I had a meeting with a German friend and he asked me for my German level. I responded with drei von zehn. I intended to imply a scale from 1 to 10 where my current score is 3.

How do I tell someone my level is 3 out of 10? Is drei von zehn correct?

It felt awkward and that it was a mistake and he didn’t want to correct me so I don’t feel bad or something.

  • You used one time "drei von zehn" und one time "Drei von Zehn". I changed it to make it uniform (even though I am not 100% sure if capitalized numbers are correct here).
    – Iris
    Commented Jan 26, 2017 at 11:37
  • What does 10 means? Speaking like a native?
    – Iris
    Commented Jan 26, 2017 at 11:39
  • 3
    For language levels a different scheme is widely used, see Europäischer Referenzrahmen.
    – guidot
    Commented Jan 26, 2017 at 13:02
  • "I rate 5 out of 7 for a perfect score!" ^^
    – Artery
    Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 9:34

3 Answers 3


It depends on what you wish to express with that.

If you wanted to say "On a scale from one to ten, I'm on level three", then yes, "Drei von zehn" is correct.

  • 1
    I daresay its correct in any context.
    – Kristina
    Commented Jan 26, 2017 at 19:53
  • 1
    @Kristina Except for those contexts where drei aus zehn (or others) is better.
    – Jan
    Commented Jan 26, 2017 at 20:37
  • 2
    @Jan Sicher? Habe ich noch nie gehört. Bei Schulnoten zum Beispiel. Ich hatte (eine) 2 aus 6?
    – Kristina
    Commented Jan 26, 2017 at 20:40
  • 1
    @Kristina »Choose 3 out of 10.« → »Wähle 3 aus 10.«
    – Jan
    Commented Jan 26, 2017 at 20:53
  • @Jan Richtig. Hab ein bisschen auf dem Schlauch gestanden. ;)
    – Kristina
    Commented Jan 26, 2017 at 21:10

This … out of ten scale isn't popular among German speakers. It's one of the markers to spot an U.S. american (or people who watched too many U.S. sitcoms.)

Most German speakers use … % or fractions instead.

Ich bin zu 90 Prozent von ihrer Idee überzeugt.

I am 90 percent convinced of your idea.

Ich habe dich nur zur Hälfte verstanden.

I understood only half of what you said.

Drei Viertel der Zeit haben wir angestanden.

Three quarters of the time we stood in queues.

For communicating skills (aside from grades) you should not use a scale at all but tell what your latest/best skill is, as that is far more informative. German speakers don't do so much small talk but expect information. It's not uncommon to admit insignificant/understandable weaknesses and it will make you sound totally German.

Ich verstehe Deutsch schon sehr gut, wenn mein Geprächspartner langsam und deutlich spricht.

Deutsch sprechen kann ich noch nicht so gut.


To me, saying only, "Drei von zehn", sounds a bit strange unless it is clear from context that you are rating yourself on some scale.

If it is not clear from context, I would rather make clear what you are talking about by saying something like: "Auf einer Skala von 1 bis 10 würde ich mir eine 3 geben."

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.