Let’s Learn Numbers in Serbian

Wooden toy blocks with numbers on each side.

Do you know your numbers in Serbian? Sure, counting to ten may be a piece of cake. But what about one hundred? Or one thousand?

If all the zeros are already making you dizzy — don’t worry. We’re here to guide you through Serbian numbers and show you how to use them in real-life situations.

Ready to begin? Three, two, one… Let’s go!

Learning Numbers in Serbian

Have you ever shopped in Serbia or had to schedule a hair salon appointment? If so, you know that you can’t do any of these without knowing Serbian numbers.

But don’t worry, you don’t need to be an expert to use Serbian numbers. Just learning the basics will go a long way, and that’s exactly what this article is about.

Types of Numbers

For your convenience, we’ll keep things super simple. So, throughout this guide, we’ll focus on:

  • Osnovni brojevi (cardinal numbers)
  • Redni brojevi (ordinal numbers)

Osnovni brojevi (Cardinal numbers)

Osnovni brojevi (cardinal numbers), is one of the first things to learn in a foreign language, so you might already know how to count to ten. Either way, let’s review it.

Counting to ten

Here are numbers from zero to ten.

0

nula

1

jedan

6

šest

2

dva

7

sedam

3

tri

8

osam

4

četiri

9

devet

5

pet

10

deset

A had holding a 10 euros bill.
Deset evra 🤑
Counting to One Hundred

Counting to one hundred is only slightly more challenging. Here’s the first set of numbers:

 

11

jedanaest

16

šesnaest

   12

dvanaest

17

sedamnaest

   13

trinaest

18

osamnaest

   14

četrnaest

19

devetnaest

   15

petnaest

20

dvadeset

   

When pronouncing the numbers 11 to 19, it’s common to omit the a in the suffix -aest. For instance, you’ll write jedanaest, but pronounce it like jedanest.

 

Counting from twenty is pretty simple, too:

20+1=21

dvadest + jedan = dvadeset jedan

 

From there, you just need to replace jedan with the necessary digit.

 

21

dvadest jedan

26

dvadeset šest

    22

dvadeset dva

27

dvadeset sedam

    23

dvadeset tri

28

dvadeset osam

    24

dvadeset četiri

29

dvadeset devet

    25

dvadeset pet

30

trideset

    

Now, you only need to know your ty numbers to be able to count to one hundred. Here they are:

 

20

dvadest

60

šezdeset

30

trideset

70

sedamdest

40

četrdeset

80

osamdeset

50

pedeset

90

devedeset

 

 

100

sto

 

For instance, the number sixty-seven will be:

60+7=67

šezdeset + sedam = šezdeset sedam

Counting to One Thousand

Similarly, to count to one thousand, you’ll need to know your hundreds:

100

sto

600

šesto

200

dvesta

700

sedamsto

300

trista

800

osamsto

400

četiristo

900

devetsto

500

šetsto

1000

hiljadu

After memorizing these, you just need to combine them with the numbers we already covered.

For example, 138 would be:

100+30+8=138

sto + trideset + osam = sto trideset osam

Next, 209 is:

200+9=209

dvesta + devet = dvesta devet

One Thousand and Larger

Now that you know how numbers work, the only thing left to do is to learn big numbers, and you’re all set.

 

 

thousand

million

billion

1

hiljadu

million

milijardu

2

dve hiljade

dva miliona

dve

milijarde

3

tri hiljade

tri miliona

tri milijarde

4

četitri hiljade

četiri miliona

četiri milijarde

5

pet

hiljada

pet

miliona

pet milijardi

6

šest hiljada

šest miliona

šest milijardi

7

sedam hiljada

sedam miliona

sedam milijardi

Notice the difference between hiljadu, dve hiljade, and pet hiljada. That’s just one of the quirks of the Serbian language. Luckily, numbers above five won’t change. So, it’ll be osam hiljada, devet hiljada, sto hiljada, and so on.

 

Once you get the hang of these, you can make any number. Here are a few examples:

1 365

hiljadu trista šezdeset pet

2 450 530

dva milliona | četiristo pedeset hiljada | petsto trideset

6 500 310 003

šest milijardi | petsto milliona | trista deset hiljada | tri

At last, we’re done with cardinal numbers. Remembering all these can seem like a hassle, but practice makes perfect. So, try using numbers in Serbian whenever you have a chance.

