The numbers 1000 and beyond

Wow, awesome! The fact that you are reading this article tells me that you already know the numbers from 1 to 20 , the numbers from 21 to 100 and the numbers from 101 to 1000 in German, so good on you! Congrats!

By now, I’m sure you noticed that counting in German is actually not that difficult – especially not for English speakers. And this also won’t change when we go beyond 1000.

So let’s get into it!

Multiples of 1000

Just like the multiples of 100, the multiples of 1000 in German follow the same rules as in English. This means that we take the German word for the first digit (e.g. ‘zwei‘ in 2000) and then add -tausend (-thousand).

Accordingly, you form whatever multiple of 1000, you would like:

1 000(ein)tausendone thousand
2 000zweitausendtwo thousand
3 000dreitausendthree thousand
4 000viertausendfour thousand
5 000fünftausendfive thousand
10 000zehntausendten thousand
20 000zwanzigtausendtwenty thousand
30 000dreißigtausendthirtythousand
54 000vierundfünfzigtauendfifty-four thousand
81 000einundachtzigtausendeighty-one thousand
100 000hunderttausend(one) hundred thousand
110 000hundertzehntausend(one) hundred ten thousand
250 000zweihundertfünfzigtausendtwo hundred fifty thousand
520 000fünfhundertzwanzigtausendfive hundred twenty thousand
999 000neunhundertneunundneunzigtausendnine hundred ninety-nine thousand

Be careful!

In German, we don’t separate thousands with a comma, as in English, but with a dot.

e.g. 2,000 becomes 2.000

Also, we don’t use a dot, to write down numbers or decimals that are smaller than one, but a comma instead.

e.g. 0.25 becomes 0,25

So we use both symbols exactly the other way round as English people do.

More complex numbers

Now that we know the multiples of 1000, the only thing we need to do translate numbers like 120.423 (beware of the dot!), for example, is to add the German term for the number for the last three digits – in this case: 423.

So of we stick with our example, we get the following equation:

hundertzwanzigtausendplusvierhundertdreiundzwanziggleichhundertzwanzigtausendvierhundertdreiundzwanzig
120.000+423=120.423

And that’s how you get those really ugly long words in German. The good thing about that, however, is that you don’t need to think about where a word starts or ends – it’s all one giant word .. yey!

This way you can create whatever number between 1.000 (yes, I know the dot looks weird in there) and 1.000.000 you like. And now we come to the really fun part!

Numbers beyond 1 Million

I think, that by now it’s becoming increasingly clear, that structure for the German numbers is always the same – no matter how far you go.

So let’s have a look at the German terms for some even larger numbers, and you can form whatever complex number you need out of them!

1.000.000(eine) Million(one) million
10.000.000Zehnmillionenten million
100.000.000Hundertmillionenhundred million
1.000.000.000(eine) Milliarde(one) billion
10.000.000.000Zehnmilliardenten billion
100.000.000.000Hundertmilliardenhundred billion
1.000.000.000.000(eine) Billion(one) trillion

So, you see only the sky is the limit!

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

Stay tuned for more articles about this and other topics for learning German!

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!