Expressing large numbers: thousands, millions and billions

Up to neuf cent quatre-vingt-dix-neuf [choses] (999 [things]), you can express quantities simply with the number + [noun]

Vingt-six oeufs 
Twenty six eggs

Deux cents soldats 
Two hundred soldiers

See previous lesson: Expressing numbers 70 to 99 


Thousands

There are two ways to express a thousand [things] in French: 

mille + [plural noun] 
or 
un millier de + [plural noun]

Il lui envoie deux mille roses.He sends her two thousand roses.

Il lui envoie deux milliers de roses.He sends her two thousand roses.

Mille soldats sont venus.A thousand soldiers came.

Un millier de soldats sont venus.A thousand soldiers came.
-> Both mille and un millier de are followed by a plural verb (sont venus). 

ATTENTION: 

mille never agrees in number with the noun it refers to (deux mille), whereas un millier de becomes deux milliers de, etc

Note
that you always need the de with millier !


Millions

The way to express a million [things] is always: 

un million de + [plural noun]

Un million de touristesOne million tourists

Trois millions d'eurosThree million euros

Il a gagné six millions de dollars au loto.He won six million dollars in the lottery.

Un million de agrees in number with the noun it refers to:
trois millions de, cinq millions de, ...

 

Billions

The way to express a billion [things] is always:

un milliard de + [plural noun]

Un milliard d'eurosA billion euros

Sept milliards d'êtres humainsSeven billion human beings

Ce château coûte dix milliards de livres sterling.This palace costs ten billion pounds.

Un milliard de agrees in number with the noun it refers to: 
cent milliards de, vingt milliards de, ...

 

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Examples and resources

Ce château coûte dix milliards de livres sterling.This palace costs ten billion pounds.
Il a gagné six millions de dollars au loto.He won six million dollars in the lottery.
Un millier de soldats sont venus.A thousand soldiers came.
Il lui envoie deux milliers de roses.He sends her two thousand roses.

billions


Sept milliards d'êtres humainsSeven billion human beings
Un milliard d'eurosA billion euros

millions


Un million de touristesOne million tourists
Trois millions d'eurosThree million euros

thousands


Il lui envoie deux mille roses.He sends her two thousand roses.
Mille soldats sont venus.A thousand soldiers came.
Thinking...