Cardinal, ordinal and fractional numbers

Cardinal numbers less than 100 are written in the solid form. While the bound conjunction “o” stands for “and”, the suffix “-om” or “-omin” are used to form the ordinals depending on whether the number occurs before or after a noun:

radif e bistopanjom


bistopanjomin radif the twenty-fifth row

The following table provides an overview of the structure of cardinal and ordinal numbers:

Cardinal Cardinal Ordinal (after a noun)) Ordinal (before a noun)
1 yek yekom/avval/noxost yekomin/avvalin/noxostin
2 do dovvom dovvomin
3 se sevvom sevvomin
4 câhâr câhârom câhâromin
5 panj panjom panjomin
6 ŝeŝ ŝeŝom ŝeŝomin
7 haft haftom haftomin
8 haŝt haŝtom haŝtomin
9 noh nohom nohomin
10 dah dahom dahomin
11 yâzdah yâzdahom yâzdahomin
12 davâzdah davâzdahom davâzdahomin
13 sizdah sizdahom sizdahomin
14 câhârdah câhârdahom câhârdahomin
15 pânzdah pânzdahom pânzdahomin
16 ŝânzdah ŝânzdahom ŝânzdahomin
17 hefdah hefdahom hefdahomin
18 hejdah hejdahom hejdahomin
19 nuzdah nuzdahom nuzdahomin
20 bist bistom bistomin
21 bistoyek bistoyekom bistoyekomin
  bisto……… bisto……… bisto………
30 si siom siomin
31 sioyek sioyekom sioyekomin
  sio……… sio……… sio………
40 cehel cehelom cehelomin
41 ceheloyek ceheloyekom ceheloyekomin
  cehelo……… cehelo……… cehelo………
50 panjâh panjâhom panjâhomin
51 panjâhoyek panjâhoyekom panjâhoyekomin
  panjâho……… panjâho……… panjâho………
60 ŝast ŝastom ŝastomin
61 ŝastoyek ŝastoyekom ŝastoyekomin
  ŝasto……… ŝasto……… ŝasto………
70 haftâd haftâdom haftâdomin
71 haftâdoyek haftâdoyekom haftâdoyekomin
  haftâdo……… haftâdo……… haftâdo………
80 haŝtâd haŝtâdom haŝtâdomin
81 haŝtâdoyek haŝtâdoyekom haŝtâdoyekomin
  haŝtâdo……… haŝtâdo……… haŝtâdo………
90 navad navadom navadomin
91 navadoyek navadoyekom navadoyekomin
  navado……… navado……… navado………
100 sad sadom sadomin
125 sad o bistopanj sadobistopanjom sadobistopanjomin
200 devist devistom devistomin
300 sisad sisadom sisadomin
400 câhârsad câhârsadom câhârsadomin
500 pânsad pânsadom pânsadomin
600 ŝeŝsad ŝeŝsadom ŝeŝsadomin
700 haftsad haftsadom haftsadomin
800 haŝtsad haŝtsadom haŝtsadomin
900 nohsad nohsadom nohsadomin
999 nohsad o navadonoh nohsadonavadonohom nohsadonavadonohomin
1.000 hezâr hezârom hezâromin
2.000 do hezâr dohezârom dohezâromin
9.000 noh hezâr nohhezârom nohhezâromin
1.000.000 yek milyun yekmilyunom yekmilyunomin yek milyârd yekmilyârdom yekmilyârdomin

After the numbers 2 and 3, “vv” is inserted before “om”:

dovvom 2nd sevvom 3th

The corresponding questions, whose answer includes a cardinal or an ordinal number, are formed ​​using cand (how many) or candom/candomin (umpteenth). Like all other ordinals numbers, candom is used before the noun, which is followed by the bound conjunction “-e”. In constrast, candomin is used after the noun:

Cand (tâ) gol dâri? How many flowers do you have?
Se tâ. Three.
Nasrin dar radif e candom neŝast? In the umpteenth series die Nasrin sit?
Dar radif e panjom. In the fifth row.
Nasrin dar candomin radif neŝast? In the umpteenth series die Nasrin sit?
Dar panjomin radif. In the fifth row.

However, cand can also be used with the meaning “a few”, “a couple of” or “some”:

(Man) cand (tâ) gol dâram. I have a few flowers.

If you want to emphasize the uncertainty of a statement, you use an indefinite noun or category word, which is formed by the postposition “i”:

(Man) cand mâh i dar Tehrân mimânam. I stay for a couple of months in Tehran.

