German Numbers: Learn to Count from 1 to 100 (von eins bis hundert)

If you want to learn German, it’s really important to know German numbers. It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting or already know a bit of German, learning how to count is a big step.

Spring German (a new project we’re working on with my friend and colleague, Gabriel Gelman) teacher Denisa explains everything here in this video:

From eins (1) to zehn (10), and even from elf (11) to hundert (100), knowing how to say and use these numbers will make you feel confident when you speak German.

So let’s explore and have fun learning German numbers together!

1. Learn German cardinal numbers nd ordinal numbers

To master German well, first of all, it’s important to know the two basic types of numbers:

  • counting numbers (die Zahlen):
    • eins (one),
    • fünf (five),
    • vierundzwanzig (twenty-four) etc.
  • order numbers (die Ordnungszahlen):
    • erste (1st),
    • dritte (3rd),
    • siebenundzwanzigste (27th) etc.

Counting numbers are for telling you how many there are of certain things, people, events, and order numbers show which comes first, second, third, and so on.

german numbers written in the sand

Knowing this basic definition will help you talk better in German. And now let’s count from 1 to 100 in German.

2. Counting in German from 1-10 in German (von eins bis zehn)

The numbers from 1 to 10 in German for beginners are:

GermanEnglish
einsone
zweitwo
dreithree
vierfour
fünffive
sechssix
siebenseven
achteight
neunnine
zehnten

These German numbers are super important for basic stuff like telling your age, counting things, or talking about how many things you have.

  1. Ich habe zwei Brüder und eine Schwester. (I have two brothers and one sister.)
  2. Er hat vier Äpfel gegessen. (He ate four apples.)
  3. Es gibt sieben Tage in einer Woche. (There are seven days in a week.)

3. German numbers 11-20 (von elf bis zwanzig)

Now that you’ve got the hang of the basic numbers, let’s move on to the next level.

This is where we count from 11 to 20 in German. Now, keep in mind that there are some exceptions here but the German numbers after 12 (zwölf) follow a pattern.

German numbers from 13 to 19 are formed by adding the word ‘zehn‘ (10) after the units number. Here’s an example:

vier (4) + zehn (10) = vierzehn (14)

This equation demonstrates that when you want to say ‘fourteen’ in German, you take the word for ‘four’ (vier) and add it to ‘ten’ (zehn) to form ‘fourteen’ (vierzehn). Can you figure out the rest?

No worries, we’ve got you covered!

GermanEnglish
elfeleven
zwölftwelve
dreizehnthirteen
vierzehnfourteen
fünfzehnfifteen
sechzehnsixteen
siebzehnseventeen
achtzehneighteen
neunzehnnineteen
zwanzigtwenty

In between 11 and 19, there are two exceptions – just like with English numbers:

  • elf (eleven)
  • zwölf (twelve)

A few example sentences with the exceptions and the German numbers from 13 to 20.

  1. Meine Großmutter ist elf Jahre älter als mein Großvater. (My grandmother is eleven years older than my grandfather.)
  2. Ich habe zwölf Bücher auf meinem Schreibtisch. (I have twelve books on my desk.)
  3. Es gibt siebzehn Äpfel in dem Korb. (There are seventeen apples in the basket.)

We also included zwanzig (twenty) in this section but it’s actually already a multiple of 10. Read on to learn the equation for them!

4. Understanding German Multiples of 10 (von zwanzig bis hundert)

In German, multiples of 10 from 20 (zwanzig) to 90 (neunzig) are formed by adding the word ‘zig’ at the end.

Here’s the equation:

vier (4) + zig = vierzig (40)

This equation demonstrates that when you want to say ‘forty’ in German, you take the word for ‘four’ (vier) and add ‘zig’ to form ‘forty’ (vierzig). This principle applies to all multiples of ten in German numbers from 20 to 90.

GermanEnglish
zwanzigtwenty
dreißigthirty
vierzigforty
fünfzigfifty
sechzigsixty
siebzigseventy
achtzigeighty
neunzigninety
hunderthundred
  1. Ich habe zwanzig Bücher in meiner Bibliothek. (I have twenty books in my library.)
  2. Mein Vater ist fünfzig Jahre alt. (My father is fifty years old.)
  3. Es gibt vierzig Stühle in diesem Raum. (There are forty chairs in this room.)
  4. Sie läuft jeden Tag siebzig Minuten. (She runs seventy minutes every day.)
  5. Ich werde hundert Seiten von diesem Buch lesen. (I will read a hundred pages of this book.)

