How To Count To 100 In German

You may know 100 German phrases, but learning how to count to 100 in German is a skill that’s easy to overlook.
August 23, 2018
How To Count To 100 In German

Numbers come up a lot in conversation, and that doesn’t change just because you’re speaking another language. Whether you’re ordering a certain number of pretzels or asking how many turns you have to make to get to the bathroom, you’ll run into situations when knowing numbers will come in handy as you learn German. To help you out on your next trip to Germany, here’s a quick guide to count to 100 in German.

We could just list all of the numbers one through one hundred, but that wouldn’t explain the logic behind it. So instead, we’ll start with the numbers you need to know, and then show you how it works.

Counting From Zero To Twenty In German

Why count to 20 instead of 10? Well, like many languages, the teens work differently. In English, for example, “eleven” would technically make more sense if it was called “ten-one” to mirror “twenty-one.” In German, a similar thing happens.

zero — null

one — eins

two — zwei

three — drei

four — vier

five — fünf

six — sechs

seven — sieben

eight — acht

nine — neun

ten — zehn

eleven — elf

twelve — zwölf

thirteen — dreizehn

fourteen — vierzehn

fifteen — fünfzehn

sixteen — sechzehn

seventeen — siebzehn

eighteen — achtzehn

nineteen — neunzehn

twenty — zwanzig

The Rest Of The Tens

thirty — dreißig

forty — vierzig

fifty — fünfzig

sixty — sechzig

seventy — siebzig

eighty — achtzig

ninety — neunzig

one hundred — einhundert

Putting It All Together

German numbers are pretty straightforward, but they differ from English in one way. Instead of the tens coming before the ones (twenty-five), the ones come before the tens (fünfundzwanzig, or literally “five-and-twenty”). The word und in the middle is German for “and,” which comes up a lot in numbers. And German is famous for combining words into larger words, so numbers can indeed look pretty long when written out. If you put the spaces into the words in your head, it can be easier to read.

As you get to larger numbers, the pattern is more predictable. The number 783, for example, is siebenhundertdreiundachtzig (literally, “seven hundred, three-and-eighty”). Once you’ve got the basic numbers down, the only real mistake you have to avoid is saying something like siebzigundvier (seventy and four) instead of vierundsiebzig. Once you get the hang of it, it’s as easy as einszweidrei.

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Author Headshot
Thomas Moore Devlin
Thomas grew up in suburban Massachusetts, and moved to New York City for college. He studied English literature and linguistics at New York University, but spent most of his time in college working for the student paper. Because of this, he has really hard opinions about AP Style. In his spare time, he enjoys reading and getting angry about things on Twitter. He's spent a lot of time trying to learn Spanish, and has learned a little German.
Thomas grew up in suburban Massachusetts, and moved to New York City for college. He studied English literature and linguistics at New York University, but spent most of his time in college working for the student paper. Because of this, he has really hard opinions about AP Style. In his spare time, he enjoys reading and getting angry about things on Twitter. He's spent a lot of time trying to learn Spanish, and has learned a little German.

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