Top 50 German Greetings

Welcome to my top 50 German greetings and common phrases lesson. Learn some important German greetings with this free German language lesson with audio and never be stuck for words again...

Common German Greetings

Here you will find an easy-to-learn list of basic German phrases, such as'Hello''How are you?''My name is...' and 'Goodbye', plus many more important phrases.

Furthermore, towards the bottom of this page you will find some must-read tips to find out which German words and phrases you should avoid using at all costs.

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Let's get started with these all-important German phrases:

Hi - Hi (Used in the same way as in English)

(Used in the same way as in English)

Guten Tag - Hello
(Used from midday until early evening. Literally means 'Good day')

Guten Morgen - Good morning
(Used in the morning up until midday)

Guten Abend - Good evening
(Used from approximately 6pm until bedtime)

Gute Nacht - Good night
(Used to say goodbye at night)

Grϋss Gott - Hello
(Used in Southern Germany and Austria)

Servus - Hello
(Used in Bavaria)

Grϋetzi - Hello
(Used in Switzerland)

Wie geht es Ihnen? - How are you?
(Formal. You can reply: Fine, thank you - Gut, danke 
Not too bad - Es geht or Not very well - Nicht so gut)

Wie geht es Dir?- How are you?
(Informal. For replies, please see above)

Wie geht's? - How are you?
(Very informal. For replies, please see above)

Schön, Sie/Dich kennenzulernen - Lovely to meet you
(Formal= Sie / Informal= Dich)

Schön, Sie/Dich wiederzusehen - Lovely to see you again
(Formal= Sie / Informal= Dich)

Wie geht’s Ihrer/Deiner Familie? - How is your family?
(Formal= Ihrer / Informal= Deiner)

Entschuldigung, dass ich zu spät komme - Sorry, I am late

Introductions in German

In this part of your online German greetings lesson you will learn how to say your name, your nationality, where you come from and where you live.

Ich heiβe... - My name is...

Mein Name ist... - My name is...

Erlauben Sie mir, mich vorzustellen - Please allow me to introduce myself
(Used at formal introductions, e.g. at a business presentation)

Wie heiβt Du? - What is your name?
(Informal. Can be used among young people, at a party for example)

Wie heiβen Sie? (Formal) - What is your name?

Ich bin Engländer(in)/Amerikaner(in) - I am English/American 
(Add ‘in’ at the end if you are female)

Ich komme aus... - I come from
(Add city, region or country)

Wir kommen aus ... - We come from...
(Add city, region or country)

Ich bin aus ... - I come from...
(Add city, region or country)

Wir sind aus ... - We are from...
(Add city, region or country)

Ich wohne in ... - I live in...
(Add city, region or country)

Wir wohnen in ... - We live in
(Add city, region or country)

Wo kommen Sie her? (Formal) - Where do you come from?

Wo kommst Du her? (Informal) - Where do you come from?

Wo wohnen Sie? (Formal) - Where do you live?

Wo wohnst Du? (Informal) - Where do you live?

Introducing someone else in German

This section of your German greetings lesson covers how to introduce someone else, whether this be in an informal situation or more formal, business setting.

Darf ich Ihnen ... vorstellen?  - May I introduce you to ...? 
(Used in formal introductions)

Das ist... - This is...

Das ist mein Kollege, Herr... - This is my colleague, Mr ...
(Used to introduce a male colleague)

Das ist meine Kollegin, Frau ...  - This is my colleague Mrs/Miss/Ms ...
(Used to introduce a female colleague. ‘Frau’ means 'Mrs', 'Miss' and 'Ms' as well as 'woman' and 'wife' in German!)

Das ist meine Frau, ... - This is my wife, ...

Das ist mein Mann, ... - This is my husband, ...

Saying pleased to meet you in German

In this part of your German greetings lesson, you will be taught a couple of different ways to say 'Pleased to meet you.'

Es freut mich, Sie kennenzulernen - (Formal) 

Pleased to meet you

Freut mich  - Nice to meet you
(Less formal. Literally translated: ‘I am pleased’)

Gleichfalls / Ebenfalls - Likewise
(In reply to someone saying to you ‘Nice/Pleased to meet you’, for example)

Saying goodbye in German

A German greetings lesson would, of course, not be complete without some common German phrases for 'Goodbye'!

Auf Wiedersehen - Goodbye
(Formal. Sometimes the ‘auf’ is left off to make it a little less formal)

Tschϋβ - Bye
(Informal. Tends to be used more often among younger people)

Mach’s gut - Take care
(Informal – say to someone you know well)

Bis bald - See you soon

Bis gleich - See you in a minute

Bis dann - See you then

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

Ein schönes Wochenende - Have a nice weekend

German Greetings: Important Tips

1) In German there is a formal and an informal way of addressing one another (i.e. saying ‘you’), depending on whom you are speaking to and/or how well you know that person.

In general, you should use the formal address with people you don’t know very well, with those who are in a position of authority or with someone who is older than you.

If you use the informal address during a situation which requires more formality, you run the risk of upsetting the other person.

My advice: stick to the formal version if you are unsure - you can't go too wrong with this.

For more information on this aspect of German greetings, please click here to go to my German pronouns lesson.

2) ‘Herr’ is the German word for ‘Mr’. ‘Mrs’, ‘Ms’ and ‘Miss’ are all ‘Frau’ in German. Nowadays no distinction is made between any of them.

‘Fräulein’ – the old-fashioned word for Miss - has ceased to be used in German and, in fact, some see it as being offensive, as literally translated it means 'little woman'. Avoid using it at all costs!

3) In Germany, women as well as men will shake your hand when they meet you - particularly when meeting for the first time and almost always in business situations.

Make sure you always give a strong handshake, no matter who you are greeting.

Once a deeper level of friendship has been made, female friends as well as friends of the opposite sex may kiss on both cheeks or hug one another.

Men will not kiss or hug one another- unless very good friends or family members.

4) When visiting someone at home, the Germans will almost always bring a gift for the adults and /or children. This tends to be a small plant, a box of chocolates, a bottle of wine or a small toy for the children.

I highly recommend bringing a small gift with you when visiting Germans at home, particularly if you do not know them very well. 

Now you have completed your German greetings lesson, it is time to turn your attention to one of the following two areas:

Learn how to say thank you in German. plus many more useful German phrases, in my next online German lesson.

Alternatively, learn some important business phrases in German. Here you will find ready-made phrases for emails, letters, telephone calls as well as meetings and presentations.

As I work to continually help you in your efforts to reach mastery of the German language, I've partnered with the Rocket German Learning System.

Click here to discover how this system makes use of what's called the "chunking" method.

The entire process is actually one of the best available - and is quite enjoyable to learn from and implement.

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