The Numbers 1 – 20 in German

Counting in German is not as difficult as you might think. You don’t believe us? Then check out the numbers 0-10 in German:

NumberGermanEnglish
0nullzero
1einsone
2zweitwo
3dreithree
4vierfour
5fünffive
6sechssix
7siebenseven
8achteight
9neunnine
10zehnten

It is no coincidence that many of the numbers look almost exactly alike – most German numbers and English numbers have their origins in the germanized versions of Latin numbers, which is why they sound so similar.

I mean come on: sieben – seven, neun – nine , for a foreign language that’s really easy!

It is important to remember these numbers, as they somehow appear, in one form or another, in every number you’ll use when counting in German.

Counting from 11-20

But even if you leave the numbers 0 – 10, everything stays logical and fairly close to English. Do you need an example? Ok, here you go:

The German term for eleven is elf and the German term twelve is zwölf and their pronunciation is pretty close to their English counterparts, as well.

Once we move on, the English numbers are built by using the term for the second digit (e.g. ‘six’ in 16) and then adding the suffix -teen, which means ten. And GERMAN DOES THE EXACT SAME THING!

In German, we use the German term for the second digit (e.g. ‘sechs’ in 16) and then we add the suffix -zehn, which means ten. Accordingly, the German term for 16 is sechzehn, for 18 is achtzehn, and so on.

NumberGermanEnglish
11elfeleven
12zwölftwelve
13dreizehnthirteen
14vierzehnfourteen
15fünfzehnfifteen
16sechzehnsixteen
17siebzehnseventeen
18achtzehneighteen
19neunzehnnineteen
20zwanzigtwenty

So you just use the German term for the second digit (e.g. ‘sechs’ in 16) and then add the suffix -zehn, which means ten. Pretty easy, right? So there you have it! The numbers in German are actually fairly easy.

Stay tuned for more articles about the German numbers and other essentials for learning German!

The numbers 1 to 20 | The numbers 21 -100 | The numbers 101 – 1000 | The numbers 1000 and beyond

Would you like to learn more about numbers and other basic topics of German? Then check out our courses:

These courses cover the most important aspects for learning German at a beginner level. While the first course (German Basics in 1 hour) is meant to give you a little overview and get into contact with the language, the second course (German Beginner Course) goes a lot deeper and brings you to the language level A1.

Both courses are full with useful exercises and quizzes, as well as downloadable .pdf-resources and many other things. So if you are interested, I we would be really happy to see you there!