Redni brojevi (Ordinal numbers)

In a nutshell, redni brojevi (ordinal numbers) allow you to talk about a certain order of things, like the first, second, or fiftieth. Among other things, you use them to discuss dates, birthdates, and competitions.

Now, there are some facts that complicate the matter, such as the following:

  • Serbian ordinal numbers have singular and plural forms.
  • They change depending on whether the subject is masculine, feminine, or neuter gender.
  • They also change according to the case.

Again, you don’t need to master all of it at once — it’s best to start with baby steps!

So, let’s begin with small numbers:

1.

prvi

6.

šesti

2.

drugi

7.

sedmi

3.

treći

8.

osmi

4.

četvrti

9.

deveti

5.

peti

10.

deseti

As we said, Serbian ordinal numbers have genders. The above examples are masculine forms. To make them feminine, replace the final -i with -a. For neuter gender, you’ll change the -i into -o. Unsurprisingly, there is an exception; the third in Serbian requires the suffix -e in neuter gender — treće (not trećo).

For example:

#

1.

3.

9.

masculine

prvi

treći

deveti

feminine

prva

treća

deveta

neuter

prvo

treće

deveto

Prvo mesto, drugo mesto, treće mesto 🏆

For numbers above ten, you only need to add a suitable suffix. For example:

 

#

masculine

feminine

neuter

12.

dvanaesti

dvanaesta

dvanaesto

50. 

pedeseti

pedeseta

pedeseto

67.

šezdeset sedmi

šezdeset sedma

šezdeset sedmo

When it comes to big numbers, they look like this:

 

#

masculine

feminine

neuter

100

stoti

stota

stoto

1000

hiljaditi

hiljadita

hiljadito

What Can You Do With Serbian Numbers?

With the basics out of the way, it’s time to get practical. In other words, what can you use all these numbers for?

You Can Tell The Time

Do you dread being asked Koliko je sati? (What’s the time)? Now that you know numbers, telling time in Serbian is a walk in the park.

 

06:00

šest sati

08:15

osam i petnaest

09:30

devet i trideset

(or pola deset)

17:45

pet i četrdeset pet popodne

(or petnaest do šest)

A gray alarm clock showing 1:30
Koliko je sati? Jedan i trideset 🕜

You Can Talk About Dates

To talk about dates, you’ll need to know your ordinal numbers and the names of the months.

May 1 – prvi maj

April 25 – dvadeset peti april

December 31 – trideset prvi decembar

Knowing ordinal numbers, you can also say that it is the year 2024:

dve hiljade dvadeset četvrta godina

Or, you could say that it’s the 21st  century:

dvadeset prvi vek

You Can Make Appointments

If you, for instance, want to schedule a dentist’s appointment, here’s what it may sound like:

You: Da li mogu da zakažem termin sledeće nedelje?

(Can I schedule an appointment for the next week?)

Dentist: Da li Vam odgovara dvadeset drugi mart u deset i trideset?

(How about March 22, at 10:30?)

You: Ne mogu da stignem tada. Mogu li da zakažem za jedanaest sati?

(I won’t be able to make it. Can I schedule it for 11h?)

Dentist: U redu.

(All right.)

You Can Go Shopping

Whether it’s a supermarket, department store, or pharmacy, knowing numbers will make your shopping experience much more fun and comfortable.

This is especially true if you visit local outdoor markets in Serbia. Namely, most vendors don’t have cash registers, and don’t speak English.

But, as long as you know the basics about numbers you’ll be fine. Here’s how a shopping conversation may unfold:

You: Koliko košta kilogram jabuka?

(How much is a kilogram of apples?)

Vendor: Sto petnaest dinara.

(It’s 115 dinars.)

You: Daćete mi tri kilograma.

(I’ll take three kilograms.)

Practice Using Numbers in Serbian

Finally, with this knowledge about numbers in Serbian, you’re ready to talk about time, make appointments, or go shopping — whatever floats your boat. Of course, the more you practice, the quicker you’ll get the knack of it.

If you want to brush up on your numbers further (along with many other topics), check out our course for beginners. It’s got downloadable self-study materials, listening exercises, and fun quizzes to test your knowledge. Give it a go, and improve your practical Serbian skills in your free time!

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