There are about thirty seats visible in this picture from a stadium.

Core Ideas

Do you think you're so hot because you can count to ten? Although it doesn't seem like much, you have just mastered the foundations for every number you will encounter in the rest of math (with a few exceptions). All counting and all numbers are based on tens. It's not just a metric system thing. When you start counting, everything starts over when you hit a number with a "0" in the ones column.

Moving to Fifty

So you count. You get a nice neat list of single digit numbers and a big "10" to finish it off. (0 ,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10) What is next? Sorry to disappoint you, but it's very easy. You just start all over again. Do you see the similarity of "0" and "10?" "10" is just a "0" with a "1" in front. If you continue your pattern, the next number in the series will be a "1" with a "1" in front of it. And there you have it. "11."

The rest of the numbers follow the same pattern. Next is a "1" with a "2" (12) and then a "3" (13) and so on. The series goes on like this. 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, and then what? You can't go back to "10." That one has already been used. How about moving to the next value in the tens place? How about "20?" It's not really a question. "20" comes after "19." So now you have...

20, ?

Do you see the pattern? That's it. Just keep adding the next number in the series and you can count to infinity. We're just covering 1 to 50 on this page. So the final set is...

0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 (the ones)
10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19 (the tens)
20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29 (the twenties)
30,31,32,33,34,35,36,37,38,39 (the thirties)
40,41,42,43,44,45,46,47,48,49 (the forties)
50 (and that's it)

There are about thirty seats visible in this picture from a stadium.

Looking at the Words

Writing out simple, single-digit numbers is easy for you by now. The numbers between ten and twenty are a little special so we'll hit them first. You know "10" and "Ten" are the same things. 11-19 you will just have to memorize. They have been shortened over the years to make them easier to say.
11 is Eleven
12 is Twelve
13 is Thirteen
14 is Fourteen
15 is Fifteen
16 is Sixteen
17 is Seventeen
18 is Eighteen
19 is Nineteen

The rules fall into place after that set. You start to use the "ty" terms (pronounced TEE like the word "tea.") 11 through 20 are called the teens. Then come the twenties, thirties, and forties. When you write out the numbers it is really easy. Start with whatever group of tens you are in, add a dash, and then finish with the number in the ones column. "21" is "Twenty-one." Like this...
21 is Twenty-one
35 is Thirty-five
48 is Forty-eight

Related Activities

Numbers and Counting Activity "More or Less" - Comparing Numbers to Thirty (30) Quiz
- Play Activity

Numbers and Counting Activity Identify Numbers to Fifty (50) Quiz
- Play Activity


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