German Cardinal & Ordinal Numbers

Beginner German - Level A1


In German, the meaning of cardinal numbers is digits such as 3 or 11 or 630 or any other number used in counting to indicate quantity but not order. First, second, third, etc., are ordinal numbers, usually coming before a noun. They can be written as 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc. 


Numbes, Dates

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German Cardinal & Ordinal Numbers

In English and in German there are cardinal numbers, used for counting, calculating and staring years and age. Ordinal numbers are used to order or rank things, giving the date as well as floors of buildings. 

1. Cardinal Numbers 

Below are the cardinal numbers in German. Keep in mind that in English we can say "a dog" (ein Hund), and "one dog" (ein Hund), using either the indefinite article "a/an", or the cardinal number "one". In German, the indefinite article "ein/eine/ein" and the cardinal number used when referring to one of something are the same. However, we need to pay attention to the gender and case of the noun. 

Das ist ein Hund. This is a / one dog.
Das ist eine Katze. This is a / one cat. 
(Note: You cannot say: "Das ist eins Hund/ eins Katze")

Note: The teens could be translated to "threeten", "fourten", etc. 

Note: The literal translation of these numbers would be "one and twenty", "two and thirty", "three and forty", etc. 

2. Ordinal Numbers

Ordinal numbers normally add ‘-te’ to the end of the spelling of the cardinal numbers less than 20, with a few exceptions. Ordinal numbers greater than 19 add ‘-ste’ to the end. Ordinals can precede nouns, which is why the definite articles are often used in combination with ordinal numbers.

Er hat die erste Prüfung bestanden. He has passed the first exam. 

When referring to dates, we add "am" (an dem), when referring to centuries or locations we add "im" (in dem). 

Halloween ist am einunddreissigsten Oktober. Halloween is on the 31st of October. 
Wir leben im einundzwanzigsten Jahrhundert. We live in the 21st century. 

Note: The ending "-te" or "-ste" doesn't change, regardless of the gender of the noun, but we still need to use the correct article. For dates, we usually use "der". 

Das ist der erste Geburtstag meiner Tocher. This is the first birthday of my daughter. 
Das ist das erste Auto. This is the first car. 
Heute ist der dreiundzwanzigste Oktober. Today is the 23rd of October. 


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0-null   1-eins   2-zwei   3-drei   4-vier   5-fünf   6-sechs   7-sieben   8-acht   9-neun  10-zehn

Ich gehe heute einkaufen. Ich brauche einiges, aber ich habe nur 50 Euro. Ich hoffe, es langt! Ich brauche 500g Butter, 24 Eier, 1kg Mehl, 3l Milch, 3 kg Äpfel, und 1kg Zucker.
Meine Freundin hat morgen Geburtstag, und ich kaufe ihr einen Strauss Rosen. Ein Strauss Rosen kostet 17.99 €. 

Im Supermarkt gibt es heute folgende Angebote:
500g Zucker -  1.19 €
1kg Äpfel - 3.99 €
500g Mehl - 2.49 €
12 Eier - 3.79 €
1l Milch 1.79 €
250g Butter 0.99 €

Wie viel Geld brauche ich, und wie viel Geld habe ich übrig? 

g = der Gramm - the gram
kg = der Kilogramm - the kilogram
l = der Liter - the liter
der Strauss - the bunch, bouquet
die Rose(n) - the rose
einiges - quite a bit
folgend - following
das Angebot - the sale, offer
fehlen - to miss
genug - enough

The total of all his groceries is: 

1kg Zucker: 2.38 €
3kg Äpfel: 11.97 €
500g Mehl: 4.98 €
24 Eier: 7.58 €
3l Milch: 5.37 €
500g Butter: 1.98 €
Strauss Rosen: 17.99 €
Total: 52.25 €

Ich brauche 52.25 €. Ich habe nicht genug Geld. Mir fehlen 2.25 €. 
1. Write the following cardinal numbers in word form
   a. 16
   b. 23
   c. 99
   d. 101
   e. 54

