Whenever you’re learning a new language, you would want to make sure that you know how to count in that language and you would like to do that rather sooner than later.

The reason for this is very simple: Knowing how to count is an essential part of the mastery of any language. Even the most basic conversations will make use of numbers, therefore it makes a lot of sense to learn the counting system of a language at a very early stage.

The good news when having to study the German counting system is that it is actually a piece of cake. At least for English speakers, counting in German should be a walk in the park. At least what concerns the logical aspects of the counting system.

However, German numbers can get very long in written form, so that could potentially be a problem. Then again, not all of us have the privilege to deal with these *BIG NUMBERS *on a regular basis.

In written correspondence, however, just writing the number itself rather than the full written form of the number will do (at least in most cases), or would you prefer to write “achthundertvierundzwanzigtausenddreihundertvierundneunzig” instead of 824.394?

Probably not.

**Counting in German: Breakdown & Manual**

Before I show you a list of all the numbers you ever wanted to know in German, we will have a look at how the German counting system works, in comparison with the counting mechanism of the English language.

Luckily, there are only minor differences between the two systems which will make it really easy for you if you are a native speaker of English.

Let’s start with the logic behind 1 to 10. Those are really the building blocks of the German counting system. You will need to memorize them by heart because you will need them again and again to form the rest of the numbers. Same as in English, right? Yes.

Then you need to pay special attention to eleven and twelve as these are *irregular* in German. Eleven is “elf” and twelve is “zwölf.” You will need to learn these by heart as well.

Numbers 13 up to 19 are easy to remember as they all follow the rule:

3 + 10 = 13

4 + 10 = 14

5 + 10 = 15

6 + 10 = 16

7 + 10 = 17

8 + 10 = 18

9 + 10 = 19

Then we have number 20. This is the first time you will see the suffix “-**zig**.” Twenty is irregular as well because it is zwanzig and not zweizig.

The rest of the group up to 90, namely **30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, & 90 are all regular** and all use the **-zig suffix. **So you can simply take the numbers from 1 to 9 and slap a “zig” on there and you have your numbers 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80 & 90.

**Then we have 100. You will have to learn this one by heart**, **just as in English.**

There are no more surprises up to a thousand and you can simply combine the numbers that you have already learned to get to one thousand:

**303 = drei hundert und drei —> dreihundert(und)drei** (the “und” is not mandatory, you can also say “dreihundertdrei”)

**609 = sechs hundert und neun —> sechshundert(und)neun **(“und” = voluntary)

**937 = neun hundert und sieben und dreißig —> neunhundert(und)siebenunddreißig **(“und” = voluntary)

**Then stop at one thousand** and learn this one by heart as well. Pretty close to one thousand in English, right? **Cognates** are pretty cool, after all.

All the way up to one million there are no more surprises for you if you are a native English speaker.

Just as in English, ten thousand is crafted by saying **10 x 1000**, hence “zehntausend.” So **the basic unit here is one thousand.**

Fifty thousand is nothing other than 50 x 1000, hence “fünfzigtausend”. Sounds familiar? Yes, indeed!

And we are already approaching the finish line….**one million! **At least as far as this article goes! I rarely deal will numbers over 1 million, unfortunately.

So all that is left for you to do is to learn one million in German, which couldn’t be easier, as “eine Million” is another lovely cognate and is practically a gift to you.

So, there you have it! Counting in German in a nutshell!

Now enjoy the tables with all the numbers and the pronunciation for the numbers where appropriate.

