Numbers and Time

First of all, the words for the numbers:

tasi » one   ono » six
lua1 » two   fitu » seven
tolu » three   valu » eight
1 » four   iva » nine
lima » five   sefulu » ten

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:

sefulu ma le tasi » ten and one (eleven)
sefulu ma le lua » ten and two (twelve)
lua sefulu ma le ono » two tens and six (twenty-six)

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:

selau » hundred   miliona » million
afe » thousand

These are joined together with the word ma (and):

selau ma tasi » one hundred and one.
selau ma sefulu valu » one hundred and eighteen.
tolu selau ma lua sefulu fitu » three hundred and twenty-seven.
iva selau ma iva sefulu iva » nine hundred and ninety-nine.
lua afe ma selau ma valu » two thousand, four hundred and eight.

For numbers which are larger still, or telephone numbers, simply quote each digit:

tasi ono fitu fitu fitu, lua tasi ono » 16, 777, 216

Other uses of numbers

The word lona is placed before a number to show that it is part of a sequence:

lona lua » second   lona luasefulu » twelfth

However, different words are used for "first" and "last":

muamua » first   mulimuli » final

The fa'a- prefix can be used to indicate the number of times something happened:

fa'atasi » once   fa'alua » twice
fa'atolu » thrice   fa'aselau » one hundred times


Quarters and halves are expressed in Samoan with borrowed words:

kuata » quarter   afa » half

This also allows for a these two phrases:

tolu kuata » three quarters
tasi ma le afa » one and a half

Simple arithmetic

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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.