I am talking about a number sequence and before the last number, I want to say:

and the last is ...

as, for example, in "1, 2, 3 ... and the last is 100".

When I use a translator, it shows:

der letzte ist ...


das letze ist ...

Since numbers are feminine, I would have said:

die letzte ist ...

What should be the correct form to say this? And why don't we make letzte a noun form Letzte, since we are using an article here?


6 Answers 6


The expression the last is, or in German der/ die/ das letzte ist, is an elliptical expression, in which the noun was omitted. Therefore, the question is: The last what? And depending on the noun that you have in mind, the article changes.

For example:

  • the last (value) is
    der letzte (Wert) ist
  • the last (number) is
    die letzte (Zahl) ist
  • the last (item) is
    das letzte (Element) ist

The ellipsis is also the reason why letzte is not capitalized here; it is an adjective, which modifies the (omitted) noun.

  • 2
    Even if it is an ellipse, most people would probably think of "Zahl" in this context, so "die" would be preferable. Especially since OP itself says "numbers".
    – mtwde
    Jun 3, 2021 at 13:14
  • 3
    @mtwde, I disagree. As someone who studied mathematics, I would think of Element (einer Folge). Actually, I would say: "... und das letzte (Element) ist die Zahl 100.“ Jun 3, 2021 at 13:57
  • 6
    Most people would simply say something like "... und zuletzt ..." or "... am Ende ..." or nothing at all ("...,98,99,100").
    – user41853
    Jun 3, 2021 at 15:08
  • 3
    nobody would say "...und zuletzt" it sounds unnatural. Jun 3, 2021 at 20:18
  • 6
    @user3700562: Echt jetzt :-) ? 'Zuletzt' wäre das Erste das mir einfiele. Really ? It'll be my first choice. I believe it works in English, too "... and last (but not least) ..."
    – user41853
    Jun 4, 2021 at 9:07

That can be said in different ways. I would prefer "1, 2, 3... and finally 100".

1, 2, 3 ... und zum Schluss 100

But you can also say:

1, 2, 3 … und abschließend 100


1, 2, 3 … und als letztes die Zahl 100

  • 3
    Genau, most idiomatic "zum Schluß", "am Ende", "zuletzt".
    – user41853
    Jun 3, 2021 at 13:04

The grammatical gender of an article, a pronoun or some other parts of speech always depends on the gender of a noun.


This means: at all times, without any exception.

Learn this: If there is no noun, it still depends on the gender of a noun.

So, it depends on the noun the speaker has in their mind. Very often the context provides such a noun, so not only the speaker, but also the listeners know which noun is meant, and so everybody also knows which gender is the correct gender.

In other words: All three genders are possible. It simply depends on the context. Are you counting male participants of a sports competition? Are you counting books on a shelf? Are you counting jam jars in your stock?

Without this information, your question cannot be answered.

  • Evasion: Answer with an adverbial expression that doesn't need to comply. For example "Und, zu guter Letzt, ..."
    – tofro
    Jun 11, 2021 at 10:42

Hängt vom Kontext ab. Der Mathematiker würde "1, 2, 3, ... bis 100." sagen.

  • Alle x für die gilt x Element N aus dem geschlossenen Intervall von 1 bis 100. Sorry, kann kein Latex ... :-)
    – user41853
    Jun 4, 2021 at 9:04
  • MathJax klappt hier leider nicht. Jun 4, 2021 at 16:46

If this happens in an reasonably informal context, or even a university lecture, the most likely phrasing would be something like

1 2 3 und so weiter, [notable pause] ...100.

Einzwodrei, ded-ded-ded, 100.

Alles von 1 bis 100.

Ein, zwo, drei vierfünfsechsimablblblbl , 100.

1, 2, 3, bis am Schluss dann 100.

In writing, to be precise I'd go with

Alle ganzen Zahlen von 1 bis einschließlich 100.

  • +1 für ded-ded-ded Denn nun weiß ich, dass das, was ich zu hören glaubte, keine Einbildung war:)
    – c.p.
    Jun 4, 2021 at 6:01

A rather common ending would be

und zu guter Letzt 100

Which is sort of an expanded version of "und zuletzt 100" which scans better.

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