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Counting in German is not just a skill for mathematicians or market-goers—it’s a gateway into the heart of everyday life in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. From ordering a round of beers to sharing your contact number, numbers are your constant companions in German-speaking lands.

Many assume that German is a labyrinthine language, but when it comes to numbers, it’s surprisingly straightforward. By learning the numbers from 1 to 20, you unlock a system that can carry you effortlessly up to 100. This article offers a clear and simple guide to counting in German, complete with pronunciation and examples.

German Numbers 1-10

The journey to German numerical fluency begins with the digits 0 through 10. These are the building blocks for all other numbers and are likely to be used daily. Here’s how to count from zero to ten in German:

Number German Pronunciation Example Sentence
0 null nool “Ich habe null Probleme.” (I have zero problems.)
1 eins ayns “Ich hätte gern eins Bier, bitte.” (I would like one beer, please.)
2 zwei tsvy “Wir brauchen zwei Tische.” (We need two tables.)
3 drei dry “Drei Personen haben angerufen.” (Three people called.)
4 vier feer “Vier Jahreszeiten sind wunderbar.” (Four seasons are wonderful.)
5 fünf foonf “Ich sehe fünf Vögel.” (I see five birds.)
6 sechs zex “Das Spiel hat sechs Level.” (The game has six levels.)
7 sieben zee-ben “Sie hat sieben Katzen.” (She has seven cats.)
8 acht ahkht “Acht Stunden Arbeit sind genug.” (Eight hours of work are enough.)
9 neun noyn “Ich habe neun Punkte erzielt.” (I scored nine points.)
10 zehn tsehn “Zehn Minuten bis zum Start.” (Ten minutes to start.)

German Numbers 11-20

The numbers from 11 to 20 in German have their own unique forms, with “elf” and “zwölf” standing out as particularly distinct. Here’s your guide to counting from eleven to twenty:

Number German Pronunciation Example Sentence
11 elf elf “Ich komme um elf Uhr.” (I’ll come at eleven o’clock.)
12 zwölf tsvölf “Das Dutzend ist voll, zwölf Eier.” (The dozen is full, twelve eggs.)
13 dreizehn dry-tsehn “Mein Bruder ist dreizehn Jahre alt.” (My brother is thirteen years old.)
14 vierzehn feer-tsehn “Es sind vierzehn Grad draußen.” (It’s fourteen degrees outside.)
15 fünfzehn foonf-tsehn “Sie hat fünfzehn Bücher gelesen.” (She read fifteen books.)
16 sechzehn zex-tsehn “Ich habe sechzehn Euro gefunden.” (I found sixteen euros.)
17 siebzehn zeeb-tsehn “Meine Tasche wiegt siebzehn Kilo.” (My bag weighs seventeen kilos.)
18 achtzehn ahkht-tsehn “Er hat achtzehn Kilometer gelaufen.” (He ran eighteen kilometers.)
19 neunzehn noyn-tsehn “Ich warte schon neunzehn Minuten.” (I’ve been waiting nineteen minutes.)
20 zwanzig tsvahn-tsig “Das Haus hat zwanzig Fenster.” (The house has twenty windows.)

German Multiples of 10

After 20, the numbers in German become more systematic. Learning the multiples of 10 is crucial, as they form the basis for the rest of the numbers up to 100.

Number German Pronunciation Example Sentence
10 zehn tsehn “Ich habe zehn Nachrichten bekommen.” (I received ten messages.)
20 zwanzig tsvahn-tsig “Ich bin in meinen Zwanzigern.” (I am in my twenties.)
30 dreißig dry-sig “Sie ist dreißig Jahre alt.” (She is thirty years old.)
40 vierzig feer-tsig “Es gibt vierzig Schüler in der Klasse.” (There are forty students in the class.)
50 fünfzig foonf-tsig “Mein Vater ist fünfzig Jahre alt.” (My father is fifty years old.)
60 sechzig zex-tsig “Das Buch hat sechzig Seiten.” (The book has sixty pages.)
70 siebzig zeeb-tsig “Die Reise kostet siebzig Euro.” (The trip costs seventy euros.)
80 achtzig ahkht-tsig “Meine Oma ist achtzig Jahre jung.” (My grandma is eighty years young.)
90 neunzig noyn-tsig “Es gibt neunzig Minuten in einem Fußballspiel.” (There are ninety minutes in a football match.)
100 hundert hoohn-dert “Ich lebe seit hundert Tagen hier.” (I have been living here for one hundred days.)

How to Count from 1 to 100 in German

Once you’ve mastered the numbers up to 20 and the multiples of 10, you can form any number up to 100 by combining these elements. In German, the unit precedes the ten, joined by “und” (and).

Here’s how you can combine numbers to form higher numbers in German:

German Number Combination Example Pronunciation
21 einundzwanzig ayn-und-tsvahn-tsig
32 zweiunddreißig tsvy-und-dry-sig
47 siebenundvierzig zee-ben-und-feer-tsig
58 achtundfünfzig ahkht-und-foonf-tsig
69 neunundsechzig noyn-und-zex-tsig
74 vierundsiebzig feer-und-zeeb-tsig
85 fünfundachtzig foonf-und-ahkht-tsig
96 sechsundneunzig zex-und-noyn-tsig

By understanding this pattern, counting in German becomes intuitive. For example, 57 is “siebenundfünfzig” (seven-and-fifty), and 83 is “dreiundachtzig” (three-and-eighty). The pattern holds consistently, making it a simple task to learn to count all the way to 100. With this knowledge, you can confidently navigate markets, schedules, and social gatherings in German-speaking countries. So the next time you find yourself under the stars in a German town, counting “eins, zwei, drei” may lead you to dream in German too!


How can I quickly learn to count from 1 to 10 in German?

The quickest way to learn to count from 1 to 10 in German is through repetition and practice. Begin by familiarizing yourself with the pronunciation of each number. Then, practice counting out loud multiple times a day. You can also make flashcards to test your memory or use mnemonic devices to help the numbers stick. Additionally, listening to German language songs or watching videos that focus on numbers can enhance your learning process.

What are the numbers from 11 to 20 in German, and do they follow a specific pattern?

The numbers from 11 to 20 in German are elf (11), zwölf (12), dreizehn (13), vierzehn (14), fünfzehn (15), sechzehn (16), siebzehn (17), achtzehn (18), neunzehn (19), and zwanzig (20). While “elf” and “zwölf” are unique, the numbers from 13 to 19 follow a pattern where the unit number is combined with “zehn,” the word for ten. For instance, “dreizehn” (13) is “drei” (3) plus “zehn” (10), and this pattern continues up to 19.

What are the multiples of 10 in German?

The multiples of 10 in German are zehn (10), zwanzig (20), dreißig (30), vierzig (40), fünfzig (50), sechzig (60), siebzig (70), achtzig (80), neunzig (90), and hundert (100). With the exception of “zwanzig” and “dreißig,” the pattern for forming multiples of ten from 40 to 90 is to add “-zig” to the end of the number’s root. This pattern is a helpful rule of thumb when learning to count higher numbers in German.


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