German counting basics

Learn to Count in German – Tips and Tricks

Hallo, meine Freunde! Today I want to share some helpful tips and tricks for learning to count in German. As you know, proper pronunciation and emphasis is so important in any language.

In my studies, I learned how to correctly and fluently pronounce numbers in a way that’s not only accurate but also pleasant to the ear! I’m excited to share some of these secrets with you all. Let’s start with the basics – counting from zero to twenty. Then we can discuss some more complex concepts.

Learn German Numbers 1-20

Learning to count from 1 to 20 is your first step. Here’s a quick list to get you started:

  • 1 – eins
  • 2 – zwei
  • 3 – drei
  • 4 – vier
  • 5 – fünf
  • 6 – sechs
  • 7 – sieben
  • 8 – acht
  • 9 – neun
  • 10 – zehn
  • 11 – elf
  • 12 – zwölf
  • 13 – dreizehn
  • 14 – vierzehn
  • 15 – fünfzehn
  • 16 – sechzehn
  • 17 – siebzehn
  • 18 – achtzehn
  • 19 – neunzehn
  • 20 – zwanzig

Tips for remembering these numbers

Easy way to learn counting on German

Rhyme and rhythm

Use rhythmic patterns or rhymes to make memorization easier. This method works well because our brains are naturally inclined to remember patterns and music. Try creating a simple song or a jingle with the numbers as lyrics, which can enhance your recall abilities.

Repeating this song daily, especially during mundane tasks, can solidify the numbers in your memory.


How to use language flashcards

Create flashcards and review them regularly. This visual aid can be particularly effective because it forces active recall, a process in which the brain practices retrieving information rather than passively recognizing it.

You can also shuffle the flashcards to ensure that you’re not just memorizing the order of numbers. Share the flashcards with friends or family members who can quiz you, adding a social element to your learning process.

Practical use

Incorporate these numbers into your daily life by counting objects, steps, or while doing exercises. This helps connect abstract learning with practical application, making the numbers more relevant and easier to remember.

For instance, count the number of items you place in your shopping cart, the steps you take during a walk, or the repetitions of exercises. Over time, using numbers in real-life scenarios will improve your speed and accuracy in recalling them.

Expanding your knowledge: 21-100

Counting in German language

Once you’re comfortable with the first twenty numbers, the next milestone is understanding how to form numbers from 21 to 100. German forms these numbers with a combination format, which means you’ll say the second digit first. For example:

  • 21 – einundzwanzig (one-and-twenty)
  • 22 – zweiundzwanzig (two-and-twenty)
  • 30 – dreißig
  • 40 – vierzig
  • 50 – fünfzig
Notice that numbers ending in 1-9 add “und” (meaning “and”) between the units place and the tens place. Also, observe the change from fünf (5) to fünfzig (50) and drei (3) to dreißig (30).

How to master these numbers

Learning numbers in German

  • Pattern recognition: Notice the patterns in the tens place. This will help you quickly form numbers without having to memorize each one individually. For example, numbers ending in -zig, like vierzig (40) or fünfzig (50), are always tens. Recognizing these endings can significantly speed up your learning process.
  • Speak aloud: Practice these numbers aloud to get used to the syntax. This exercise helps you become comfortable with the unique structure of German numbers, where the unit precedes the tens (e.g., two-and-twenty for 22). Repeating the numbers frequently will improve your pronunciation and help you remember the numbers more effectively. It also aids in developing a natural rhythm and flow when speaking German.
  • Games and quizzes: Engage in online games or apps that focus on number recognition and usage. These interactive tools make learning less tedious and more enjoyable, offering a fun way to reinforce what you’ve learned. They also provide immediate feedback, which is crucial for correcting mistakes early on. Look for apps that challenge you to construct numbers under time pressure, which can simulate real-life usage scenarios.

Beyond 100

For numbers larger than 100, you start to use the hundreds (hundert), thousands (tausend), and even larger units like millionen (millions):

  • 100 – hundert
  • 200 – zweihundert
  • 300 – dreihundert
  • 1,000 – eintausend
  • 10,000 – zehntausend

For compound numbers, simply concatenate the words with no additional words needed:

  • 125 – einhundertfünfundzwanzig
  • 250 – zweihundertfünfzig
  • 1,235 – eintausendzweihundertfünfunddreißig

Additional tips

How to count auf Deutsch

Breakdown method

Break down large numbers into smaller components. This method allows you to tackle each segment of a number individually, making it easier to comprehend and pronounce correctly. Start by separating the hundreds, tens, and units, then practice each part before combining them back together.

Real-life application

Use these numbers when discussing prices, distances, or populations. By applying numbers to practical scenarios, such as calculating costs while shopping or measuring distances during travel, you solidify your understanding and improve retention.

Discuss population statistics or news events involving numbers to make these terms part of your active vocabulary. Engaging with numbers in meaningful contexts helps bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical usage.

Regular practice

Regularly read numbers in German from various sources like newspapers, books, or websites. This exposure to diverse formats and contexts helps reinforce your learning and boosts familiarity.

Challenge yourself by summarizing numerical data in German, or try to convert written numbers into spoken words as practice. The more you immerse yourself in the language, the more naturally you’ll be able to understand and communicate complex numerical information.

Practical exercises:

  1. Take any number you see in your environment and translate it into German.
  2. Utilize online platforms that offer interactive exercises and real-time feedback.

In summary

Be sure to practice your counting out loud – it will really help reinforce the proper pronunciation in your mind and on your tongue. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes either, that’s how you improve.

Who knows, maybe learning numbers will inspire you to take your German language skills to the next level. There’s so much beauty in foreign languages once you gain understanding.

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