5. Advanced German language learning: from 21 to 99 (von einundzwanzig bis neunundneunzig)

Now that you know how to count in German up to 20, and you know the multiples of 10 in German, let’s learn how to count from 21 to 100!

German numbers from 21 to 100 are formed by stating the units place before the tens place and connecting them with ‘und’ (and).

Look:

ein (1) + und (and) + zwanzig (20) = einundzwanzig (21)

This equation demonstrates that when you want to say ‘twenty-one’ in German, you take the word for ‘one’ (ein), add ”and’ (und), and then the word for ‘twenty’ (zwanzig) to form ‘twenty-one’ (einundzwanzig). This principle applies to all numbers from 21 to 99 in German.

It’s important to note that once you hit 100 (hundert), the formation changes.

For example, 101 would be ‘einhunderteins‘, which translates to ‘one hundred one’. But let’s focus on smaller numbers instead of larger numbers for now!

Here’s a table that lists the German some numbers from 21 to 99 alongside their English translations – we included an example from every multiple of 10:

GermanEnglish
einundzwanzigtwenty-one
zweiundzwanzigtwenty-two
dreiunddreißigthirty-three
vierunddreißigthirty-four
fünfundvierzigforty-five
sechsundvierzigforty-six
siebenundfünfzigfifty-seven
achtundfünfzigfifty-eight
neunundsechzigsixty-nine
einundsiebzigseventy-one
zweiundsiebzigseventy-two
dreiundachtzigeighty-three
vierundachtzigeighty-four
fünfundneunzigninety-five
sechsundneunzigninety-six
siebenundneunzigninety-seven

Here are some examples of how you might use these numbers:

  1. Ich habe einundzwanzig Äpfel. (I have twenty-one apples.)
  2. Es sind zweiundzwanzig Grad im Schatten. (It’s twenty-two degrees in the shade.)
  3. Er hat siebenunddreißig Bücher in seinem Regal. (He has thirty-seven books on his shelf.)

6. German ordinal numbers

Ordinal German numbers are quite straightforward once you know your cardinal numbers and how to form them.

To form an ordinal number, you take the cardinal number and add “-te” for numbers 1 through 19, and “-ste” for numbers 20 and above.

So, for example:

fünf + te = fünfte (5th)

There are some changes for eins und drei, take a look!

  • eins – erste
  • drei – dritte

Remember, these exceptions only apply to the ordinal numbers for 1st and 3rd. For the rest, you can stick with the “-te” endings.

GermanEnglish
erstefirst
zweitesecond
drittethird
viertefourth
fünftefifth
sechstesixth
siebteseventh
achteeighth
neunteninth
zehntetenth

After zwanzig (twenty), just add “-ste” to the end of the cardinal number.

vierzig + ste = vierzigste (40th)

GermanEnglish
einundzwanzigstetwenty-first
dreiundzwanzigstetwenty-third
fünfunddreißigstethirty-fifth
sechsundvierzigsteforty-sixth
vierundfünfzigstefifty-fourth
siebenundsechzigstesixty-seventh
vierundachtzigsteeighty-fourth
neunundneunzigsteninety-ninth
  1. Er ist der Erste in der Schlange. (He is the first in line.)
  2. Sie hat den dritten Platz in der Mathematikolympiade belegt. (She took the third place in the Math Olympiad.)dritten
  3. Mein Geburtstag ist am siebenundzwanzigsten Dezember. (My birthday is on the twenty-seventh of December.)
  4. Dieses Gebäude ist das achtundsiebzigste, das sie in diesem Jahr gebaut haben. (This building is the seventy-eighth they have constructed this year.)

7. Practice makes perfect: a full practice worksheet for numbers in German

I. Fill in the blanks with the numbers in German!

This is just one of our exercises but you can get access to our full practice worksheets if you sign up by clicking the button below!

8. Count from 1 to 100 in German with Conversation Based Chunking

Want to learn more beyond 100 in German? You can always check out the best way to learn German on our site or even go through the best apps to learn German but we also have a magic solution for you!

It’s called Conversation Based Chunking and you can request the guide for German by clicking the button below! You will not only find a thorough explanation of the Conversation Based Chunking method but also tons of learning materials that will help you learn the most common German phrases and a lot more!

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