Numbering in Akan (Twi) | How to Count in Akan (Twi)

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Our last two lessons under the Twi vocabulary module explored some Twi vocabulary for foods and some Ghanaian dishes/meals. Today, we are going to learn how to count in Twi. This lesson will also form a basis for a later lesson on how to tell time in Twi.

The numbering system in Akan (Twi) is quite simple to grasp. I’ll try to give tips on how to proceed after each set. Let’s not waste time, we’ve got some counting to do.

First, you need to memorise the following.

Video Lesson (Counting 1 – 10)

NumberTwiEnglish
0ohunu/hweezero
1baakoone
2mmienutwo
3mmiɛnsathree
4ɛnanfour
5enumfive
6nsiasix
7nsonseven
8nwɔtweeight
9nkronnine
10eduten

Number ten in Twi is ‘Edu’, correct? Now, proceeding to the next set of numbers (eleven to nineteen), we do away with all vowel prefixes. So ‘edu’ becomes ‘du’, ɛnan becomes ‘nan’, enum becomes ‘num’. Now, from eleven to nineteen, we simply attach the appropriate number to ‘du’.

Video Lesson (Counting 11 – 20 + Tenth Numbers)

NumberTwiEnglish
11dubaakoeleven
12dumienutwelve
13dumiɛnsathirteen
14dunanfourteen
15dunumfifteen
16dunsiasixteen
17dunsonseventeen
18dunwɔtweeighteen
19dunkronnineteen
20aduonutwenty

For the next set (twenty-one to twenty-nine) we add the appropriate number to ‘aduonu (twenty)’. This time, however, we separate them in writing, i.e. we do not combine them into a single word as we did with the previous set.

NumberTwiEnglish
21aduonu baakotwenty-one
22aduonu mmienutwenty-two
23aduonu mmiɛnsatwenty-three
24aduonu nantwenty-four
25aduonu numtwenty-five
26aduonu nsiatwenty-six
27aduonu nsontwenty-seven
28aduonu nwɔtwetwenty-eight
29aduonu nkrontwenty-nine
30aduasathirty

The next sets of numbers (31-40, 41-50, 51-60, 61-70, 71-80, 81-90, 91-100) employ the same mechanism as the previous set. So, what we need to do is memorise the names of the tens (tenth numbers), and simply add the appropriate numbers to them. Let’s look at numbers thirty-one to forty.

NumberTwiEnglish
31aduasa baakothirty-one
32aduasa mmienuthirty-two
33aduasa mmiɛnsathirty-three
34aduasa nanthirty-four
35aduasa numthirty-five
36aduasa nsiathirty-six
37aduasa nsonthirty-seven
38aduasa nwɔtwethirty-eight
39aduasa nkronthirty-nine
40aduananforty

I hope the mechanism is quite clear now. The next step is very important. I’m going to give you a tip which, hopefully, will help you to memorise the tenth numbers easily. Let’s check out numbers two to nine again: mmienu, mmiɛnsa, ɛnan, enum, nsia, nson, nwɔtwe, nkron. Take note of the parts that I’ve boldened. The tenth numbers are (roughly) formed by attaching the boldened parts to ‘du’ (the root of the number ten). Granted, other morphophonological processes are involved but this tip should be enough to aid you in the memorisation process.

Now let’s count in tens.

NumberTwiEnglish
10eduten
20aduonutwenty
30aduasathirty
40aduananforty
50aduonumfifty
60aduosiasixty
70aduɔsonseventy
80aduɔwɔtweeighty
90aduɔkronninety
100ɔhahundred

Next, numbers one hundred and one (101) to one hundred and ten (110). We state the number ‘Ɔha (hundred)’, introduce the conjunction ‘ne (and)’ and add the appropriate number.

NumberTwiEnglish
101ɔha ne baakoone hundred and one
102ɔha ne mmienuone hundred and two
103ɔha ne mmiɛnsaone hundred and three
104ɔha ne nanone hundred and four
105ɔha ne numone hundred and five
106ɔha ne nsiaone hundred and six
107ɔha ne nsonone hundred and seven
108ɔha ne nwɔtweone hundred and eight
109ɔha ne nkronone hundred and nine
110ɔha ne duone hundred and ten

Let’s continue.

