How do Germans write Ordinal numbers as in English?

1st, 2nd, 3rd ...

2 Answers 2


We suffix the numbers with a dot:

1., 2., 3., ...

This is also the reason we write dates as 19.8.2011 ("der neunzehnte achte zweitausendelf").

  • Do you put the dot there even when it's succeeded by a comma?
    – Tim
    Commented Aug 19, 2011 at 16:04
  • 2
    +1 for giving the reason for writing dates with dots. Never thought about that. @Tim N: Yes. Commented Aug 19, 2011 at 16:04
  • 3
    @Tim N Without the dot it would be "eins zwei drei", so I'd rather leave out the comma. But normally this isn't an issue.
    – starblue
    Commented Aug 19, 2011 at 16:12

In a written text a number followed by a dot is fine for a date

Wir kommen am 7. September vorbei.

However in another context it may be better to write out the ordinal numbers with rules following those for numbers in general.

Wir haben die siebte Ausfahrt nicht gefunden und uns verirrt.
Der Urgroßvater lädt zum hundertsten Geburtstag ein.

In writing a number is usually suffixed by "-te" but there are exceptions:

  1. erste
  2. zweite
  3. dritte
  4. vierte
  5. fünfte
  6. sechste
  7. siebte (der siebente)
  8. achte
  9. neunte
  10. zehnte
  11. elfte
  12. zwölfte
  13. dreizehnte
  14. zwanzigste
  15. dreißigste
  16. [ein]hundertste

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