Basic German: Cardinal Numbers

Chances are you’ll encounter German numbers in all kinds of situations: when you’re trying to decipher prices, for example, or street numbers, departure times, exchange rates, and so on. Knowing German numbers makes counting anything easy.

Cardinal numbers have nothing to do with religious numbers colored red or a songbird that can sing numbers. These numbers are just plain, unadulterated numbers like 25, 654, or 300,000. In this section, you get a list of cardinal numbers and details on the differences between German and English numbers.

It’s always good to start at the very beginning, so here are the basic numbers and their German pronunciations:

  • 0: null (nool)

  • 1: eins (ayns)

  • 2: zwei (tsvay)

  • 3: drei (dray)

  • 4: vier (feer)

  • 5: fünf (fuenf)

  • 6: sechs (zêks)

  • 7: sieben (zee-ben)

  • 8: acht (âHt)

  • 9: neun (noyn)

  • 10: zehn (tseyn)

  • 11: elf (êlf)

  • 12: zwölf (tsverlf)

  • 13: dreizehn (dray-tseyn)

  • 14: vierzehn (feer-tseyn)

  • 15: fünfzehn (fuenf-tseyn)

  • 16: sechzehn (zêH-tseyn)

  • 17: siebzehn (zeep-tseyn)

  • 18: achtzehn (âHt-tseyn)

  • 19: neunzehn (noyn-tseyn)

  • 20: zwanzig (tsvân-tsiH)

  • 21: einundzwanzig (ayn-oont-tsvân-tsiH)

  • 22: zweiundzwanzig (tsvay-oont-tsvân-tsiH)

  • 23: dreiundzwanzig (dray-oont-tsvân-tsiH)

  • 24: vierundzwanzig (feer-oont-tsvân-tsiH)

  • 25: fünfundzwanzig (fuenf-oont-tsvân-tsiH)

  • 30: dreißig (dray-siH)

  • 40: vierzig (feer-tsiH)

  • 50: fünfzig (fuenf-tsiH)

  • 60: sechzig (zêH-tsiH)

  • 70: siebzig (zeep-tsiH)

  • 80: achtzig (âHt-tsiH)

  • 90: neunzig (noyn-tsiH)

  • 100: hundert (hoon-dert)

  • 101: hunderteins (hoon-dert-ayns)

  • 102: hundertzwei (hoon-dert-tsvay)

  • 103: hundertdrei (hoon-dert-dray)

  • 104: hundertvier (hoon-dert-feer)

  • 111: hundertelf (hoon-dert-êlf)

  • 112: hundertzwölf (hoon-dert-tsverlf)

  • 113: hundertdreizehn (hoon-dert-dray-tseyn)

  • 114: hundertvierzehn (hoon-dert-feer-tseyn)

  • 200: zweihundert (tsvay-hoon-dert)

  • 300: dreihundert (dray-hoon-dert)

  • 400: vierhundert (feer-hoon-dert)

  • 500: fünfhundert (fuenf-hoon-dert)

Notice that, as words, the numbers between 21 and 25 in the preceding list appear to be backward. Take the number 21, einundzwanzig, for example. In German, you actually say, “One and twenty.” Just remember to stick to this pattern for all the double-digit numbers, except for numbers in multiples of ten, like 30, 40, 50, and so on.

Pay close attention to the number 30. Unlike the other multiples of ten (40, 50, and so on), 30 is spelled slightly differently. Dreißig has no z in its ending, whereas the other double-digits do (vierzig, fünfzig, and so on).

When dealing with numbers made up of three digits, keep in mind that the last two digits in a three-digit sequence are spoken “backward.” So for a number like 679, you say “six hundred nine and seventy.” Check out the following examples of triple-digit numbers:

  • 223 zweihundertdreiundzwanzig (tsvay-hoon-dert-dray-oont-tsvân-tsiH) (two hundred three and twenty)

  • 548 fünfhundertachtundvierzig (fuenf-hoon-dert-âHt-oont-feer-tsiH) (five hundred eight and forty)

  • 752 siebenhundertzweiundfünfzig (zee-ben-hoon-dert-tsvay-oont-fuenf-tsiH) (seven hundred two and fifty)

blog comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement

Inside Dummies.com

Dummies.com Sweepstakes

Win $500. Easy.