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Ordinal numbers - Ordnungszahlen

Ordinal numbers are the words representing the rank of a number with respect to some order (e.g., position). In German, add "-te" to the cardinal numbers (1 to 20) and add "-ste" to the cardinal number (20 and above). For instance, vier becomes vierte (4.), neun becomes neunte (9.), einundzwanzig becomes einundzwanzigste (21.). Ich trinke meine vierte Tasse Tee = I drink my fourth cup of tea. Exceptions are: 1 = erste (1.), 3 = dritte (3.), 7 = siebte (7.) and 8 = achte (8.). E.g., Ich bin die dritte Frau = I am the third wife.

December 24, 2011


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"-te" to 1 to 20, and "ste" to 20 and above. What about 20 itself? Is it "-te" or "-ste"? I think it is zwantigste. So, it should be "-te" fron 1 to 19 and "-ste" from 20 and above.

June 1, 2013


Thanks for the part about exceptions. While doing the lesson, I was a bit confused about where erste came from.

July 19, 2012


Vielen dank! Very helpful :)

April 28, 2013


Do they also change with gender or grammar case as 'first' does? erste (f.), ersten (p. m nom.), erster (m sub.), erstes (n.)?

August 23, 2013


Thanks for posting this!

June 26, 2012


thank you for your post! very useful!

December 31, 2012


Thanks a lot! I think that this argument deserves a more detailed explanation, similar to that found in the "Tips" tab of the Dative Case chapter, with tables and so on. Perhaps it's because I'm new to German language, but I didn't even know about Starke, Schwache, Gemischte Flexion.

May 25, 2013


This was so helpful. Thanks a lot.

October 19, 2013


Hi. I have a question about using cardinal numbers as adjectives. Do they take the same endings as adjectives? Even "erste"? Because (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_adjectives) on the "Strong Inflection" paragraph it says "Strong inflection is used when a quantity is indicated by a number (greater than one, i.e. with no endings)". Does that mean that when (if so) a cardinal number (greater than "erste") is used as an adjective it gets some other inflection ending rather than the strong inflection? (which one?). Maybe the following examples will be clearer. Are these statements correct? "Ich trinke meine ErstE Tasse Tee" - using mixed inflection ending for acusative feminine; "Ich trinke meine ErstEN Tassen Tee" - using mixed inflection ending for acusative plural (Interpret "first cups" like "first round of cups", its just an example).

I really appreciate some info on numbers as adjectives,

Thanks in advance.

November 11, 2013


Thanks Julika for the tip. That is very helpful

November 25, 2013
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