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 = vierzehn

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

Watch Graf Zahl (the Count) from German Sesamstrasse counting his money at the bank:

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


Map of Germany
“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: €8.300.

         →Der Computer kostet achttausenddreihundert Euro.

  1. An open book €17,99              5. A chair €44,99
  2. An alarm clock €5,50                        6. A map of the world €25
  3. A computer mouse €4,75                      7. A smartphone€800,59
  4. A duffle bag€158                     8. A writing pen€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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