• German grammar
  • 1 German pronunciation [0/1]
  • 2 German functions of words [0/5]
  • 3 German sentence structure [0/28]
  • Construct a German sentence! (Score -/-)Free
  • Make a German indirect speech! (Score -/-)Free
  • 3.1 Sentence structure of main clauses in German [0/4]
  • 3.2 Dependent clauses in German [0/12]
  • 3.3 Negation in German [0/3]
  • 3.4 Questions in German [0/2]
  • 3.5 Indirect speech in German [0/2]
  • 3.6 Conjunctions in German [0/3]
  • 4 German Articles [0/7]
  • 5 German nouns [0/28]
  • Fill in the correct form of the German noun! (Score -/-)Free
  • Form the correct plural form of the German nouns! (Score -/-)Free
  • Fill in the correct definite and indefinite article! (Score -/-)Free
  • Translate these nouns into German (Score -/-)Free
  • Match the right German word to the sentences (Score -/-)Free
  • 5.1 Gender of German nouns (substantives) - der, die, das [0/9]
  • 5.2 Plural of German nouns [0/4]
  • 5.3 German declension (N-declension) [0/4]
  • 5.4 Diminutive (-lein, -chen) in German [0/3]
  • 5.5 Compound nouns in German [0/2]
  • 5.6 Adjectives and verbs as nouns in German [0/1]
  • 6 German pronouns [0/19]
  • 7 German cases [0/13]
  • 8 German adjectives [0/29]
  • Exercise for building German adjectives (Score -/-)Free
  • Determine the form of use of these German adjectives! (Score -/-)Free
  • Transform these German adjectives to their nominal form (Score -/-)Free
  • Build the comparative and superlative of these German adjectives (Score -/-)Free
  • Insert the German attributive adjective! (Score -/-)Free
  • 8.1 Different types of adjectives in German [0/3]
  • 8.2 How to form German adjectives [0/1]
  • 8.3 German participle as adjectives [0/2]
  • 8.4 Comparative and superlative adjectives in German [0/4]
  • 8.5 Declension of German adjectives [0/2]
  • 8.6 Forming and declension of ordinal numbers in German [0/2]
  • 8.7 Possessive adjectives in German [0/2]
  • 8.8 Demonstrative adjectives in German [0/2]
  • 8.9 Interrogative and exclamatory adjectives in German [0/2]
  • 8.10 Indefinite adjectives in German [0/2]
  • 8.11 List of German Adjectives [0/2]
  • 9 German adverbs [0/13]
  • 10 German verbs [0/67]
  • Match the correct German verb to the sentences (Score -/-)Free
  • Form the German simple past and participle II form (Score -/-)Free
  • Exercise to match the right German auxiliary verb! (Score -/-)Free
  • Choose the right conjugation of the German verbs (Score -/-)Free
  • Build the German form of politeness! (Score -/-)Free
  • 10.1 Auxiliary verbs in German [0/5]
  • 10.2 Modal verbs in German [0/8]
  • 10.3 Separable and inseparable verbs in German [0/3]
  • 10.4 Conjugation of regular verbs (weak verbs) in German
  • 10.5 Conjugation of irregular verbs (strong verbs) in German [0/45]
  • Exercise: German irregular verbs (Score -/-)Free
  • 10.5.1 Conjugation of geben (to give) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.2 Conjugation of gehen (to walk, to go) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.3 Conjugation of lassen (to let) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.4 Conjugation of nehmen (to take) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.5 Conjugation of fahren (to drive) German [0/2]
  • 10.5.6 Conjugation of essen (to eat) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.7 Conjugation of lesen (to read) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.8 Conjugation of sehen (to see) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.9 Conjugation of kommen (to come) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.10 Conjugation of trinken (to drink) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.11 Conjugation of schlafen (to sleep) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.12 Conjugation of gefallen (to please) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.13 Conjugation of schreiben (to write) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.14 Conjugation of helfen (to help) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.15 Conjugation of laufen (to run) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.16 Conjugation of treffen (to meet, to hit) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.17 Conjugation of tragen (to carry) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.18 Conjugation of bleiben (to stay) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.19 Conjugation of schwimmen (to swim) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.20 Conjugation of finden (to find) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.21 Conjugation of waschen (to wash) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.22 Conjugation of bekommen (to get) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.23 Cojugation of bringen (to bring) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.24 Conjugation of sprechen (to speak) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.25 Conjugation of heißen (to be called) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.26 Conjugation of fliegen (to fly) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.27 Conjugation of backen (to bake) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.28 Conjugation of steigen (to rise) in German [0/1]
  • 10.6 List of common verbs in German [0/1]
  • 11 German prepositions [0/27]
  • Spot all the used German prepositions! (Score -/-)Free
  • Match the German prepositions! (Score -/-)Free
  • Prepositions and German grammar cases! (Score -/-)Free
  • Determine which kind of German preposition is being used! (Score -/-)Free
  • Complete the verbs and adjectives! (Score -/-)Free
  • 11.1 Locative prepositions in German [0/2]
  • 11.2 Temporal prepositions in German [0/2]
  • 11.3 Modal prepositions in German [0/2]
  • 11.4 Causal prepositions in German [0/2]
  • 11.5 German prepositions requiring the genitive [0/2]
  • 11.6 German prepositions requiring the dative [0/2]
  • 11.7 German Prepositions requiring the accusative [0/2]
  • 11.8 German prepositions with either dative or accusative [0/2]
  • 11.9 German prepositions and articles [0/2]
  • 11.10 German prepositions with verbs [0/2]
  • 11.11 German prepositions and adjectives [0/2]
  • 12 Tenses and conjugation of German verbs [0/23]
  • Form the correct German tense! (Score -/-)Free
  • Choose the correct German tense! (Score -/-)Free
  • 12.1 Present tense (Präsens) in German [0/4]
  • 12.2 Simple past tense (Präteritum) in German [0/4]
  • 12.3 Present perfect (Perfekt) in German [0/3]
  • 12.4 Past perfect tense (Plusquamperfekt) in German [0/3]
  • 12.5 German future I [0/4]
  • 12.6 German Future II [0/3]
  • 13 Infinitive in German [0/8]
  • 14 Imperative in German [0/3]
  • 15 Subjunctive in German [0/6]
  • 16 Active and passive voice in German [0/2]
  • 17 Participle in German [0/6]
  • Forming and declension of ordinal numbers in German


