Go to the homepage of our German Course Chapter 4: In the restaurant University of Portsmouth
4.7 Numbers: 21-99

Click here to listen to the numbers 21-99!In Chapter 3 we learned how to count from one to twenty in German. In the dialogues in this section we have discovered that larger numbers are required when buying things in Germany.

A list of German numbers from twenty-one to ninety-nine is given below. Click here or on the sound icon at the top of the page to listen to them:

21  einundzwanzig     31 einunddreißig 
22  zweiundzwanzig     32 zweiunddreißig 
23  dreiundzwanzig     40 vierzig 
24  vierundzwanzig     45 fünfundvierzig 
25  fünfundzwanzig     50 fünfzig 
26  sechsundzwanzig     54 vierundfünfzig 
27  siebenundzwanzig     60 sechzig 
28  achtundzwanzig     70 siebzig 
29  neunundzwanzig     80 achtzig 
30  dreißig     90 neunzig 

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Explanation
1. The biggest difficulty which English-speakers experience with German numbers is that cardinal numbers above twenty appear to be formed "backwards". Whereas we say "twenty-four", German says "vierundzwanzig" (= four and twenty) like the "four-and-twenty blackbirds" in the nursery rhyme "Sing a Song of Sixpence". This takes a lot of getting used to! Note in particular the difference between 45 and 54 in the list above. English-speakers often get such similar pairs of numbers the wrong way round.

2. Note too that German numbers greater than twelve are seldom written as words, except on cheques. When they are written out, each number is one continuous word - i.e. "achtundsiebzig" whereas we would write "seventy-eight".

A calculator

3. The German equivalent of the suffix "-ty" (as in "forty", "fifty" etc.) is "-zig". There is one exception to this however: the German for "thirty" is "dreißig".

4. Be very careful of endings when using numbers containing "ein(e)". For example:
- 1,20 is written as ein Euro zwanzig as "der Euro" is a masculine noun.
- DM 1,20 however is written as eine Mark zwanzig as "die Mark" is a feminine noun.
- 21,00 is written as einundzwanzig Euro. There are no endings on "ein" here as it appears in the middle of another number.
- 21,21 is likewise written as einundzwanzig Euro einundzwanzig.


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