of multiplying is x. The word used for the sign of x is “epi” and is read epee. So, if you have the 2×2 you will say “deeo epee deeo” – δύο επί δύο.

The Greek sign of division is / and the word used is “dia”, read “deea” in Greek. Using the same example, you would read the 2/2 as “deeo dia deeo” – δύο δια δύο.

The Greek sign of equal is = and the word used is “ison”, read as “eeson”. If you want to say 2×2=4 you will say “deeo epee deeo ison tessera” – δύο επί δύο ίσον τέσσερα.

The Symbol % in Greek is called “tois ekato” (τοις εκατό), pronounced “tees ekato” in Greek. 10% would be “deka tois ekato” – δέκα τοις εκατό.

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