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Numbers, Days, Months and Seasons in German

In this lesson, we’ll learn how to count in German, tell the time and the date and also the names of the seasons.

Cardinal Numbers

0: Null  1: Eins 2: Zwei 3: Drei 4: View 5: Fünf

6: Sechs 7: Sieben 8: Acht 9: Neun 10: Zehn

11: Elf 12: Zwölf 13: Dreizehn 14: Vierzehn 15: Fünfzehn

16: Sechszehn 17: Siebzehn 18: Achtzehn 19: Neunzehn

20: Zwanzig 21: Einundzwanzig 22: Zweiundreizig ....

Note that starting from 20, counting in German is quite different than what we are used to in English. Instead of saying twentyone, first say “one” and then “twenty”: ein und zwanzig.

30: Dreißig

40: Vierzig

50: Fünfzig

60: Sechzig

70: Siebzig

80: Achtzig

90: Neunzig

100: hundert  110:hundertzehn ...

200: zweihundert

1000: tausend

2000: zweitausend ..

1 000 000: eine Million

2 000 000: zwei Millionen

Ordinal numbers:

First: (der/die/das) erste

Second: zweite

Third: dritte

Fourth: vierte

Fifth: fünfte

Sixth: sechste

Seventh: siebte

Eight: achte

Ninth: neunte

Tenth: zenthe

The ordinal numbers end in “-te” up to 20. Starting from 20, they end in “-ste”:

Twentieth: zwanzigste

Hundredth: hunderste

How to tell the time in German

Once you know how to count in German and know the conjugation of to be verb “sein”, you can tell the time in German.

Telling the time is easy. There are a few points which you might find interesting. For example, telling “half past ...” is different than in English.

Let’s start one by one.

To say o’clock in German, use the word “Uhr”. To tell the time start with “es” and the third person singular form of the verb sein in present tense:

  • Es ist zwei Uhr (it’s two o’clock)

To say quarter past two, say

  • Es ist viertel nach zwei

Similarly, to say quarter to two, say

  • Es ist viertel vor zwei

So, you should use nach and vor for past and to. So, you can adapt this information to say different times. For example, it’s five to four is

  • Es is fünf vor vier

To ask what time it is, use

  • Wieviel Uhr ist es?

To say half past nine say

  • Es ist halb zehn

Note that this is quite different than in English. Instead of saying half past nine, you say something like it’s half ten.

Days of the week

Der Montag: monday

Der Dienstag: tuesday

Der Mittwoch: wednesday

Der Donnerstag: thursday

Der Freitag: friday

Der Samstag: saturday

Der Sonntag: sunday

Note that the names of the weekdays are all masculine.


Der Januar: January

Der Februar: February

Der März: March

Der April: April

Der Mai: May

Der Juni: June

Der Juli: July

Der August: August

Der September: September

Der Oktober: October

Der November: November

Der Dezember: December

Note that the names of the months are all masculine.

How to tell the date in German

First of all, with months, the preposition in is used. For example, in September is said like “im September” in German. It is actually in dem September, but when the preposition in is followed by the definite article in the dative case (dem), it is contracted as im.

So, similar to English you use “in” with the months. Recall also that when you define the date in English you use the preposition “on” for example; you say in September but on “fourth of September”. The same logic holds in German. When you define the day, you should use another preposition and it is “an”. So, for on fourth of September, you say “am vierten September”. Note that also here the preposition is followed by “dem” and that’s why it is contracted as “am”.

To ask the day in German, you say

  • Welchen Tag haben wir heute? (Which day is today?)

To ask the date

  • Der Wievielte ist heute? (What is the date today?)

To answer, first use the word “heute” (today), ist (to be verb sein conjugated in the third person singular) and add the definite article “der” and finally tell the date using the ordinal numbers

  • Heute ist der dritte September (today is the third of Sempember)


Der Herbst: autumn

Der Winter: winter

Der Frühling: spring

Der Sommer: summer

Note that the names of the seasons are all masculine.


Other related words

Die Zahl: number

zählen: to count

Der Monat: month

Der Tag: day

Die Jahreszeit: season

Heute: today

Morgen: tomorrow

Übermorgen: the day after tomorrow

Gestern: yesterday

Der Morgen: morning

Der Abend: evening

Die Nacht: night

Die Zeit: time