NumberTwiEnglish
111ɔha ne dubaakoone hundred and eleven
112ɔha ne dumienuone hundred and twelve
113ɔha ne dumiɛnsaone hundred and thirteen
114ɔha ne dunanone hundred and fourteen
115ɔha ne dunumone hundred and fifteen
116ɔha ne dunsiaone hundred and sixteen
117ɔha ne dunsonone hundred and seventeen
118ɔha ne dunwɔtweone hundred and eighteen
119ɔha ne dunkronone hundred and nineteen
120ɔha ne aduonuone hundred and twenty

What we are doing is simply adding the numbers we’ve covered so far to ‘Ɔha ne (hundred and)’. Let’s cover one more set.

NumberTwiEnglish
121ɔha ne aduonu baakoone hundred and twenty-one
122ɔha ne aduonu mmienuone hundred and twenty-two
123ɔha ne aduonu mmiɛnsaone hundred and twenty-three
124ɔha ne aduonu nanone hundred and twenty-four
125ɔha ne aduonu numone hundred and twenty-five
126ɔha ne aduonu nsiaone hundred and twenty-six
127ɔha ne aduonu nsonone hundred and twenty-seven
128ɔha ne aduonu nwɔtweone hundred and twenty-eight
129ɔha ne aduonu nkronone hundred and twenty-nine
130ɔha ne aduasaone hundred and thirty

You get the idea. Let’s now count in the hundreds (100, 200, 300, … 1000). This is also easy. First, we form the plural of  ‘Ɔha’ by replacing its ‘ɔ-’ prefix with ‘a-’ to get ‘Aha’. We then attach to it (Aha) the boldened parts of the numbers mmienu (two), mmiɛnsa (three), ɛnan (four), enum (five), nsia (six), nson (seven), nwɔtwe (eight), nkron (nine). If you recall, we did same when we were counting in tens much earlier.

NumberTwiEnglish
100ɔhaone hundred
200ahanutwo hundred
300ahasathree hundred
400ahananfour hundred
500ahanumfive hundred
600ahansiasix hundred
700ahansonseven hundred
800ahanwɔtweeight hundred
900ahankronnine hundred
1,000apemone thousand

To proceed from the number one thousand (1000), we follow the same process we used earlier to count from the number one hundred (100).

NumberTwiEnglish
1,001apem ne baakoone thousand and one
1,002apem ne mmienuone thousand and two
1,003apem ne mmiɛnsaone thousand and three
1,004apem ne nanone thousand and four
1,005apem ne numone thousand and five
1,006apem ne nsiaone thousand and six
1,007apem ne nsonone thousand and seven
1,008apem ne nwɔtweone thousand and eight
1,009apem ne nkronone thousand and nine
1,010apem ne duone thousand and ten

We continue.

NumberTwiEnglish
1,011apem ne dubaakoone thousand and eleven
1,012apem ne dumienuone thousand and twelve
1,013apem ne dumiɛnsaone thousand and thirteen
1,014apem ne dunanone thousand and fourteen
1,015apem ne dunumone thousand and fifteen
1,016apem ne dunsiaone thousand and sixteen
1,017apem ne dunsonone thousand and seventeen
1,018apem ne dunwɔtweone thousand and eighteen
1,019apem ne dunkronone thousand and nineteen
1,020apem ne aduonuone thousand and twenty
1,021apem ne aduonu baakoone thousand and twenty-one
1,022apem ne aduonu mmienuone thousand and twenty-two
1,023apem ne aduonu mmiɛnsaone thousand and twenty-three
1,024apem ne aduonu nanone thousand and twenty-four
1,025apem ne aduonu numone thousand and twenty-five
1,026apem ne aduonu nsiaone thousand and twenty-six
1,027apem ne aduonu nsonone thousand and twenty-seven
1,028apem ne aduonu nwɔtweone thousand and twenty-eight
1,029apem ne aduonu nkronone thousand and twenty-nine
1,030apem ne aduasaone thousand and thirty
1,040apem ne aduananone thousand and forty
1,050apem ne aduonumone thousand and fifty
1,060apem ne aduosiaone thousand and sixty
1,070apem ne aduɔsonone thousand and seventy
1,080apem ne aduɔwɔtweone thousand and eighty
1,090apem ne aduɔkronone thousand and ninety
1,100apem ne ɔhaone thousand one hundred
1,200apem ne ahanuone thousand two hundred
1,300apem ne ahasaone thousand three hundred
1,400apem ne ahananone thousand four hundred
1,500apem ne ahanumone thousand five hundred
1,600apem ne ahansiaone thousand six hundred
1,700apem ne ahansonone thousand seven hundred
1,800apem ne ahanwɔtweone thousand eight hundred
1,900apem ne ahankronone thousand nine hundred
2,000mpem mmienu/mpenutwo thousand

