Numbers in Maori

Māori Language - Ngā Tau

The numbers from 1-10 in Māori

Once you have learnt the basic ten numbers, it is very easy to count up to one hundred and beyond. These are numbers from 1 to 10 in Māori:

Maori numbers 1-9 at a playground.

Large numbers in Māori

All numbers from 11 will now follow a basic pattern. For example to say twenty-two, simple say rua tekau, which means 20 and then mā rua, Rua tekau mā rua. So all you have to do is learn the numbers from 1 - 10 and then the words for 10, 20, 30, 40 and so on.

Summary Chart

Numbers in Māori from 1-100 and large numbers - Ngā Tau

Counting in Māori

When counting things (not people) in Māori, you use E before that number (but not joined to it). It is similar to saying "There are".

Toko is added to the beginning of a number when counting less than 10 PEOPLE. It answers the question "How many people are there?" So Tokorua means there are two.

Kotahi is used when counting both ONE thing or ONE person.

NOTE: numbers higher than NINE do not have a prefix.

Look at examples of numbers with Toko and E in the following chart:

1 tahi Kotahi te manu = one bird
2 rua E rua ngā kuri = two dogs
3 toru E toru ngā ngeru = three cats
4 whā E whā ngā rākau = four trees
5 rima E rima ngā heihei = five chickens
6 ono Toko ono ngā tāngata = six people
7 whitu Toko whitu ngā kōtiro = seven girls
8 waru Toko waru ngā tama = eight boys
9 iwa Toko iwa ngā tamariki = nine children
10 tekau Tekau ngā hipi = ten sheep

How many...?

To ask how many (things) you say E hia...? But this rule is NOT used when counting people.

To ask how many people you say, Tokohia...?

Ordinal Numbers in Māori

Ordinal numbers are ones that show a position, ranking or level. In English they are the numbers that usually have -th after them (e.g. 5th, 19th). In Māori ordinal numbers are created by adding the prefix tua- to the number.

Ordinal numbers after the number nine do NOT have the prefix tua-.

Teacher Resource

Chart with the Numbers from 0-100 in Maori for classrooms - Teacher Resource

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