While the numerator of a fraction is a cardinal number, the denominator is an ordinal number:

yekdovvom 1/2 dosevvom 2/3 secâhârom 3/4

In addition the following fractions are also used:

nim/nesf 1/2 sols 1/3 rob’ 1/4


Depending on what category the noun is, different category words are used, whereby the category word (piece) plays a special role and can almost always be used from 2 pieces on:

Category Word Category Example Meaning
dast clothes, dishes, furniture do dast kotŝalvâr two suits
dâne fruit, bread, eggs se dâne toxmemorq three eggs
farvand aircrafts panj farvand havâpeymâ five aircrafts
jeld books yek jeld ketâb a book
joft objective couples câhâr joft kafŝ four pairs of shoes
tan / nafar people haŝt tan / nafar eight people
ra‘s animals do ra’s gâv two cows
general se tâ toxmemorq three eggs

As you can see from the above examples, the noun stays always in singular after a category word.

Category words can be omitted:

do (farvand) havâpeymâ two airplanes

If you omit the noun, then you have to use a category word for numbers from 2. yeki is used for 1 instead of yek:

do havâpeymâ two airplanes > do tâ
se docarxe three bikes > se tâ
yek nafar one person > yeki

Percentages and decimals

Percentages are expressed using darsad (in hundred):

do darsad 2% bistopanj darsad 25%

The decimal places of a decimal number are expressed in dahom (tenth), sadom (hundredths), hezârom (thousandths) …:

bistopanjsadom 0.25 bisto panjsadom 20.05


The arithmetic operations can be expressed as follows:

3 + 5 = 8 Se be alâve / ezâfe ye panj miŝavad hasht.
8 – 3 = 5 Hasht menhâ ye se miŝavad panj.
4 × 4 = 16 cahâr (zarb) dar cahâr miŝavad shânzdah.
8 : 4 = 2 Hasht taqsim bar câhâr miŝavad do.

Instead of miŝavad (gets) you can also use barâbar ast bâ or mosâvi ‘st bâ (is equal to).


Sâ’at (hour, clock) can be dropped in time expressions. Daqiqe (minute) is given only after a cardinal number. To refer to a specific time, the bound conjunction “e” is used:

(Sâ’at e) do qazâ mixorim. We eat at two o’clock.

The bound conjunction “e” is not used if you want to tell what time it is:

(Sâ’at) câhâr ast. It’s four o‘clock.
(Sâ’at) panj o nim ast. It’s half past five.
(Sâ’at) panj o si daqiqe ast. It’s five thirty.
(Sâ’at) haft o rob’ ast. It’s a quarter past seven.
(Sâ’at) haft o 15 daqiqe ast. It’s seven fifteen.
(Sâ’at) haft o panj daqiqe ast. It’s five past seven.
(Sâ’at) yek rob’ be hasht ast. It’s a quarter to eight.
(Sâ’at) haft o cehelopanj daqiqe ast. It’s seven forty five.

When asked about the time the word sâ’at is necessary. You have two options available:

Sâ’at e cand qazâ mixorid? What o’clock do you eat?
Ce sâ’at i qazâ mixorid? What o’clock do you eat?

Month names

The Iranian calendar is a solar calendar and begins on the first day of spring (March 21):

bahâr spring 1 farvardin 2 ordibeheŝt 3 xordâd
tâbestân summer 4 tir 5 mordâd 6 ŝahrivar
pâyiz autumn 7 mehr 8 âbân 9 âzar
zemestân winter 10 dey 11 bahman 12 esfand

The names of the months of the Christian calendar come from the French:

ĵânvie fevrie mârs âvril me ĵuan ĵuie ut septâmbr oktobr novâmbr desâmbr


The week starts on Saturday (ŝanbe) and ends on Friday (jom’e; âdine).The days of the week are:

ŝanbe yekŝanbe doŝanbe seŝanbe câhârŝanbe panjŝanbe jom’e; âdine
Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

Depending on whether you have the night before or the night after a weekday in mind, ŝab (evening, night) plays a different role:

jom’eŝab Friday evening ŝab e jom’e Thursday night


The ordinals are usually used for dates:

(ruz e) ŝanbe, panjom e mehr(mâh) e (sâl e) hezâr o sisad o navadoyek Saturday 5th Mehr 1991
(ruz e) ŝanbe, panjom e oktobr e (sâl e) do hezâr o davâzdah Saturday 5th October 2012


The following expressions/questions are usually used for ages:

(To) cand sâl dâri? How old are you?
(Man) bist sâl dâram. I’m 20 years old.
(Shomâ) cand sâl etân ast? How old Are you?
(Man) bist sâl am ast. I’m 20 years old.