2. Which numbers is incorrect?
   a. siebenzehn, achtzehn, neunzehn, zwanzig
   b. fünfundfünfzig, siebundfünfzig, neunfünfzig, neunundneunzig
   c. ein, zwei, drei, vier
   d. zehn, siebenzig, siebzig, zwolf
   e. zweiundzwansig, dreiundzwansig, vierundzwansig, fünfundzwansig

3. Sort the numbers from lowest to highest:
   a. neunzehn, dreiundzwanzig, vier, neunundneunzig
   b. vierundvierzig, vierzehn, vierunddreissig, vierundneunzig
   c. fünfzehn, fünfundfüfzig, füfundachtzig, fünf
   d. neunzehn, dreiundzwanzig, dreiundsechzig, vierundsiebzig
   e. achtundachtzig, dreiundachtzig, vierundneunzig, neunundneunzig

4. Read/write out the following phone numbers:
   a. 470 - 3567 - 6579
   b. 089 - 7376 - 40
   c. 333 - 7190 - 471
   d. 561 - 998 - 9898
   e. 999 - 887 - 7324

1. Write the following cardinal numbers in word form
   a. sechzehn
   b. dreiundzwanzig
   c. neunundneunzig
   d. einhunderteins
   e. vierundfünfzig

2. Which numbers is incorrect?
   a. siebenzehn -> ziebzehn
   b. siebundfünfzig-> siebenundfünfzigneunfünfzig-> neunundfünfzig
   c. ein-> eins
   d. siebenzig-> siebzig, zwolf -> zwölf
   e. zweiundzwansig, dreiundzwansig, vierundzwansig, fünfundzwansig -> -zwanzig 

3. Sort the numbers from lowest to highest, and write the number form
   a. vier, neunzehn, dreiundzwanzig, neunundneunzig (4, 19, 23, 99)
   b. vierzehn, vierunddreissig, vierundvierzig, vierundneunzig (14, 34, 44, 94)
   c. fünf, fünfzehn, fünfundfüfzig, füfundachtzig, (5, 15, 55, 85)
   d. neunzehn, dreiundzwanzig, dreiundsechzig, vierundsiebzig (19, 23, 63, 74)
   e. dreiundachtzig, achtundachtzig, vierundneunzig, neunundneunzig (83, 88, 94, 99)

4. Read/write out the following phone numbers:
   a. vier sieben null drei fünf sechs sieben sechs fünf sieben nine 
   b. null acht neun  sieben  drei sieben sechs  vier null 
   c. drei drei drei sieben eins neun null vier sieben eins 
   d. fünf sechs eins neun neun acht neun acht neun acht
   e. neun neun neun acht acht sieben sieben drei zwei vier 

Listen to the audio and try to answer the following questions.


1. What numbers were used in the audio? 
2. How many grandchildren do Bruno and Melinda have?
3. You is the youngest child? Who is the oldest child? 
4. Who has twins?
5. Who is the only one married?


1. drei (3), einen (1 - accusative), sieben (7), zwei (2), zwei (2), drei (3), drei (3), vierzehn (14), zwei (2), zwölf (12)
2. Bruno and Melinda have 6 grandchildren. Max, Bella, Paul, Sara, Lukas and Freddy. 
3. Bella is the youngest child. She is 2 years old. Sara is the oldest. She is 14. 
4. Georg has twins: Lukas and Freddi.
5.Anna is married. (Georg is divorced, and Leni is unmarried)


Bruno und Melinda sind Grosseltern. Sie haben drei Kinder. Leni, Anna und Georg. Leni ist nicht verheiratet, aber sie hat einen Sohn mit ihrem Freund. Ihr Sohn, Max, ist sieben Jahre alt. Anna ist verheiratet und hat zwei Kinder. Annas Tochter, Bella, ist zwei Jahre alt. Ihr Sohn, Paul, ist drei. Georg ist geschieden und hat drei Kinder. Georgs Tochter, Sara, ist vierzehn Jahre alt. Seine zwei Söhne, Lukas und Freddi, sind Zwillinge. Sie sind zwölf Jahre alt.


verheiratet - married
geschieden - divorced
der Zwilling(e) - the twin
der Freund - here: the boyfriend


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