And on it continues.

Let’s now count in the thousands.

NumberTwiEnglish
1,000apemone thousand
2,000mpem mmienu/mpenutwo thousand
3,000mpem mmiɛnsathree thousand
4,000mpem nanfour thousand
5,000mpem numfive thousand
6,000mpem nsiasix thousand
7,000mpem nsonseven thousand
8,000mpem nwɔtweeight thousand
9,000mpem nkronnine thousand
10,000mpem duten thousand

In ten thounsands:

NumberTwiEnglish
10,000mpem duten thousand
20,000mpem aduonutwenty thousand
30,000mpem aduasathirty thousand
40,000mpem aduananforty thousand
50,000mpem aduonumfifty thousand
60,000mpem aduosiasixty thousand
70,000mpem aduɔsonseventy thousand
80,000mpem aduɔwɔtweeighty thousand
90,000mpem aduɔkronninety thousand
100,000mpem ɔhaone hundred thousand

In hundred thousands:

NumberTwiEnglish
100,000mpem ɔhaone hundred thousand
200,000mpem ahanutwo hundred thousand
300,000mpem ahasathree hundred thousand
400,000mpem ahananfour hundred thousand
500,000mpem ahanumfive hundred thousand
600,000mpem ahansiasix hundred thousand
700,000mpem ahansonseven hundred thousand
800,000mpem ahanwɔtweeight hundred thousand
900,000mpem ahankronnine hundred thousand
1,000,000ɔpepemone million

In millions:

NumberTwiEnglish
1,000,000ɔpepemone million
2,000,000ɔpepem mmienutwo million
3,000,000ɔpepem mmiɛnsathree million
4,000,000ɔpepem nanfour million
5,000,000ɔpepem numfive million
6,000,000ɔpepem nsiasix million
7,000,000ɔpepem nsonseven million
8,000,000ɔpepem nwɔtweeight million
9,000,000ɔpepem nkronnine million
10,000,000ɔpepem duten million

In ten millions:

NumberTwiEnglish
10,000,000ɔpepem duten million
20,000,000ɔpepem aduonutwenty million
30,000,000ɔpepem aduasathirty million
40,000,000ɔpepem aduananforty million
50,000,000ɔpepem aduonumfifty million
60,000,000ɔpepem aduosiasixty million
70,000,000ɔpepem aduɔsonseventy million
80,000,000ɔpepem aduɔwɔtweeighty million
90,000,000ɔpepem aduɔkronninety million
100,000,000ɔpepem ɔhaone hundred million

In hundred millions:

NumberTwiEnglish
100,000,000ɔpepem ɔhaone hundred million
200,000,000ɔpepem ahanutwo hundred million
300,000,000ɔpepem ahasathree hundred million
400,000,000ɔpepem ahananfour hundred million
500,000,000ɔpepem ahanumfive hundred million
600,000,000ɔpepem ahansiasix hundred million
700,000,000ɔpepem ahansonseven hundred million
800,000,000ɔpepem ahanwɔtweeight hundred million
900,000,000ɔpepem ahankronnine hundred million
1,000,000,000ɔpepepemone billion

Whew! Quite extensive, isn’t it?

Thank you for reading. If you think this lesson is useful, please let me know in the comments section below. You may support the project by subscribing to the blog and YouTube channel, liking our Facebook page, and contacting us with your feedback and suggestions.

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10 Responses
  1. Rachel

    Thanks for this lesson! Based on the rules we’ve learned, would one trillion be ɔpepepepem? Also, how would these numbwra be said in monetary terms, like one thousand ghana cedis and twenty-seven pesewas?

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