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Hablando de millones

Let’s learn the rest of our Spanish numbers into the millions! We’ll learn the Spanish words for “thousand” and “million”, and we’ll get lots of practice using our numbers in real-life Spanish sentences. We’ll also learn some new things about Spanish gerunds.

Full Podcast Episode


Siendo honesto…

Intro: Join us on a rigorous, step-by-step journey to fluency. I’m Timothy and this is LearnCraft Spanish.

Today we’re going to do our last essential work on numbers so that we can go to the millions and beyond. The Spanish word for “thousand” is mil, spelled m-i-l. So for example:

There are a thousand reasons not to do this.

Hay mil razones para no hacer esto.

It’s very easy to talk about thousands in Spanish, because unlike cien, which changes to things like doscientos and quinientas, the word mil is pretty much always just mil. Here are a couple more examples:

We have one thousand five hundred boxes.

Tenemos mil quinientas cajas.

To talk about two thousand and beyond, you’ll use any number up to a thousand and then the word mil. For example:

It was the year two thousand.

Era el año dos mil.

Forty-three thousand people live in my village.

En mi pueblo viven cuarenta y tres mil personas.

We have five hundred thousand boxes.

Tenemos quinientas mil cajas.

Let’s practice using mil. In this quiz, we’re only going to use some very short phrases, other than the numbers themselves, which are going to be pretty tricky.

Fifty thousand dollars.

Cincuenta mil dólares.

One thousand six hundred and sixty-six.

Mil seiscientos sesenta y seis.

They have nine hundred and three thousand.

Tienen novecientos tres mil.

There are one thousand four hundred and sixteen cats.

Hay mil cuatrocientos dieciséis gatos.

There will be twenty-three thousand five hundred.

Habrá veintitrés mil quinientos.

Seven thousand two hundred and eighty-one people.

Siete mil doscientas ochenta y una personas.

Ten thousand six hundred and forty-seven dogs.

Diez mil seiscientos cuarenta y siete perros.

It’s worth two hundred five thousand four hundred pesos.

Vale doscientos cinco mil cuatrocientos pesos.

Our next word is the word for “million”, which is millón, spelled m-i-l-l-o-n, with an accent over the O. Millón. This word is kind of like mil, because it doesn’t change based on the gender of the thing you’re describing. However, there’s one weird thing about this word. Check out this sentence:

It was a million years later.

Fue un millón de años después.

So instead of simply saying millón años, we say un millón de años, literally “one million of years”. This is a unique thing about the word millón: Unlike other numbers, it tends to have a de after it. And when you’re talking about one million, you say un millón. So if we were saying “it was a thousand years”, we’d say fue mil años, but to say “it was a million years”, we say fue un millón de años.

Other than that, millón functions very much like mil. You can put a number before or after it the same way we do in English. But two different things happen. First of all, if we put a number before it, millón becomes millones. For example:

There are two hundred million people.

Hay doscientos millones de personas.

And then if we put a number after it, we no longer have to do the de thing. So for example:

They have five million one hundred thousand dollars.

Tienen cinco millones cien mil dólares.

Let’s get a little bit of practice with millón.

Seven million dollars.

Siete millones de dólares.

One million five hundred thousand.

Un millón quinientos mil.

There are sixty million kinds.

Hay sesenta millones de tipos.

They have one million seven hundred thousand.

Tienen un millón setecientos mil.

One hundred and forty-one million houses.

Ciento cuarenta y un millones de casas.

All right, now we’re able to deal with numbers all the way up to 999,999,999. Let’s take it to the billions. Here’s something that makes Spanish numbers quite a bit different from English numbers: To say “a billion” in Spanish, you actually say mil millones, literally “a thousand millions”. For example:

There are eight billion people in the world.

Hay ocho mil millones de personas en el mundo.

Here’s a more complex example:

One billion five hundred million.

Mil quinientos millones.

Literally “one thousand five hundred millions”. Here’s another one:

Two billion forty-five million.

Dos mil cuarenta y cinco millones.

Don’t worry, we’re not going to make you work with enormous numbers too much. There ARE words in Spanish for a trillion and beyond, but we have enough numbers to work with for now. Let’s use another quiz to get some more practice with mil and millón, including just one or two uses of mil millones. And for this quiz, we’re only using numbers, no nouns or verbs.

One million ninety-four thousand.

Un millón noventa y cuatro mil.

Thirty-one million.

Treinta y un millones.

One million two hundred eighty thousand.

Un millón doscientos ochenta mil.

Seven hundred thirty-six million.

Setecientos treinta y seis millones.

Forty-five million seven hundred thousand.

Cuarenta y cinco millones setecientos mil.

Six billion.

Seis mil millones.

Five hundred forty-nine million.

Quinientos cuarenta y nueve millones.

One billion six hundred eighty-seven million.

Mil seiscientos ochenta y siete millones.

All right, that was probably very difficult and may require more practice. If you want to really challenge yourself, I recommend using the free flashcards at LCSPodcast.com/223. But if you want to go easy on yourself, note that some of the most common uses of these words don’t involve super-specific numerical amounts, like these; instead, you’re very likely to say things like “millions” or “thousands” in a general way. For example:

There are thousands and thousands of those!

¡Hay miles y miles de esos!

Before we go on to today’s final quiz, let’s also revisit gerunds. So far, we’ve mostly been using gerunds after Estar to indicate something that’s continuous. For example:

They were walking by foot.

Estaban andando a pie.

We’ve also learned that the verbs Terminar and Seguir are often followed by gerunds. Here are a couple of examples:

They keep passing.

Siguen pasando.

He wanted to be a nurse, but he ended up being a doctor.

