Everyday language

To prepare you for a life in Germany, it's important to know the "everyday language". Here you can find the most common phrases.

Hello and Goodbye

German English
Guten Morgen Good morning
Guten Tag Good day
Guten Abend Good evening
Auf Wiedersehen Goodbye
Hallo, Tschau, Tschüss Bye (informal)
Gute Nacht Good night (when you´re going to bed)
Mahlzeit It´s a greeting used at lunchtime (mostly between colleagues)

"Du" and "Sie"

In Germany we have 2 types of "you". When you're with your friends or family you use the informal version called "Du" to speak to someone. If you meet your employer or a foreign person you use "Sie" instead of "Du" to be polite and respectful.

"Please" and "Thank You" / "Bitte" and "Danke"

We usually use "Bitte" when we're asking for something like: Can you please give me the pen? (Können Sie mir bitte den Stift geben?) The word is a sign of kindness and politeness.  We also use it as an answer to "thank you" like "Bitte schön" ("you're welcome").


"Danke schön" is usually your answer if you get what you asked for.