**Counting from 1 to 10**

1 | eins | one | |

2 | zwei | two | |

3 | drei | three | |

4 | vier | four | |

5 | fünf | five | |

6 | sechs | six | |

7 | sieben | seven | |

8 | acht | eight | |

9 | neun | nine | |

10 | zehn | ten |

**Counting from 10 to 100**

Number | German Pronunciation | German | English |
---|---|---|---|

10 | zehn | ten | |

11 | elf | eleven | |

12 | zwölf | twelfe | |

13 | dreizehn | thirtheen | |

14 | vierzehn | fourteen | |

15 | fünfzehn | fifteen | |

16 | sechzehn | sixteen | |

17 | siebzehn | seventeen | |

18 | achtzehn | eighteen | |

19 | neunzehn | nineteen | |

20 | zwanzig | twenty | |

21 | einundzwanzig | twenty-one | |

22 | zweiundzwanzig | twenty-two | |

23 | dreiundzwanzig | twenty-three | |

24 | vierundzwanzig | twenty-four | |

25 | fünfundzwanzig | twenty-five | |

26 | sechsundzwanzig | twenty-six | |

27 | siebenundzwanzig | twenty-seven | |

28 | achtundzwanzig | twenty-eight | |

29 | neunundzwanzig | twenty-nine | |

30 | dreißig | thirty | |

31 | einunddreißig | thirty-one | |

32 | zweiunddreißig | thirty-two | |

33 | dreiunddreißig | thirty-three | |

34 | vierunddreißig | thirty-four | |

35 | fünfunddreißig | thirty-five | |

36 | sechunddreißig | thirty-six | |

37 | siebenunddreißig | thirty-seven | |

38 | achtunddreißig | thirty-eight | |

39 | neununddreißig | thirty-nine | |

40 | vierzig | fourty | |

41 | einundvierzig | fourty-one | |

42 | zweiundvierzig | fourty-two | |

43 | dreiundvierzig | fourty-three | |

44 | vierundvierzig | fourty-four | |

45 | fünfundvierzig | fourty-five | |

46 | sechsundvierzig | fourty-six | |

47 | siebenundvierzig | fourty-seven | |

48 | achtundvierzig | fourty-eight | |

49 | neunundvierzig | fourty-nine | |

50 | fünfzig | fifty | |

51 | einundfünfzig | fifty-one | |

52 | zweiundfünzig | fifty-two | |

53 | dreiundfünzig | fifty-three | |

54 | vierundfünfzig | fifty-four | |

55 | fünfundfünfzig | fifty-five | |

56 | sechsundfünfzig | fifty-six | |

57 | siebenundfünfzig | fifty-seven | |

58 | achtundfünfzig | fifty-eight | |

59 | neunundfünfzig | fifty-nine | |

60 | sechzig | sixty | |

61 | einundsechzig | sixty-one | |

62 | zweiundsechzig | sixty-two | |

63 | dreiundsechzig | sixty-three | |

64 | vierundsechzig | sixty-four | |

65 | fünfundsechzig | sixty-five | |

66 | sechsundsechzig | sixty-six | |

67 | siebenundsechzig | sixty-seven | |

68 | achtundsechzig | sixty-eight | |

69 | neunundsechszig | sixty-nine | |

70 | siebzig | seventy | |

71 | einundsiebzig | seventy-one | |

72 | zweiundsiebzig | seventy-two | |

73 | dreiundsiebzig | seventy-three | |

74 | vierundsiebzig | seventy-four | |

75 | fünfundsiebzig | seventy-five | |

76 | sechsundsiebzig | seventy-six | |

77 | siebenundsiebzig | seventy-seven | |

78 | achtundsiebzig | seventy-eight | |

79 | neunundsiebzig | seventy-nine | |

80 | achtzig | eighty | |

81 | einundachtzig | eighty-one | |

82 | zweiundachtzig | eighty-two | |

83 | dreiundachtzig | eighty-three | |

84 | vierundachtzig | eighty-four | |

85 | fünfundachtzig | eighty-five | |

86 | sechsundachtzig | eighty-six | |

87 | siebenundachtzig | eighty-seven | |

88 | achtundachtzig | eighty-eight | |

89 | neunundachtzig | eighty-nine | |

90 | neunzig | ninety | |

91 | einundneunzig | ninety-one | |

92 | zweiundneunzig | ninety-two | |

93 | dreiundneunzig | ninety-three | |

94 | vierundundneunzig | ninety-four | |

95 | fünfundneunzig | ninety-five | |

96 | sechsundneunzig | ninety-six | |

97 | siebenundneunzig | ninety-seven | |

98 | achtundneunzig | ninety-eight | |

99 | neunundneunzig | ninety-nine | |

100 | einhundert (hundert) | one hundred |

**Counting from 100 to 1 million**

Number | German Pronunciation | German | English |
---|---|---|---|

100 | einhundert (hundert) | one hundred | |

101 | einhunderteins (einhundertundeins) | one hundred and one | |

1000 | eintausend (tausend) | one thousand | |

1005 | eintausendfünf (eintausendundfünf) | one thousand and five | |

1425 | eintausendvierhundertfünfundzwanzig | one thousand four hundred twenty five | |

10.000 | zehntausend | ten thousand | |

10.007 | zehntausendundsieben | ten thousand and seven | |

14.477 | vierzehntausendvierhundertsiebenundsiebzig | fourteen thousand four hundred seventy-seven | |

100.000 | einhunderttausend (hundertausend) | one hundred thousand | |

100.024 | einhunderttausendundvierundzwanzig | a hundred thousand and twenty-four | |

172.737 | hundertzweiundsiebzigtausendsiebenhundertsiebenunddreißig | one hundred seventy-two seven hundred and thirty-seven | |

1.000.000 | eine Million | one million |

**Dot, comma or apostrophe**

There is a lot of confusion with regards to the right punctuation of German numbers. For instance, how would you go about writing one hundred thousand in German?!?

- [Option 1]
**100000** - [Option 2]
**100000,00** - [Option 3]
**100.000** - [Option 4]
**100’000**

I guess you see the problem. The correct way to go about it in German is actually** Option 3**. So, the correct way of writing one hundred thousand in German would be **100.000**.