    1. Exercise on ordinal numbers as adjectives in German Score -/-
    2. Exercise on the spelling of ordinal numbers in German Score -/-

    In German, it's possible to use numbers as adjectives. To do so, it's important to know the difference of ordinal and cardinal numbers and their usage. This chapter will deal with it.

    Ordinal numbers in German

    Ordinal numbers are not the numerals to count (eins, zwei drei). In most cases they are written (erste, zweite, dritte/first, second, third) and used:

    1. to express the relative position of a person, thing etc. compared to others or 
    2. to express a certain order.

    How to form the ordinal numbers

    The ordinal numbers are created in most cases by adding a suffix to a cardinal number. To use a cardinal number, you have to add

    • a -te to numbers from 1 to 19
    • and -ste to numbers above 19.
    Cardinal number Pronouncing Ordinal number with -te
    1 eins erste
    2 zwei zweite
    3 drei dritte
    4 vier vierte
    5 fünf fünfte
    6 sechs sechste
    7 sieben siebte
    8 acht achte
    9 neun neunte
    10 zehn zehnte
    19 neunzehn neunzehnte


    enlightenedWatch out for some exception of this rule! At erste and dritte there is a changed root, at siebte the- en is dropped, and at achte which only adds an -e.

    Cardinal number Pronouncing Ordinal number with -ste
    20 zwanzig zwanzigste
    21 einundzwanzig einundzwanzigste
    22 zweiundzwanzig zweiundzwanzigste
    30 dreißig dreißigste
    31 einunddreißig einunddreißigste
    40 vierzig vierzigste
    100 hundert hundertste


    enlightenedBy writing a text, the ordinal numbers are usually written out until 12. By using numbers from 13 on, just use the cardinal form and add a point (13., 14.).

    Study this lesson together with a teacher

    Studying on your own is not effective since nobody guides you and you do not receive any feedback. Ask help from one of our professional teachers!

