Are you looking to learn German or improve your German skills? Mastering German numbers is a great place to begin, or brush up! Numbers are a fundamental component of any language, but they can be a bit of a hurdle until you conquer them. The good news is that German numbers are very predictable and quite similar to English, making them relatively easy to grasp. So why not master them today?
In this blog post, we’ll guide you through how to count in German from 0 to 100 and beyond, so you’ll be counting in German like a pro in no time. Let’s dive in!
German Numbers 1 to 10
- One – eins
- Two – zwei
- Three – drei
- Four – vier
- Five – fünf
- Six – sechs
- Seven – sieben
- Eight – acht
- Nine – neun
- Ten – zehn
- Eleven – elf
- Twelve – zwölf
👉Listen to how to pronounce German numbers 0 to 12
As you can see, the first two numbers in German have different spellings and pronunciations than their English equivalents. It’s important to note that in German, the number “one” has three different forms, depending on the gender of the noun it modifies: “eins” for masculine nouns, “eine” for feminine nouns, and “ein” for neuter nouns.
German Numbers 11 to 20
- Thirteen – dreizehn
- Fourteen – vierzehn
- Fifteen – fünfzehn
- Sixteen – sechszehn
- Seventeen – siebzehn
- Eighteen – achtzehn
- Nineteen – neunzehn
- Twenty – zwanzig
👉Listen to how to pronounce German numbers 13 to 20
German Numbers 21 to 99
Let’s start with the number 20 in German, which is “zwanzig.” From 21 to 99, German numbers are very predictable by combining the tens digit with the ones digit, separated by “und” (and). But notice the order is different from English. In German numbers, the ones digit goes before the tens digit.
Here are the German numbers from 21 to 29:
- twenty-one – einundzwanzig (21)
- twenty-two – zweiundzwanzig (22)
- twenty-three – dreiundzwanzig (23)
- twenty-four – vierundzwanzig (24)
- twenty-five – fünfundzwanzig (25)
- twenty-six – sechsundzwanzig (26)
- twenty-seven – siebenundzwanzig (27)
- twenty-eight – achtundzwanzig (28)
- twenty-nine – neunundzwanzig (29)
Notice that the numbers 21 to 29 follow the same pattern of combining “ein” (one) with “und” (and) and the corresponding tens digit. For example, “einundzwanzig” is formed by combining “ein” (one) with “zwanzig” (20).
Now, let’s move on to the tens. In German, the word for “ten” is “zehn.” Here are the German numbers for the tens place from 30 to 90:
- dreißig (30)
- vierzig (40)
- fünfzig (50)
- sechzig (60)
- siebzig (70)
- achtzig (80)
- neunzig (90)
👉Listen to how to pronounce German numbers 20 to 90
For larger numbers in German, here is how to say one hundred to one trillion in German.
- 100 – einhundert
- 1,000 – eintausend
- 1,000,000 – eine Million
- 1,000,000,000 (billion) – eine Milliarde
- 1,000,000,000,000 (trillion) – eine Billion
👉Listen to how to pronounce large German numbers
Note that large German numbers are usually pretty long in written form as they are joined together without spaces. For example, 4723 is viertausendsiebenhundertdreiundzwanzig.
German Ordinal Numbers
Now we have learned German cardinal numbers (Kardinalzahl) that show quantity (one, two, three), let’s move on to learn ordinal numbers that show order (first, second, third).
Ordinal numbers (Ordinalzahl) are used to describe the position of something in a sequence. In German, ordinal numbers are formed by adding -te to the end of cardinal numbers.
The following table lists the German ordinal numbers from one to ten:
German Ordinal Numbers
- 1st (1.) erst
- 2nd (2.) zweite
- 3rd (3.) dritte
- 4th (4.) vierte
- 5th (5.) fünfte
- 6th (6.) sechste
- 7th (7.) siebte
- 8th (8.) achte
- 9th (9.) neunte
- 10th (10.) zehnte
Pretty easy, isn’t it? Simply follow the pattern of adding the suffix -te to the end of cardinal numbers, then you get the ordinal numbers in Germanю Keep in mind that cardinal numbers in German should be treated as adjectives, which means they should be conjugated based on the gender and number of the noun. For example:
das erste Auto (“the first car”)
die ersten Menschen (“the first humans”)
To write ordinal numbers in German, you can simply abbreviate the ordinal numbers with a full stop. For example, 7. means seventh.
Fractions and Decimals in German
Fractions in German are quite like English. To form fractions (Brüche) in German, you use the numerator (Zähler) and the denominator (Nenner), separated by a horizontal line. The numerator simply use the cardinal numbers, while the denominator changes accordingly.
- 1/2 is “ein Halb” or “Halb”
- 1/3 is “ein Drittel”
To form denominators for 4 and above, add “-el”, “-tel”, or “stel”.
- 1/4 is “ein viertel” or “viertel“
- 3/8 is “drei achtel“
- 1/20 is “zwanzigstel“
Decimal numbers in German are similar to those in English. The decimal point is represented by a comma (“,”) instead of a period. The number to the left of the comma is the whole number, and the number to the right of the comma is decimal. For example:
- 0.5 is written as “0,5”, pronounced as “null Komma fünf”
- 3.75 is written as “3,75”, pronounced as “drei Komma sieben fünf”
- 2.436 is written as “2,436”, pronounced as “zwei Komma vier drei sechs”
Decimals are often used in pricing, for example:
- Wie viel kostet es? (How much does it cost?)
- 29,50€ (29.50 euros)
Using German Numbers in Context
Great! Now you’ve learned almost everything about German numbers. Let’s see how to put them into use.
How to tell time in German
German uses a 24-hour clock, which means that instead of saying “2 pm,” you should say “14 Uhr” (14:00) in German. Here are some examples of how to express time in German:
- Wie viel Uhr ist es? (What time is it?)
- Es ist zwanzig Uhr. (It’s 20:00)
In German, we use “vor” and “nach” to express “before” and “after”. For example:
- Wie spät ist es? (What time is it?)
- Viertel vor zwölf (Quarter to 12)
How to express dates in German
When expressing dates in German, use the format “day.month.year.” For example:
- January 3rd, 2023 – “03.01.2023” – “der dritte Januar 2023”
- June 15th, 2023 – “15.06.2023” – “der fünfzehnte Juni 2023”
- Heute ist der achte Juni – Today is June 8th.
- Ich bin am neunzehnten Dezember geboren – I was born on December 19.
Congratulations, you’ve done it! From eins to einhundert, now you know how to count in German and use German numbers in real life! Need a bit more practice? Try our language app LingoDeer to bring your German skills to the next level today!