Quería ser enfermero, pero terminó siendo médico.

Well, it turns out that gerunds can actually be used in more ways than just after one of these verbs. In fact, in general, a gerund can behave very much like an adverb.

Remember that adverbs can be used as additional information in a sentence, and kind of thrown in as an afterthought. For example, let’s start with “she did it.” Ella lo hizo. This is a complete sentence by itself. But we can also throw in an adverb to add information. Maybe ella lo hizo ayer, or ella solo lo hizo, or ella lo hizo rápido.

Or, if we want a longer phrase, instead of just adding an adverb, we can add a whole phrase that starts with a preposition. For example, ella lo hizo por mí, ella lo hizo con su amiga, ella lo hizo en la noche, and so on.

We can do the exact same thing with gerunds. But usually this is a bigger deal than just adding an adverb or a prepositional phrase; it tends to involve a pause and maybe a comma. So here’s an example:

She did it passing by my house.

Ella lo hizo pasando por mi casa.

So the entire phrase pasando por mi casa is a lot of extra information; in fact, we’re adding an entire action. But pasando por mi casa isn’t a complete sentence, because pasando isn’t a conjugated verb. The core of the sentence is still ella lo hizo, where hizo is the core conjugated verb. We’ve just used the gerund pasando as extra information.

Here’s a very common example:

Being honest, I don’t want them to be here.

Siendo honesto, no quiero que estén aquí.

So here we’re using the word honesto, which is a new adjective that means “honest”. So the core of the sentence is no quiero que estén aquí, but we used the extra phrase siendo honesto to add information.

Let’s get some practice with using gerunds to add information to a sentence.

She was there, talking to your friends.

Estaba ahí, hablando con tus amigos.

Being honest(f), I don’t love them.

Siendo honesta, no me encantan.

They were under the rain, looking at the trees.

Estaban bajo la lluvia, mirando los árboles.

He was at home, waiting for the storm to leave.

Estaba en casa, esperando que se fuera la tormenta.

For more practice with any of this, feel free to dig deeper at LCSPodcast.com/223. Or if you’re ready, let’s go on to today’s final quiz.

There are two million one hundred ten thousand people in that city.

Hay dos millones ciento diez mil personas en esa ciudad.

Don’t play that! You’ve been playing it for hours.

¡No toques eso! Lo has estado tocando por horas.

I love that plant, it’s one of the eight hundred and ninety-seven million types.

Me encanta esa planta, es una de los ochocientos noventa y siete millones de tipos.

I don’t want him to touch the seven million six hundred thousand dollars.

No quiero que toque los siete millones seiscientos mil dólares.

(Plural) Play that song, they will love it!

¡Toquen esa canción, les encantará!

Being honest, I’ve never seen snow in the river.

Siendo honesto, nunca he visto nieve en el río.

(Formal) Don’t touch any of the sixty-two million.

No toque ninguno de los sesenta y dos millones.

Ninety-eight million two hundred thousand people were there, watching the game.

Noventa y ocho millones doscientas mil personas estaban ahí, viendo el juego.

It’s your turn, but being honest, you shouldn’t play.

Te toca, pero siendo honesto, no deberías jugar.

The lake has a million animals.

El lago tiene un millón de animales.

If you play in front of forty-eight million people, it’ll be great!

¡Si tocas frente a cuarenta y ocho millones de personas, será genial!

They have loved the island with seven million four hundred thousand people.

Les ha encantado la isla con siete millones cuatrocientas mil personas.

Thousands of people were here, listening to the piano.

Miles de personas estaban aquí, escuchando el piano.

I want you to play the guitar in front of thirty-nine million people.

Quiero que toques la guitarra frente a treinta y nueve millones de personas.

We don’t want all of them to play; one does the trick.

No queremos que todos ellos toquen, uno basta.

This has to sound good for all those millions of people.

Esto tiene que sonar bien para todos esos millones de personas.

She is honest and she says nothing hurts.

Ella es honesta y dice que no le duele nada.

There are over two billion six hundred million.

Hay más de dos mil seiscientos millones.

Do you think there are three million seven thousand animals in the sea?

¿Crees que hay tres millones setecientos mil animales en el mar?

He plays the guitar, but he doesn’t want to play today.

Toca la guitarra, pero no quiere tocar hoy.

I don’t play music.

No toco música.

There are six million one hundred and fifty thousand trees in that forest.

Hay seis millones ciento cincuenta mil árboles en ese bosque.

There were one hundred and thirty million people in nature, looking at the moon.

Había ciento treinta millones de personas en la naturaleza, mirando la luna.

We loved the beach and we would love to go back to the sun.

Nos encantó la playa y nos gustaría regresar al sol.

Being honest(plural), five hundred and forty-four million are too many.

Siendo honestos, quinientos cuarenta y cuatro millones son demasiados.

She hasn’t played in front of five hundred and fifty million people.

No ha tocado frente a quinientos cincuenta millones de personas.

She wants me to play the piano because it sounds good.

Quiere que yo toque el piano porque suena bien.

She played that song with the guitar.

Tocó esa canción con la guitarra.

For more practice with all of this, go to LCSPodcast.com/223.

In tomorrow’s episode we’ll learn some new words you can use to describe people, as well as some nouns relevant to travel, such as “vacation”, “traffic”, and “flight”.

This show is brought to you by LearnCraftSpanish.com. The Spanish voice in this episode was our coach Michael Agudelo. Our music was performed by the Seattle Marimba Quartet, and I’m Timothy, encouraging you to do the hard work of learning Spanish. Acquiring a second language is one of the most fulfilling things you can do, so start your fluency journey today at LCSPodcast.com.

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