The Ultimate Guide to German Numbers

1eins
10zehn
100(ein)hundert
1.000(ein)tausend
10.000zehntausend
100.000 (ein)hunderttausend
1.000.000 eine Million
10.000.000 zehn Millionen
100.000.000 (ein)hundert Millionen
1.000.000.000 eine Milliarde
10.000.000.000 zehn Milliarden
100.000.000.000 (ein)hundert Milliarden
1.000.000.000.000 eine Billion
Numbers in German Up to 1 Trillion

Today you are going to learn the numbers in German. I’ll start out with a few simple numbers. Then I will show you how to do simple math problems all in German. After that you will learn about big German numbers and how to read them.

This lesson is a part of Herr Antrim’s new e-book “Beginner German with Herr Antrim“. Within the e-book, this lesson includes a worksheet and answer key to practice the skills you are about to learn. You will also get access to online flashcards and a whole lot more. Find out more about the e-book here.

German Numbers 1-12

eins – Ich bin eins. Ich bin ein Jahr alt.
one – I am one. I am one year old.

zwei – Ich habe zwei Kinder.
two – I have two children.

drei – Das sind drei Katzen.
three – These are three cats.

vier – Ich esse jeden Tag vier Äpfel.
four – I eat four apples everyday.

fünf – Das sind fünf Bären.
five – These are five bears.

sechs – Er hat sechs Karten.
six – He has six cards.

sieben – Wir sind auf Wolke sieben.
seven – We are on cloud nine (literally seven).

acht – Es ist acht Uhr.
eight – It is eight o’clock.

neun – Die Katze hat neun Leben.
nine – The cat has nine lives.

zehn – Ich kann auf Deutsch bis zehn zählen!
ten – I can count to ten in German.

elf – Es gibt elf Elfen in dem Baum.
eleven – There are eleven elves in the tree.

zwölf – Der Wolf pustet zwölf Mal, aber das Haus bleibt stehen.
twelve – The wolf blows twelve times, but the house stays standing.

German Numbers 13-19

The numbers after zwölf (12) follow a pattern. Up to and including 19, the numbers end with “zehn” and start with the same word as the numbers drei (3) to neun (9). Just be careful with sechzehn (16) and siebzehn (17), as they drop a letter or two to form the new number.

dreizehn – Dreizehn ist eine Unglückszahl.
thirteen – Thirteen is an unlucky number.

vierzehn – Vierzehn Kinder sind zu viel.
fourteen – Fourteen children are too many.

fünfzehn – Meine Schwester ist fünfzehn Jahre alt.
fifteen – My sister is fifteen years old.

sechzehn – Ab sechzehn kann man in den USA fahren.
sixteen – Starting at sixteen, you can drive in the USA.

siebzehn – Siebzehn ist eine Zeitschrift in den USA.
seventeen – Seventeen is a magazine in the USA.

achtzehn – Ab achtzehn kann man in Deutschland ohne Eltern fahren.
eighteen – Starting at eighteen, you can drive in Germany without parents.

neunzehn – Die Duggars haben neunzehn Kinder.
nineteen – The Duggars have nineteen children.

German Numbers 20-29

After neunzehn (19) we have a similar pattern. All of the number up to and including neunundneunzig (99) follow the pattern of ones place + und + tens place. Obviously, if there is a zero in the ones place, you don’t bother saying it out loud. If the number eins (1) is in the ones place, you don’t say the “S” at the end of the word “eins” and instead just say “ein” + und + tens place. Here are the numbers from 21 to 29 as an example.

einundzwanzig – twenty-one
zweiundzwanzig – twenty-two
dreiundzwanzig – twenty-three
vierundzwanzig – twenty-four
fünfundzwanzig – twenty-five
sechsundzwanzig – twenty-six
siebenundzwanzig – twenty-seven
achtundzwanzig – twenty-eight
neunundzwanzig – twenty-nine

Counting in German by 10s

Once you have mastered this pattern of number creation, you simply have to learn the words for the tens places. I’ll count by tens to show you what they are. Things to note about these numbers: dreißig is the only one spelled with an eszett (ß) instead of “Z”. Both sechs and sieben get shortened again, as they did in the teens, to become sechzig (60) and siebzig (70).

zehn – ten
zwanzig – twenty
dreißig – thirty
vierzig – forty
fünfzig – fifty
sechzig – sixty
siebzig – seventy
achtzig – eighty
neunzig – ninety

Beyond 100

Once you get to neunundneunzig (99) in German, you get to “einhundert”, which you can also say as just “hundert”. Then you just put the number after the hundred behind the word “hundert”. If you have more than one hundred, you put the number of hundreds you have in front of the hundred.

einhunderteins – one hundred one
zweihundertdreiundvierzig – two hundred forty-three
achthundertsiebenundachtzig – eight hundred eighty-seven

Beyond 900

Just like in English, you can use eleven through the teens to express numbers in German over one thousand. Anything beyond the teens has to be expressed with the word “tausend”

elfhundertzweiundzwanzig – eleven hundred twenty-two
neunzehnhundertneunundneunzig – nineteen hundred ninety-nine
zweitausendneunzehn – two thousand nineteen

Fantastic Fact About the German Number 1

Your fantastic fact of the day is about the number “eins” in German. You may have noticed, I mentioned that there is a difference between “ein Uhr” (one o’clock) and “eine Uhr” (a clock). That’s because the word “ein” (and also its other forms, eine, and einen) all stem from the German word for one, eins.

This means that you can use it like I did in my first example sentence “Ich bin ein Jahr alt.” and translate it as “I am one year old.” or “I am a year old.”, as the word “ein” can also mean “a” or “an” in that sentence. This is also true of other times when you use “ein” in a sentence. For example: “Ich habe einen Hund.” can be translated as “I have a dog.” or “I have one dog.”

Now for the mind-blowing part. All of that is true, because “eins” is being used as a pronoun. It replaces something in every sentence in which it is ever used. It doesn’t have any of the other endings like “eine” or “einen”, because it is being used as a kind of generic pronoun that doesn’t necessarily point to a particular noun, so it takes the neuter form “eins”. For example: Ist das ein Blatt Papier? Ja, das ist eins.

If the noun that is being replaced is known, you do need to change “ein” to fit the gender of the noun being replaced and the case in which the pronoun is used. For example: “Hilfe! Ich brauche einen Arzt. Er ist einer.”

Since this post is designed for A1 learners, I’ll just point out that if you are going to use “ein” in this manner, you should probably wait until you have learned a bit more German.

Herr Antrim
Herr Antrim is a German teacher with over 10 years of teaching experience. In 2011 he started his successful YouTube Channel "Learn German with Herr Antrim". In 2015 he created this website to enhance the German language lessons he was providing on YouTube. He is now the author of his own e-book, "Beginner German with Herr Antrim". He has also been featured on numerous blogs and other sites. *This site uses a variety of affiliate links. If there is a link that leads to an outside site from which you could potentially make a purchase, it is very likely an affiliate link for which Herr Antrim will receive a small portion of your purchase. This does not cost you any extra, but it does help keep this website going. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you would like more information about the affiliate programs this site uses, click here.
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