Cardinal and Ordinal Numbers

Cardinal numbers

1 eins 11 elf 30 dreißig
2 zwei 12 zwölf 40 vierzig
3 drei 13 dreizehn 50 fünfzig
4 vier 14 vierzehn 60 sechzig
5 fünf 15 fünfzehn 70 siebzig
6 sechs 16 sechzehn 80 achtzig
7 sieben 17 siebzehn 90 neunzig
8 acht 18 achtzehn 100 (ein)hundert
9 neun 19 neunzehn 600 sechshundert
10 zehn 20 zwanzig 700 siebenhundert

   1000 (ein)tausend        4000 viertausend
   10 000 zehntausend       100 000 hunderttausend

   1 000 000 eine Million   3 000 000 drei Millionen

   1 00 000 000 hundert Millionen

From 20 to 99 the units come before the tens and are joined by the conjunction und (in English: “and”), e. g.:

24 = 4 + 20 = vier und zwanzig = vierundzwanzig
32 = 2 + 30 zweiunddreißig
64 = 4 + 60 vierundsechzig
96 = 6 + 90 sechsundneunzig
65 fünfundsechzig (5 und 60)
82 zweiundachtzig (2 und 80)
36 sechsunddreißig (6 und 30)

This reverse order characterises only the units and tens, not the hundreds, thousands, millions and so on:

5327 fünftausenddreihundertsiebenundzwanzig (5000 + 300 + 7 + 20)

All the numbers can be used as nouns of the feminine gender, e.g. die Drei =  a mark of three at school or the bus number three, and so on.

Zero is called die Null, and it can be used in the plural, too (Nullen, e.g. Die Ziffer 1 wird von 6 Nullen gefolgt – The digit 1 is followed by 6 zeros)

Die Million is always used as a noun and is written with a capital.  It is even used in the plural when talking about more than one million (zwei Millionen, fünf Millionen, etc.). Hundert and tausend are not used in the plural even if talking about more than one hundred or one thousand (zweihundert, sechstausend, etc.)

Numerals less than one million are written in one single word, so very long words can arise:

128 (ein)hundertachtundzwanzig
256 zweihundertsechsundfünfzig
3674 dreitausendsechshundertvierundsiebzig
92 676 zweiundneunzigtausendsechshundertsechsundsiebzig
863 372 achthundertdreiundsechzigtausenddreihundertzweiundsiebzig

As millions are separate nouns they make up separate words within a numeral:

1 738 539 eine Million siebenhundertachtunddreißigtausendfünfhundertneununddreißig
8 263 802 acht Millionen zweihundertdreiundsechzigtausendachthundertzwei

Year numbers

Year numbers are expressed in a very similar way to English:

1984 – neunzehnhundertvierundachtzig
1848 – achtzehnhundertachtundvierzig
1222 – zwölfhundertzweiundzwanzig
1492 – vierzehnhundertzweiundneunzig

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Ordinal numbers

1. erste 11. elfte 30. dreißigste
2. zweite 12. zwölfte 40. vierzigste
3. dritte 13. dreizehnte 50. fünfzigste
4. vierte 14. vierzehnte 60. sechzigste
5. fünfte 15. fünfzehnte 70. siebzigste
6. sechste 16. sechzehnte 80. achtzigste
7. siebente / siebte 17. siebzehnte 90. neunzigste
8. achte 18. achtzehnte 100. hundertste
9. neunte 19. neunzehnte 1000. tausendste
10. zehnte 20. zwanzigste 1 000 000. millionste

 Ordinal numbers under 19 are formed by -te ending, above 19 they are formed by -ste ending. Irregular ones are: 1. erste, 3. dritte, 8. achte.

When writing ordinal numbers, they do not need to be designated by their last letters and a dot is enough, though last letter designation is also possible: 1st = 1te or 1., 2nd = 2te or 2.

Multiple millions as ordinal numbers are not nouns; they are written in one single word, and a capital first letter is not used.  They do not take a plural: zwei Miliionen, but: zweimillionste.

Ordinal numbers are considered adjectives, so they are declined in the same way as adjectives, e.g. das erste Bild (the first picture).

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Very large numbers – just as a curiosity

Adding a further three zeros to a very large number, we get another number with its own name. So after one million (eine Million) we get one billion (eine Milliarde), then one trillion (eine Billion), then one quadrillion (eine Billiarde). As can be seen the names of large numbers differ significantly between German and English, as in German the -illion and -illiarde endings follow each other alternately.

Similarly to Million, the names of very large numbers are treated as nouns and are used in the plural when speaking about more than one of them:

1 000 000 000 eine Milliarde
2 000 000 000 zwei Milliarden
1 000 000 000 000 eine Billion
3 000 000 000 000 drei Billionen

Very large numbers are expressed as powers of ten. These numbers are not used in everyday life: 

106 million Million
109 billion Milliarde
1012 trillion Billion
1015 quadrillion Billiarde
1018 quintillion Trillion
1021 sextillion Trilliarde
1024 septillion Quadrillion
1027 octillion Quadrilliarde
1030 nonillion Quintilion
1033 decillion Quintilliarde
1036 undecillion Sextillion
1039 duodecillion Sextilliarde
1042 tredecillion Septillion
1045 quattuordecillion Septilliarde
1048 quindecillion Oktillion
1051 sexdecillion Oktilliarde
1054 septendecillion Nonillion
1057 octodecillion Nonilliarde
1060 novemdecillion Dezillion
1063 vigintillion Dezilliarde
1066 unvigintillion Undezillion
1069 duovigintillion Undezilliarde
1072 tresvigintillion D(u)odezillion
1075 quattuorvigintillion D(u)odezilliarde
1078 quinvigintillion Tredezillion
1081 sesvigintillion Tredezilliarde
1084 septemvigintillion Quattuordezillion
1087 octovigintillion Quattuordezilliarde
1090 novemvigintillion Quindezillion
1093 trigintillion Quindezilliarde
1096 untrigintillion Se(x)dezillion
1099 duotrigintillion Se(x)dezilliarde

 

 

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