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Cardinal Numbers

What are cardinal numbers?

Cardinal numbers are basically regular ol’ numbers. They simply indicate the number of people, animals, or things.
Eu tenho três irmãos paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio I have three brothers
Ela tem dez pássaros paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio She has ten birds
Vocês compram vinte laranjas paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio You buy twenty oranges

They are invariable, except…

The majority of cardinal numbers are invariable, meaning they only have one form. There are a few important exceptions, however: um paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio one, dois paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio two and the centenas paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio hundreds, starting at 200, do change form depending on the gender of the noun. For example:

  • Um copo paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio One glassUma mesa paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio One table
  • Dois carros paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Two carsDuas casas paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Two houses
  • Duzentos euros paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Two hundred eurosDuzentas formigas paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Two hundred ants

Cem or Cento?

Cem paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio Hundred is used when it stands on its own before a noun or when talking about higher quantities.
Cem pássaros paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio One hundred birds
Cem mil dólares paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio One hundred thousand dollars
However, when is followed by a lower number, we use cento.
Cento e dez paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio One hundred and ten
Cento e vinte paused audio playing audio Play slow audio Play normal audio One hundred and twenty

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