Numbers in Dutch

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Here you can ask anything about Dutch articles ('de', 'het', 'een'), how to make plural nouns, how to make nouns small (diminutives), compound nouns, and everything else related to nouns and articles.
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matteo.gsp
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Numbers in Dutch

Post by matteo.gsp » Fri Jan 17, 2014 9:04 pm

Hello everyone,
I know it could seem a stupid question but I found no answers. I studied the simple numbers but I can't figure out how to say the bigger numbers. For example, 1995 is "negentienhonderdvijfennegentig". Why do you use "honderd"?

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Quetzal
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Re: Numbers in Dutch

Post by Quetzal » Sat Jan 18, 2014 10:50 am

It's not obligatory, of course - nothing wrong with "duizendnegenhonderdvijfennegentig". But especially for years, you will indeed see that we often find it easier to use "negentienhonderd" than "duizendnegenhonderd". And the "honderd" will generally be dropped when something else is following, so that you hear people say "negentien vijfennegentig".

By the way, English does the same (e.g. the book by George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four or 1984), as does German and no doubt other languages.

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Re: Numbers in Dutch

Post by Joke » Sat Jan 18, 2014 3:12 pm

Note that we don't do this for 2095. That's always 'tweeduizendvijfennegentig'; never 'twintighondervijfennegentig'.
But 2195 is again 'eenentwintighonderdvijfennegentig', etc, up till 9999: 'negenennegentighonderdnegenennegentig'. After 9999 we stick to the thousands as basic elements of counting.
And if it's just a number, not a year, you can't leave out the 'honderd'.

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Re: Numbers in Dutch

Post by matteo.gsp » Sun Jan 19, 2014 11:08 am

Thank you both for your answers. Anyway, is it possible to divide it into two numbers (like English does) and say "negentienvijfennegentien"?

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Bert
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Re: Numbers in Dutch

Post by Bert » Sun Jan 19, 2014 10:27 pm

matteo.gsp wrote:Thank you both for your answers. Anyway, is it possible to divide it into two numbers (like English does) and say "negentienvijfennegentien"?
Joke writes that it is only possible when it comes to a date (e.g. the year when you were born):
Joke wrote:And if it's just a number, not a year, you can't leave out the 'honderd'.

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Re: Numbers in Dutch

Post by matteo.gsp » Mon Jan 20, 2014 11:24 pm

Ok, I think you guys answered all my doubts about this, thank you all.

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Re: Numbers in Dutch

Post by Burgsch » Mon Sep 14, 2015 1:00 am

How long did it take to get used to this quite weird number system?
I meant saying it in reverse order.

When my teacher says in Dutch "open the book at 149 page" I often get confused... despite of my efforts to get it working.
When somebody says day of birth it is nightmare.

Where does this reverse reading come from? Surely not from English as they use "normal" way, also they do not make long worms like "eenentwintighonderdvijfennegentig" which are unreadable :D

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Re: Numbers in Dutch

Post by ngonyama » Mon Sep 14, 2015 3:03 am

Burgsch wrote:How long did it take to get used to this quite weird number system?
I meant saying it in reverse order.

When my teacher says in Dutch "open the book at 149 page" I often get confused... despite of my efforts to get it working.
When somebody says day of birth it is nightmare.

Where does this reverse reading come from? Surely not from English as they use "normal" way,
It is something Germanic I think. Both German and Danish have the same. English probably lost it after the Norman invasion in 1066

also they do not make long worms like "eenentwintighonderdvijfennegentig" which are unreadable

No, but English is pretty inconsistent in compounding, sometimes they are written as one word, like "schoolboy", sometimes not like "school bus". Dutch is pretty consistent: always as one word, although in numerals there is always a space after duizend.

Besides there are other languages where counting is a far greater nightmare. Russian e.g. where every bit of the numeral gets its own case endings :?
:D

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