    Get a free trial lesson!
    View teachers

    Declension of ordinal numbers and their use as adjectives

    In most cases, ordinal numbers are considered as adjectives. Therefore the numbers need to be declined in the same way as adjectives. Depending on the type of article, there are different types of declension:

    1. Declension for ordinal numbers with definite article
    2. with indefinite article
    3. without preceding article
    With definite article Masculine Feminine Neuter
    Nominative der zweite Hund die zweite Puppe das zweite Kind
    Accusative den zweiten Hund die zweite Puppe das zweite Kind
    Dative dem zweiten Hund der zweiten Puppe dem zweiten Kind
    Genitive des zweiten Hundes der zweiten Puppe des zweiten Kindes


    With indefinite article Masculine Feminine Neuter
    Nominative ein zweiter Hund eine zweite Puppe ein zweites Kind
    Accusative einen zweiten Hund eine zweite Puppe ein zweites Kind
    Dative einem zweiten Hund einer zweiten Puppe einem zweiten Kind
    Genitive eines zweiten Hundes einer zweiten Puppe eines zweiten Kindes


    Without article Masculine Feminine Neuter
    Nominative zweiter Hund zweite Puppe zweites Kind
    Accusative zweiten Hund zweite Puppe zweites Kind
    Dative zweitem Hund zweiter Puppe zweitem Kind
    Genitive zweiten Hundes zweiter Puppe zweiten Kindes

    Usage of ordinal numbers as adjectives

    As ordinal numbers as adjectives usually refer to a noun, they need to be declined. They stand in front of the noun they refer to.

    • Wir wohnen im fünfzehnten Stock. (We live on the 15th floor.)
    • Englisch ist seine zweite Fremdsprache. (English is his 2nd foreign language.)
    • Das ist mein erster Besuch in Berlin. (This is my first visit in Berlin.)
    • Der Vater war bei der Geburt seines ersten Kindes dabei. (The father was present at the birth of his first child.)

    enlightenedKeep in mind, that the numbers are used as adjectives and therefore always need to take adjective endings!

    Special cases to use ordinal numbers

    There are some forms of expressions, where it is necessary to know how to use ordinals in German. For instance:

    1. Using dates
    2. Ordinal numbers without article
    3. Nominal numbers

    1) By using ordinal numbers to talk about the dates in German the ordinal number stands before the month or the year.

    • Heute ist der elfte September. (Today it's the 11th of September.)
    • Mein Bruder hat am dreizehnten Mai Geburtstag. (My brother has its birthday on the 13th of May.)
    • Das Konzert findet am siebzehnten Februar statt. (The concert will take place on the 17th of February.)

    2) Ordinal numbers without article are not just used as the ordinal numbers, but with synonyms.

    • Das ist Deutschlands größtes Autobahnkreuz. (This is Germanys biggest motorway interchange.)
    • China ist unser wichtigster Handelspartner. (China is our most important trading partner.)
    • Bester Film aller Zeiten. (Best movie of all ages.)

    enlightenedIn all examples the bold type words mean that the noun is ranked number one in any ranking. So the ordinal number is used in a different style.

    3) Ordinal numbers can also be used as nouns.

    • Er möchte immer Erster sein. (He always wants to be the first one.)
    • Kroatien ist bei der Fußballweltmeisterschaft Zweiter geworden. (Croatia finished second at the soccer world cup.)
    • Er traf als Dritter ins Ziel. (He hit the bull's eye third.)

    Cardinal numbers in German

    In German, as well as in English, there are both cardinal and ordinal numbers. The cardinal numbers are the numerals used to count.

    Cardinal numbers from 1 to 100

    Cardinal numbers in German Spelling and pronouncing
    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 sechszehn
    17 siebzehn
    18 achtzehn
    19 neunzehn
    20 zwanzig
    21 einundzwanzig
    22 zweiundzwanzig
    23 dreiundzwanzig
    30 dreißig
    31 einunddreißig
    40 vierzig
    50 fünfzig
    60 sechzig
    70 siebzig
    80 achzig
    90 neunzig
    100 (ein)hundert

    enlightenedUsing numbers higher than 20, in German the numbers are expressed in reverse (e.g. 21 = einundzwanzig = one-and-twenty).

    Cardinal numbers can also be used in combination with adjectives.

    • Zehn leckere Brötchen. (Ten tasty buns.)
    • Er hat zwei coole Autos und ein Motorrad. (He has two cool cars and one motorcycle.)

    If you want to learn more about this, have a look at the chapter about counting in German.