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Math Vocabulary Words For Bilingual French-English Speakers

By SaraWalker

Are you looking to start your student group on numbers and math in French class? Use these math French vocabulary words to help develop student numeracy skills, then use the suggested activities and games to reinforce learning.

Learning the Numbers – Counting From Zero to Ten

First, let’s look at the numbers in French: Green Bottles 

0 – Zéro, 1 – Un, 2 – Deux, 3 – Trois, 4 – Quatre, 5 – Cinq, 6 – Six, 7 – Sept, 8 – Huit, 9 – Neuf, 10 – Dix

Practicing the Numbers From One to Ten

Singing Ten Green Bottles (a children’s counting song) in French is an excellent way to familiarize students with the numbers from one to ten.

Learning the Numbers – Counting From Eleven to Twenty

11 – Onze, 12 – Douze, 13 – Treize, 14 – Quatorze, 15 – Quinze, 16 – Seize, 17 – Dix-sept, 18 – Dix-huit, 19 – Dix-neuf, 20 – Vingt

Note how the format of the numbers changes when you get to seventeen (dix-sept). The numbers from zero to sixteen each have a specific word, but seventeen becomes dix-sept, or ten-seven. The numbers now continue to take this format, making them easier to learn.

Practicing the Numbers Between Eleven and Twenty

First, divide students into two groups. Now give each student in the first group a job, such as baker, butcher, post office worker, etc. The other members of the group can now go to each "shop" in turn, buying a different quantity of a different item.

For example:Baguettes 

Student 1 (going to each "shop" in turn):

(At the baker’s) Je voudrais douze croissants, s’il-vous-plaît.

(At the grocer’s) Quinze oeufs, s’il-vous-plaît.

(At the post office) Je voudrais dix-sept timbres, s’il-vous-plaît.

When every student has finished their shopping, the two groups change places.

Learning the Numbers – Counting From Twenty Upwards

21 – vingt-et-un (literally one and twenty), 22 – vingt-deux (two and twenty), 23 – vingt-trois (three and twenty), and so on until you reach thirty.

30 – Thirty

40 – Quarante

50 – CinquanteNumbered French Departments 

60 – Soixante

70 – Soixante-dix (literally sixty-ten)

80 – Quatre-vingt (four twenties)

90 – quatre-vingt-dix (four twenties and ten)

100 – Cent

Once 100 is reached, the sequence starts again. For example:

101 – cent un, 102 – cent deux, etc.

200 – deux cents

300 – trois cents, etc.

1,000 – mille

Practicing the Numbers From Twenty Upwards

Divide students into groups of two. One student is given a recipe to read aloud to the other, who must write it down. The students should then swap places and use a different recipe. Compare the notes against the original to make sure that all the numbers have been taken down correctly.Tarte Tatin 

Example Recipe 1

Tarte Tatin

Pour la pâte

    320 g de farine 225 g de beurre 110 g de sucre en poudre 3 jaunes d’oeuf

Pour la tarte

    6 pommes Golden 115 g de sucre en poudre 115 g de beurre

Faire cuire à 250C.

Example Recipe 2


Pour commencer la pâte: Brioche 

    115 ml de lait 65 g de farine 25 g de levure

Pour continuer:

    5 oeufs 450 g de farine 450 g de beurre 60 g de sucre 12 g de sel

Faire cuire à 220C

Math Vocabulary

When the students are happy with the numbers, start to introduce additional math vocabulary.

  • To divide – diviser
  • To add – additioner
  • To subtract – soustraire
  • To multiply – multiplier
  • Percentage – pourcentage (m)
  • To total – totaliser
  • Sum – total (m) or somme (f)
  • Plus – plus
  • Minus – moins
  • To equal – égaler

Practicing the Math Vocabulary

Ask students to make up their own sums, and read them out to the rest of the group. The other students should give the (hopefully correct) answer!

Example: 30 divisé par 10 plus 101 moins 14 égale? 90.

Teaching math vocabulary words to bilingual French-English students and practicing it using the activities will help improve your students' listening and language skills in an interesting, accessible way.