First of all, the words for the numbers:
The word selo is used for the numeral zero. The phrase lēai se mea (nothing) a more common way of saying "none" in everyday speech.
Counting larger numbers is fairly straight-forward:
The ma le (meaning 'and the') in the above examples is optional. Abbreviated forms are just as acceptable: sefulu tasi, sefulu lua , etc.
For numbers above iva sefulu iva (ninety-nine), we need to learn some more words:
These are joined together with the word ma (and):
For numbers which are larger still, or telephone numbers, simply quote each digit:
Other uses of numbers
The word lona is placed before a number to show that it is part of a sequence:
However, different words are used for "first" and "last":
The fa'a- prefix can be used to indicate the number of times something happened:
Quarters and halves are expressed in Samoan with borrowed words:
This also allows for a these two phrases:
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| fa'apopo ||» || add together || || fa'atele ||» || multiply
| toe ||» || subtract
Time and date
Because of the extensive vocabulary involved, there is a Date & Time Phrases page. These are a few examples of questions which have numeric answers:
| 'ua ta se fia? ||» || what time is it?
| 'ua ta le lua ||» || it's two o'clock.
| o le a le umi? ||» || how long?
| tolu minute ||» || three minutes.