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Video:Learn German: Numbers Basics

with Eva Dobesch

In this About.com video, learn the basics of counting in German so you can build upon your numerical skills.See Transcript

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Transcript:Learn German: Numbers Basics

Hi, I'm Eva Dobesch, a native speaker and teacher of German. Today with About.com I'm going to go over the basics of German numbers.

Counting to 10 in German

The roots of the entire German number system are in the basic numbers zero through ten.  Here is how you say these eleven numbers:

  • zero – Null
  • one – Eins
  • two – Zwei
  • three – Drei
  • four – Vier
  • five – Funf
  • six – Sechs
  • seven – sieben
  • eight – acht
  • nine – neun
  • ten – zehn

Counting to 19 in German

When counting in the teens, many of the numbers keep the root of the single digit and add –zehn. For instance, five is funf and fifteen is funfzehn. Here are the numbers eleven through nineteen:

  • eleven – elf
  • twelve – zwolf
  • thirteen – dreizehn
  • fourteen – vierzehn
  • fifteen – funfzehn
  • sixteen – sechzehn
  • seventeen – siebzehn
  • eighteen – achtzehn
  • nineteen - neunzehn

Counting by 10's in German

As with the teens, an easy way to remember counting by tens is to add –zig to the end of the basis number.

  • twenty – Zwanzig
  • thrity – dreißig
  • fourty – vierzig
  • fifty – funfzig
  • sixty – sechzig
  • seventy – siebzig
  • eighty – achtzig
  • ninety – Neunzig
  • one hundred – Hundert or Einhundert

Recognizing Numbers in Conversation

It is important to recognize numbers in context whether you are having a conversation or trying to find out information.

If you were to ask, “How much does it cost” / “Wieviel kostet das?”

The response would sound like, “It costs 3.15” “Es kostet €3,15”

If you were to ask for the time “Wie viel uhr ist es?”

The response would sound like “It is five o'clock” / “es ist funf Uhr” (funf being 5 and Uhr begin hour) or possibly “Es ist siebzehn Uhr” for 5 o'clock pm since Germans typically run on a 24 hour clock.

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