How to use fractions and multiplicatives in Spanish?

A woman enjoying a cup of coffee.

Fractions and multiplicatives are number expressions beyond cardinal and ordinal numbers that you need to know to master Spanish. In this post we’re going to focus on these expressions and how to use them as nouns and adjectives. Not sure about what these numbers are? Look at the examples below to have a better idea: 

La cuarta parte de los estudiantes aprobó el examen final. 
The fourth part of the students passed the final exam. 

En la conferencia de hoy tuvimos el triple de asistencia. 
In the conference today we had triple the attendance.

If you need a refresher on cardinal and ordinal numbers in Spanish, check out: “Numbers in Spanish: How to form and write them?” Now, let’s go over how to make fractions and multiplicatives in Spanish.

Table of Contents

What are fractions?

They refer to fractions of a segmentable unit. They can be used as nouns or as adjectives. Let’s see each case in detail.

  • Fractions used as nouns

    In this case, they’re always next to an article, demonstrative adjective, or cardinal number and followed by a complement with de (of), which specifies what’s being divided:

La mitad de mis ahorros son para mi viaje por Sudamérica. 
Half of my savings are for my trip around South America. 

Quiero este tercio del pastel.
I want this third of the cake.

Dos quintos de los estudiantes faltaron a clase. 
Two-fifths of the students missed the class.

  • Fractions used as adjectives​

    When used as adjectives, they are used in the feminine form, since they’re usually followed by the noun parte (part):

    La cuarta parte de los estudiantes aprobó el examen final. 
    The fourth part of the students passed the final exam.


Only the word medio (half) can modify directly the noun that expresses what is being divided, with which it has to agree in gender and number:

Me comí medigalleta.

I ate half a cookie.

Lleva medio pastel a tu casa. 

Take half a cake to your house.  

👉Notice how there is no indefinite article un (a) after “medio/a.

Here’s a useful table with fractions in Spanish:

medio, media
one third
tercera (parte)
one fourth
cuarta (parte)
one fifth
quinta (parte)
one sixth
sexta (parte)
one seventh
séptima (parte)
one eight
octava (parte)
one ninth
novena (parte)
1/10décimo, décima
one tenth
décima (parte)
1/11onceavo, undécimo
one eleventh
onceava, undécima (parte)
1/12doceavo, duodécimo
one twelfth
doceava, duodécima (parte)
one thirteenth
treceava (parte)
one fourteenth
catorceava (parte)
1/20veinteavo, vigésimo
one twentieth
veinteava, vigésima (parte)
1/30treintavo, trigésimo
one thirtieth
treintava, trigésima (parte)
1/100centésimo, centésima
one hundredth
centésima (parte)
1/1000milésimo, milésima
one thousandth
milésima (parte)
1/10000cienmilésimo, cienmilésima
one hundred thousandth
cienmilésima (parte)
hundred thousandth
1/1000000millonésimo, millonésima
one millionth
millonésima (parte)

*From here onwards, you can make the fractions by adding the suffix –avo for nouns and –ava for adjectives.


Only the fractions corresponding to ten, one hundred, one thousand, and one million, and their multiples, can be masculine or feminine when used as nouns.

What are multiplicatives?

Multiplicatives express the result of multiplying a quantity by a natural number. For example, when we say: doble (double), triple (triple), cuádruple (quadruple), etc. They can also be used as nouns or adjectives in Spanish.

Multiplicatives used as nouns

In this case, they’re always masculine; they’re usually used after an article and they mean “a quantity X times bigger”:

En la conferencia de hoy tuvimos el doble de asistencia. 
In the conference today we had double the attendance.

Multiplicatives used as adjectives

They describe the noun they’re referring to, with which they must agree in number: 

Hay una función doble en el cine. 
There’s a double feature in the movies. 

Necesito dos camas dobles para los niños.
I need two double beds for the kids.

Here’s a useful table with multiplicatives in Spanish:

2doble double
3triple triple
4cuádruple quadruple
5quíntuple quintuple
6séxtuple sextuple
7séptuple sevenfold
8óctuple octuple
9nónuplo ninefold
10décuplo tenfold
11undécuplo eleven fold
12duodécuplo twelve fold
13terciodécuplo thirteen fold
100céntuplo hundred fold

The most common multiplicatives are doble, triple, and cuádruple. From nine onwards, they’re rare. In such cases, you can use the cardinal number and the phrase “veces mayor” (times larger) or “veces más” (times more): 

Los ingresos aumentaron diez veces más este año. 
The income increased ten times more this year.

Bonus track: Collective numerals

As a small present for you, let me add a few collective numerals. These are numbers that mean that several persons or objects are grouped together. 

Pay attention to their endings: the ones ending in -a are feminine (una decena, ten) and the ones ending in –r are masculine (un par, a couple). 

Some common collective numerals in Spanish are:

Let’s see an example:

¿Cuántas personas fueron al concierto? – Un millar. 
How many people went to the concert? – One thousand. 

All these collective numerals can be pluralized in Spanish when we use cardinal numbers beyond one: 

Deme tres docenas de tortilla. 
Give me three dozen tortillas.


When a noun follows a collective numeral, you need to join them with the preposition de (of): 

Solo un par de estudiantes entregó la tarea. 
Only a pair of students handed in the homework.

In conclusion

Numbers are used all the time, but with ordinals, fractions, multiplicatives, and collective numerals, the lower numbers are used a lot more frequently than the higher ones. Also, remember that fractions and multiplicatives can be used as nouns or adjectives. So, when used as nouns, don’t forget the article in front and, when used as adjectives, don’t forget to do the agreement with the noun they modify. That’s it on numbers! Don’t forget to check out our activities to continue practicing your Spanish skills!

Are you interested in learning more about Spanish Grammar? Check out our Spanish Grammar Homepage.
Meet The Author:
Natalia Molina
Natalia Molina Ceballos
Spanish Coach
Natalia is a Spanish coach at Mango Languages.

To embark on your next language adventure, join the Mango fam!

Extra Resources:

Numerals table
Ordinal numbers


Numerals activity


Numerals activity

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