Numbers in Shona

Learn numbers in Shona

Knowing numbers in Shona is probably one of the most useful things you can learn to say, write and understand in Shona. Learning to count in Shona may appeal to you just as a simple curiosity or be something you really need. Perhaps you have planned a trip to a country where Shona is the most widely spoken language, and you want to be able to shop and even bargain with a good knowledge of numbers in Shona.

It's also useful for guiding you through street numbers. You'll be able to better understand the directions to places and everything expressed in numbers, such as the times when public transportation leaves. Can you think of more reasons to learn numbers in Shona?

Shona (chiShona) is a Bantu language from the Niger-Congo family. Spoken in Zimbabwe (where it is co-official language with English and Sindebele), Mozambique, Zambia, and Botswana, it counts about 7 million speakers.Due to lack of data, we can only count accurately up to 99,999 in Shona. Please contact me if you can help me counting up from that limit.

List of numbers in Shona

Here is a list of numbers in Shona. We have made for you a list with all the numbers in Shona from 1 to 20. We have also included the tens up to the number 100, so that you know how to count up to 100 in Shona. We also close the list by showing you what the number 1000 looks like in Shona.

  • 1) motsi
  • 2) piri
  • 3) tatu
  • 4) china
  • 5) shanu
  • 6) tanhatu
  • 7) nomwe
  • 8) sere
  • 9) pfumbamwe
  • 10) gumi
  • 11) gumi neimwe
  • 12) gumi nembiri
  • 13) gumi nenhatu
  • 14) gumi neina
  • 15) gumi neshanu
  • 16) gumi nenhanhatu
  • 17) gumi nenomwe
  • 18) gumi nesere
  • 19) gumi nepfumbamwe
  • 20) makumi maviri
  • 30) makumi matatu
  • 40) makumi mana
  • 50) makumi mashanu
  • 60) makumi matanhatu
  • 70) makumi manomwe
  • 80) makumi masere
  • 90) makumi mapfumbamwe
  • 100) zana
  • 1,000) churu

Numbers in Shona: Shona numbering rules

Each culture has specific peculiarities that are expressed in its language and its way of counting. The Shona is no exception. If you want to learn numbers in Shona you will have to learn a series of rules that we will explain below. If you apply these rules you will soon find that you will be able to count in Shona with ease.

The way numbers are formed in Shona is easy to understand if you follow the rules explained here. Surprise everyone by counting in Shona. Also, learning how to number in Shona yourself from these simple rules is very beneficial for your brain, as it forces it to work and stay in shape. Working with numbers and a foreign language like Shona at the same time is one of the best ways to train our little gray cells, so let's see what rules you need to apply to number in Shona

  • Digits and numbers from zero to nine are specific words, namely ziro [0], motsi [1], piri [2], tatu [3], china [4], shanu [5], tanhatu [6], nomwe [7], sere [8], and pfumbamwe [9].
  • The tens are formed by putting makumi before their multiplier digit prefixed with ma-, except for ten, with some exceptions: gumi [10], makumi maviri [20] (maviri and not mapiri), makumi matatu [30], makumi mana [40] (mana and not machina), makumi mashanu [50], makumi matanhatu [60], makumi manomwe [70], makumi masere [80], and makumi mapfumbamwe [90].
  • Compound numbers are formed by saying the ten and the unit digit prefixed with ne- and separated with a space (e.g.: gumi nesere [18], makumi mashanu nena [54]).
  • Hundreds are formed by setting the multiplier digit (prefixed with ma-) after the word for hundred (zana, prefixed with ma-), except for one hundred itself: zana [100], mazana maviri [200], mazana matatu [300], mazana mana [400], mazana mashanu [500], mazana matanhatu [600], mazana manomwe [700], mazana masere [800], and mazana mapfumbamwe [900].
  • Thousands are formed the same way as hundreds, i.e. by setting the multiplier digit (prefixed with zvi-) after the word for thousand (churu, which becomes zvuru when multiplied), except for one thousand itself: churu [1,000], zvuru zviviri [2,000], zvuru zvitatu [3,000], zvuru zvizvina [4,000], zvuru zvishanu [5,000], zvuru zvitanhatu [6,000], zvuru zvinomwe [7,000], zvuru zvisere [8,000], and zvuru pfumbamwe [9,000] (pfumbamwe is not prefixed with zvi-).
  • Higher thousands are formed prefixing the word for multiplied thousands (zvuru) with re- and putting the multiplier first for round thousands (e.g.: gumi rezvuru [10,000]), whereas compound higher thousands are formed by putting the word thousand first, then the multiplier, and the following hundred, ten ot unit prefixed with ne- (e.g.: zvuru gumi nezana [10,100]).
  • Shona language
  • Shona Basic Course
  • Numbers in different languages