3 Section 1-3

1-3: Numbers and Pronunciation

You will see several of the major vowel combinations in the German language in these numbers.

ei → pronounced like English “i”.

ie → pronounced like English “e”.

Why? Because when these two vowels go a’walking, the second does the talking.

Click the link to do some online listening practice with “ei” and “ie.”


  • eu → pronounced like the “oy” in the English word “toy.”
  • ö → pronounced like the “ur” in the English word “turn” but without the r-sound.
  • ü →  pronounced like the “ew” in the English word “few” but with lips rounded and less of the w-sound.

There are also several consonants in these numbers that have different sounds from those in English.

  • z → pronounced like the “ts” sound at the end of the English word “cats.”
  • s → pronounced like an English “z” at the beginning of a word.
  • v → pronounced like an English “f”.
  • w → pronounced like an English “v”.


Ex. A: Aussprache. Practice each sound by saying the following words out loud. Refer to the pronunciation guide if you forget how they sound.

  1. ei → eins, zwei, drei, heißen, Bleistift, Kugelschreiber, Einstein
  2. ie → vier, sieben, Papier, Radiergummi
  3. eu → neun, Euro, Feuer, teuer
  4. ö → zwölf, Töchter, könnte
  5. ü → fünf, Stück, München
  6. z → zehn, zwölf, zwanzig
  7. s → sechs, sieben, Rucksack, singen
  8. v → vier, viel, von
  9. w → was, wie, wo, wohin, zwölf

Watch YourGermanTeacher’s video to hear the numbers 1-10 being pronounced.

Deutsche Musik! Want to practice numbers 1-10 with Mo-Do’s German hit song from the 90s? The lyrics are inside the video.

Numbers past 12 are similar to English. In English, we add –teen to the end of numbers 1-9. In German, we add –zehn to the end. Note a few minor spelling changes in the chart below.

13: drei + zehn = dreizehn

14: vier + zehn = dreizehn

ONLINE PRACTICE: If you want to practice your numbers online, click on the links. The program will grade your answers.

For two-digit numbers above nineteen, most German numbers add –zig, which is equivalent to the English suffix –ty with numbers. Note a few minor spelling changes in the chart below.

80: acht + zig = achtzig

90: neun + zig = neunzig

German compound numbers are constructed much like English numbers were hundreds of years ago.

    21 → einundzwanzig (one and twenty)

    22 → zweiundzwanzig (two and twenty)

    23 → dreiundzwanzig (three and twenty)


    31 → einunddreißig (one and thirty)

    32 → zweiunddreißig (two and thirty)


Note that German does NOT have a space between the individual numbers. Write them all together as one long word.

To hear numbers 11-100 being pronounced, watch YourGermanTeacher’s video:

Ex. B: Wir üben! Write out the following numbers.

  1. 39               5. 22
  2. 42               6. 93
  3. 87               7. 35
  4. 65               8. 84

If you want more practice with double-digit numbers, click the link below and then on “Start Test.” The program will grade your answers:  https://german.net/vocabulary/lists/numbers-to-100/

To say how old you are, use the phrase Ich bin ______ plus your age.


Watch Coffeebreak German’s video to see some examples of people saying how old they are.

Ex. C: Wie alt sind Sie? How old are you? Ask your classmates.

       A: Wie alt sind Sie?

       B: Ich bin ___________.

  (Variation: Ich bin _____ Jahre alt.)

Video. Watch Easy German’s video to hear numbers 1-100 spoken aloud with examples.

Hundreds and thousands are expressed in German much like in English. Once again, do not leave a space between individual numbers. Put them all together to make one long word.

300: drei + hundert = dreihundert

4000: vier + tausend = viertausend

If you have a particularly long number, take it in steps.

     Beispiel: 7529

     Step 1: siebentausend

     Step 2: fünfhundert

     Step 3: neunundzwanzig

Now put it together: siebentausendfünfhundertneunundzwanzig

Like many German words, numbers are compound words without any spaces in between.

→ sieben|tausend|fünf|hundert|neun|und|zwanzig

Ex. D: Lange Zahlen. Write out the following numbers.

  1. 835
  2. 399
  3. 628
  4. 339
  5. 521
  6. 1953
  7. 4388
  8. 9644
  9. 7523

Ex. E: HörverständnisZahlen: Click on the link to Germanzone.org’s website to do the listening activity. Choose the number you hear read aloud:  https://www.germanzone.org/horverstandnis-zahlen/.

Ex. F: HörverständnisEinmaleins: Click the link to do Germanzone.org’s online listening activity. You will hear several simple multiplication problems read aloud. Choose the answer that best corresponds to the answer:  https://www.germanzone.org/horverstandnis-einmaleins/.

    Beispiel: drei mal neun

    → 3 x 9 = 27 (siebenundzwanzig)

Ex. G: Deutsche Zahlen. Click the link to do Germanzone.org’s matching activity with numbers:  https://www.germanzone.org/german-numbers-2/

Ex. H: Wie viel Euro macht das? Click the link to do Germanzone.org’s activity using Euros:  https://www.germanzone.org/german-numbers-1-wie-viel-euro/.

If you wish to make higher numbers, follow the pattern you see in English.

       forty thousand→vierzigtausend

       eighty-three thousand→dreiundachtzigtausend


“File:Deutschland politisch 2010.png” by C. Busch, Hamburg is marked with CC BY-SA 3.0.




Deutschland hat über 83 Millionen Einwohner.







EXTRA PRACTICE: Click the link to practice large numbers. The computer will grade your answers as you go:  https://www.deutschakademie.de/online-deutschkurs/english/quiz/b8b0vF8PFfcs4G40#1.

Listen to Max Giesinger’s song, 80 Millionen, to practice numbers.

In Germany, the comma and decimal point are switched.









Reading out prices works a lot like in English:

       $4.65→four dollars sixty-five cents OR four sixty-five.

       €4,65→vier Euro fünfundsechzig (Cent) OR vier fünfundsechzig.


Ex. I: Wieviel kostet das? Using the items below and the prices, write a complete sentence to describe how much each item costs.

        Beispiel: (picture of computer), €8.300.

         →Der Computer kostet achttausenddreihundert Euro.

  1. image €17,99              5. image €44,99
  2. image €5,50                        6. image €25
  3. image €4,75                      7. image€800,59
  4. image€158                     8. image€1,77

To see a brief review on how to say how much something costs, watch Anja’s video.

Ex. J: Auf Deutsch! Translate the following sentences into German.

  1. How old is Rainer?
  2. He is twenty-three.
  3. Whose pen is that?
  4. That’s Marina’s pen.
  5. The cell phone costs nine hundred fifty Euros.
  6. How much does the book cost?

Ex. K: Dialog. Read the dialog that takes place in a store and answer the questions.

  • A:  Guten Tag.
  • B:  Guten Tag.
  • A:  Kann ich Ihnen helfen?  (Can I help you?)
  • B:  Ja.  Wieviel kostet der Stuhl?
  • A:  Der Stuhl?  Achtzig Euro fünfzig.
  • B:  Und der Tisch?  Wieviel kostet er?
  • A:  Der Tisch kostet zweihundert.
  • B:  Das ist aber teuer!
  1. Wieviel kostet der Stuhl?
  2. Wieviel kostet der Tisch?
  3. Wieviel kosten 4 Stühle?
  4. Wieviel kosten 2 Tische?


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German 101 by Rebecca Linam is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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