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42 highly important German phrases to survive your first conversation with a native German speaker

Are you planning a trip to a German-speaking country? Has one of your goals always been to learn German?

In order for you to have your first simple conversations in German, you need to learn some words!

In this post, you'll learn 42 important German phrases and words that will help you on your travels and in everyday life.

When traveling to beautiful Germany, Austria or Switzerland, chances are you will be able to communicate in English. But if you also learn basic German, you'll be better able to communicate with German speakers. With a few common German phrases, you'll experience these countries in a completely different way.

And even at home, learning German can help you learn more about German culture and connect with native German speakers in your community.

You don't have to have a natural instinct for language learning. Learning a few key phrases and being able to use them is a good start. And German is not as hard as its reputation suggests, especially for native English speakers.

Who knows, maybe learning these phrases will motivate you to go on and learn German fluently.

If you want to make a good impression with German speakers, you need a few basic phrases to greet them and get to know them.

After all, you will use these welcome phrases every time you have a conversation in German! These phrases are simple, easy to remember, and will help you make new German friends. Or are you planning a trip to a German-speaking country?

To get started and have your first basic conversations in German, you're going to need to learn some words!

Whether you're going to Germany or Austria or Switzerland, chances are you can get by in English. But if you learn basic German too, you'll be able to connect more with German speakers.

German Greetings & Introductions

If you want to make a good impression with German speakers, you'll need a few basic phrases to meet and greet people. After all, you're going to use greetings every time you have a conversation in German!

These phrases are simple, easy to remember and will help you make new German friends.

#1 Hallo – Hello [any time of day]

#2 Hallo, wie geht’s? – Hello, how are you?

#3 Guten Morgen – Good morning

#4 Guten Tag [lit. good day] – Good afternoon

#5 Guten Abend – Good evening

#6 Gute Nacht – Good night

#7 Vielen Dank – Thank you very much

#8 Ich danke Ihnen auch – Thank you, too [in reply to “thank you” from someone else]

#9 Tschüss, bis zum nächsten Mal – Goodbye, see you next time

#10 Schönes Wetter heute, nicht wahr? – It's lovely weather today, is not it?

#11 Mein Name ist _ – My name is _____

#12 Ich bin Amerikaner, Kanadier, Engländer (male) – I'm American / Canadian / English

#13 Ich bin Amerikanerin, Kanadierin, Engländerin (female) – I'm American / Canadian / English

#14 Woher kommen Sie? – Where are you from?

#15 Freut mich – Nice to meet you!

Sometimes it is intimidating to speak German as a beginner. Trust me, Germans understand if you have difficulty getting your message across or understanding what is being said. However, don't hesitate to use these expressions if you don't understand something or need a little help to make the conversation go smoothly.

16 Es tut mir leid, aber ich verstehe nicht – I'm sorry, but I do not understand

#17 Ich spreche nicht gut Deutsch – I do not speak German very well

#18 Können Sie das bitte wiederholen? – Could you say that again please?

#19 Können Sie bitte langsamer sprechen? – Could you say that more slowly please?

#20 Schreiben Sie das bitte für mich auf – Please write that down for me

#21 Was bedeutet das? – What does that mean?

#22 Sprechen Sie Englisch? – Do you speak English?

#23 Es tut mir leid – I'm sorry

#24 Ich weiß nicht – I do not know

#25 In Ordnung – All right

#26 Macht nichts – never mind

German numbers Numbers are everywhere: in the supermarket, when ordering in a restaurant or in a normal conversation - it's important to know how to use numbers in German.

  • null – zero

  • eins – one

  • zwei – two

  • drei – three

  • vier – four

  • fünf – five

  • sechs – six

  • sieben – seven

  • acht – eight

  • neun – nine

  • zehn – ten

  • elf – eleven

  • zwölf – twelve

  • dreizehn – thirteen

  • vierzehn – fourteen

  • fünfzehn – fifteen

  • sechzehn – sixteen

  • siebzehn – seventeen

  • achtzehn – eighteen

  • neunzehn – nineteen

  • zwanzig – twenty

  • einundzwanzig – twenty-one

  • zweiundzwanzig – twenty-two

  • dreiundzwanzig – twenty-three

  • vierundzwanzig – twenty-four

  • fünfundzwanzig – twenty-five

  • sechsundzwanzig – twenty-six

  • siebenundzwanzig – twenty-seven

  • achtundzwanzig – twenty-eight

  • neunundzwanzig – twenty-nine

  • dreißig – thirty

  • einunddreißig – thirty-one

  • zweiunddreißig – thirty-two

  • vierzig – forty

  • fünfzig – fifty

  • sechzig – sixty

  • siebzig – seventy

  • achtzig – eighty

  • neunzig – ninety

  • hundert – one hundred

  • zweihundertfünfzig – two hundred and fifty

  • fünfhundert – five hundred

  • siebenhundertdreiundachtzig – seven hundred and eighty three

  • tausend – one thousand

Restaurant Visits One of the best cultural experiences you can have in a German-speaking country is visiting a restaurant and sampling the delicious local dishes. The following phrases cover all the questions and statements you need to ask when visiting a restaurant - from asking for a table to paying the bill!

#27 Ein Tisch für eine Person bitte A table for one, please

#28 Ein Tisch für zwei Personen, bitteA table for two, please

#29 Haben Sie schon auf? Are you open yet?

#30 Können wir (auf einen Tisch) warten? Can we wait (for a table)?

#31 Können wir dort sitzen? Can we sit over there?

#32 Entschuldigung! Excuse me! [Calling a waiter]

#33 Was empfehlen Sie? What do you recommend?

#34 Was ist das beliebteste Gericht? What's your most popular dish?

#35 Was ist das? What is this?

#36 Was für Bier haben Sie? What type of beer do you have?

#37 Ein kleines Bier bitteA small beer, please

#38 Ein großes Bier bitteA large beer, please

#39 Bringen Sie mir bitte eine Auswahl von leckeren SachenPlease bring me a selection of nice things

#40 Bitte wählen Sie etwasIt's up to you / You can decide

#41 Die Rechnung, bitteThe bill, please

#42 Kann ich bitte die Speisekarte haben? Can I have the menu, please?

Read more blogs!

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How to sound like a native German speaker

Where to start learning German as a beginner?


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