You might ask yourself why I even had the audacity to include Option 4. 100’000 sounds ridiculous to you?

Well, not to Swiss people (Swiss-Germans). In Switzerland, **Option 4 **is how numbers are written, even in newspapers. So, one hundred thousand would be 100’000 and ten thousand would be written as 10’000.

**Should I write out the number?**

Let’s say you are **writing a letter in German. **How would you go about telling the company that you only received seven pairs of socks instead of eight? Would you use 7 and 8 or “sieben” und “acht”?

It depends. In a formal letter, you would most likely use *seven* and *eigh*t rather than 7 and 8. However, when concerning numbers bigger than 10, you could also use the numerical equivalent. Especially if we are talking big numbers.

So if you ordered 527 T-Shirts on Amazon, you wouldn’t say “Die fünfhundertsiebenundzwanzig T-Shirts, die ich neulich bei Ihnen bestellt habe, sind…”

So the rule of thumb here is that up to 10, you are more likely to write the numbers out in full. Numbers over 10, you would just use the numbers.

Consistency is key here. In case of doubt, make your decision and then stick with it throughout the text.

**Counting in German: Sample Sentences**

**Ich habe im Suprmarkt drei Äpfel gekauft.** (I bought three apples at the supermarket.)

*Am Elternabend waren insgesamt 312 Kinder anwesend. **(**A total of 312 children were present at the parents’ evening.*

*Zum Dritten und letzten Mal: Ich will dich nicht heiraten! **(**For the third and last time: I don’t want to marry you!)*

*Er schaut sich gerade die fünfte Folge von Breaking Bad an. **(**He’s watching the fifth episode of Breaking Bad.)*

*Ich habe drei Paar Socken, vier Hemden, sieben Tischtennisschläger und drei Paar Jeans mit in die Ferien genommen. **(**I took three pairs of socks, four shirts, seven table tennis rackets and 3 pairs of jeans with me on holiday.)*

*1425 Euro wollte der Verkäufer von mir! Der hat wohl ne Meise! **(**The seller wanted 1425 Euros from me! He must be crazy!)*

*Sie möchten also 500 Gramm Pouletfleisch, 25o Gramm Lamm und 4 Stück Brot, richtig? **(**So you want 500 grams of chicken, 250 grams of lamb, and 4 pieces of bread, right?)*

**Ich habe null Bock heute.** (I have zero motivation today.)

**Counting in German: Exercise**

**Here’s a short video** that will help you practice counting in German. Watch the numbers on the screen (maybe pause the video for some time after the number appears on the screen), then try to verbalize them. You’ll hear the correct way to say the number a few seconds after each number appears on the screen.

How to count in German from Marcel Iseli on Vimeo.

**Bonus: How to count to 10 in Swiss-German**

Number | Swiss-German | English | Swiss-German Pronunciation |
---|---|---|---|

1 | eis | one | |

2 | zwöi | two | |

3 | drü | three | |

4 | vier | four | |

5 | füüf | five | |

6 | sächs | six | |

7 | sibä | seven | |

8 | acht | eight | |

9 | nüün | nine | |

10 | zää | ten |

**Download: German numbers (PDF)**

If you would like to learn German numbers on the go, you can simply download the following PDF with all the numbers in German:

**Counting in German: FAQ**

**How do you say zero in German?**Zero is “null” in German.

**Is it “hundert” or “einhundert”?**Both of them are correct. The same goes for *thousand*. You can either translate it as “tausend” or “eintausend.”

**Is counting in German difficult?**This depends on what your mother tongue is. If your mother tongue is English, counting in German should be fairly easy, as it is very similar to counting in English.

If your mother tongue is Chinese, then learning the numbers in German is a bit more difficult because the basic units are not all identical. For instance, the logic behind 50’000 in German and English is based on 50 x 1’000, whereas in Chinese, the logic behind 50’000 is actually 5 x 10’000.

**How to say phone numbers in German?**In some languages, the way you say telephone numbers differs from the way you use numbers in general. One thing to keep in mind with telephone numbers in German is the fact that you would not say each number individually as in English.

So a telephone number such as 052 365 19 22 would be broken down as [052] [365] [19] [22], namely “Null zweiundfünfzig dreihundertfünfundsechzig neunzehn zweiundzwanzig.”

One more thing to note is that in German, the number 0 will also be pronounced as “null.” So in contrast with English, there is no alternative way of saying *zero* in telephone numbers ( in English, the letter *0* is used for this purpose).

Hey fellow Linguaholics! It’s me, Marcel. I am the proud owner of linguaholic.com. Languages have always been my passion and I have studied Linguistics, Computational Linguistics and Sinology at the University of Zurich. It is my utmost pleasure to share with all of you guys what I know about languages and linguistics in general.