Hi and welcome to my top everyday, common German phrases, such as 'hello', 'goodbye', 'thank you' and 'please'.
A quick and easy free lesson for all those wanting to learn basic German.
Tip: In German there is a formal and an informal way of addressing one another, depending on whom you are speaking to and/or how well you know that person. For more information on this, please go to my German greetings lesson.
Let's get started learning these simple, but very useful, common German phrases.
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You will now learn some simple German greeting phrases:
Hallo - Hello
Guten Tag - Hello
Guten Morgen - Good morning
Guten Abend - Good evening
Gute Nacht - Good night
Wie geht es Ihnen? (Formal) - How are you?
(You can reply: Fine, thank you - Gut, danke , Not too bad - Es geht or Not very well - Nicht so gut)
How are you? - Wie geht's? (Very informal)
(For replies, please see above.)
Es freut mich, Sie kennenzulernen (Formal) - Pleased to meet you
Here are the most common German phrases for saying goodbye:
Auf Wiedersehen - Good bye
Tschüß (Used among younger people) - Bye
Bis später - See you later
Es war schön, Sie/Dich kennenzulernen - It was nice to meet you
(Formal= Sie / Informal= Dich)
Einen schönen Tag noch - Have a nice day
You will now learn some common German phrases for 'thank you', 'please', 'you are welcome' and 'sorry':
Danke - Thank you
Nein, danke - No, thank you
Vielen Dank - Many thanks
Danke schön/Danke sehr/Besten Dank - Thank you very much
Bitte - Please
Ja, bitte - Yes, please
Gern geschehen - You are welcome
Bitte (sehr) - You're (very) welcome
Entschuldigung/ Entschuldigen Sie - Sorry or excuse me
(Second version is formal)
Entschuldigen Sie bitte (Formal) - Excuse me please
Es tut mir leid - I am sorry
(Used to express sorrow, i.e. about someone's death)
Das macht nichts - That's OK
Kein Problem - No problem
Learn these common German phrases and be able to talk about yourself in a variety of situations:
Ich heiße ... - My name is ...
(Wie heißen Sie? - What is your name?)
Mein Name ist ... - My name is ...
(Wie ist Ihr Name? - What is your name?)
Ich wohne in ... - I live in ...
(Wo wohnen Sie? - Where do you live?)
Ich komme aus ... - I come from
(Woher kommen Sie? - Where do you come from?)
Mein Geburtsdatum ist ... - My date of birth is ...
(Wie ist Ihr Geburtsdatum? - What is your date of birth? )
Ich bin ... Jahre alt - I am ... years old
(Wie alt sind Sie? - How old are you?)
Ich spreche Englisch - I speak English
(Sprechen Sie Englisch? - Do you speak English?)
Ich spreche ein bisschen Deutsch - I speak a little German
(Sprechen Sie ein bisschen Deutsch? - Do you speak some German?)
Ich bin ... - I am ... (Add your nationality)
Ich bin Amerikaner/Engländer - I am American / English
(Add ‘in’ at the end if you are female, e.g. Amerikanerin)
Ich bin ledig - I am single
(Wie ist Ihr Familienstand? - What is your marital status?)
Ich bin verheiratet ... - I am married ...
(Sind Sie verheiratet? - Are you married?)
What you do for a living
Germans love to talk about what they do for a living and tend to be very career-orientated.
Be prepared to be asked about your career relatively quickly after being introduced to someone.
Did you know: Unlike in English, you do not have to use an article (like 'a' or ‘an’) when explaining what you do for a living. So, literally translated you would say 'I am lawyer', rather than 'I am a lawyer'.
Also, most professions have a female and male version. For instance, a male company director is ‘Geschäftsführer’. If you are a woman, simply add ‘in’ to the end of the profession: ‘Geschäftsführerin’. See below for a few examples:
Ich arbeite bei ... - I work for
(Wo arbeiten Sie? - Where do you work?)
Was machen Sie beruflich? - What do you do for a living?
Ich bin arbeitslos - I am unemployed
Ich bin pensioniert - I am retired
Ich bin selbständig - I am self-employed
Ich bin Geschäftsführer(in) - I am a company director
Ich bin Ingenieur(in) - I am an engineer
Ich bin Lehrer(in) - I am a teacher
Ich bin Student(in) - I am a student
Ich studiere an ... - I am studying at ...
(Add school, college or university)
Ich studiere ... (Add subject) - I study
Now that you've learned these common phrases, it is time for you to look at German greetings in more detail. Click here to go straight to my greetings lesson.
Or, if you fancy taking a break from German phrases, then why not learn your ABCs in German with my German alphabet lesson or even learn how to count in German with my easy lesson on German numbers.
Alternatively, if none of these options float your boat, then take a peek at these ridiculously long German words. Have fun with these world-record breaking words!
By the way, in my efforts to best help you speak German easily and effortlessly, I've teamed up with the Rocket German Learning System.
You can click here to learn more about their program and how they can be of service to you.
It's an interesting system for learning German in that the focus is to help you engage in meaningful conversation within a short period of time.
Top Tips & Advice
Longest German word?
Can you believe the longest German word contains no less than 80 letters?!
Click here to find out which long German words are Guinness World Record breakers and which one involves this very famous European river!
Business German phrases for use in emails and letters as well as for presentations, meetings and phone calls.
Learn German Numbers in this easy-to-follow online lesson. Lots of examples and tips on counting in German.