How to Express Order in German

Zuerst (first) tanzen wir, danach (next) wir singen zusammen und zuletzt (last) schlafen wir. Order… most people like order, but how do we express order in German? We cannot simply use the numbers we use to count for order. That will merely enforce chaos.

Once you are at ease with counting in German, this will be peanuts for you. The basic numbers are still used we simply add a suffix to the end. The only exceptions to this are:

  • first – erste
  •  third – dritte
  • seventh – siebte
  • eighth – achte

Ok, but here is the rule:

For numbers 1 to 19 one uses the suffix -te, but from 20 on -ste is used.

  • second – zwei + te = zweite
  • twentieth – zweiundzwanzig + ste = zweiundzwanzigste

Well go on, now, put your life in order…


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