Basic German Words and Sentences That You Must Know

Written by Barry Allen

December 9, 2022

Basic German Words and Sentences That You Must Know

Introduction

Some fundamental German phrases are more valuable than others.

Why not concentrate on mastering these words first? We chose to write this post for you specifically for that reason.

The essential German phrases covered in this post will help you communicate better if you’re just beginning to learn German or are already fluent.

If you’re soon traveling to a German-speaking place, these will be especially useful to you.

Basic German Words and Sentences That You Must Know

The following are the basic German words and sentences that you must know:

1.My name is … 

Ich heiße ______ . (eesh HIGH-suh) It means: “I am called ____.” To say “My name is ______”, one says “Meine Name ist _______.” (“mine-eh nam-eh ist ____”) But the Germans don’t say that.

Use this phrase to tell someone your name.

2. What’s your name?

Wie heißen Sie? (vee HIGH-sun zee?). This is actually “What are you called?”. In German, they don’t really say “What is your name?”, which is “Was ist Ihre Name?” (WAS ist eehr-eh nam-eh?”

Use this phrase to ask someone his/her name.

3. How much does this cost?

Was kostet das? (vahss KOSS-tet dahss?)

Use this phrase to know the cost of something.

4. How are you?

Wie geht’s? (vee GATES?)

Use this phrase to ask someone how he or she is.

5. Fine, thank you.

Gut, danke. (goot, DAN-keh)

Use this phrase to tell that you are fine.

6. I can’t speak German

Ich kann nicht [so gut] Deutsch sprechen. (eesh kahn nikht [zo goot] doytsh shprekhen)

or, better, Ich spreche kein Deutsch (eesh spreh-khuh kine doitsh)

Use this phrase to tell someone that you can’t speak German.

7. Do you speak English?

Sprechen Sie Englisch? (shprekhun zee ENG-leesh)

Use this phrase to ask if that particular person speaks English.

8. Is there someone here who speaks English?

Gibt es hier jemanden, der Englisch spricht? (geept es heer yeh-MAHN-dun dare ENG-leesh shprikht)

Use this phrase to ask if someone speak English in that area.

9. I’m lost

Ich habe mich verirrt. (eesh HAH-buh meesh fer-EERT)

Use this phrase to tell someone you are lost.

10. I don’t understand

Ich verstehe das nicht. (eesh fur-SHTAY-uh dahs nikht)

Use this phrase to tell someone if you don’t understand something.

11. Where is the toilet?

Wo ist die Toilette, bitte? (voh eest dee twah-LET-uh BEE-tuh)

Use this phrase to ask for the toilet.

12. I lost my wallet.

Ich habe mein Portemonnaie verloren. (outdated) (eesh HAH-buh mighn port-moh-NEH fer-LOH-run)

Use this phrase to inform about losing your wallet.

Basic German words that you should know:

  • Excuse me (To get yourself excused) – Entschuldigen Sie (ent-SHOOL-dee-gun zee)
  • Excuse me (begging pardon) – Entschuldigung. (ent-SHOOL-dee-goong)
  • Thank you – Danke schön. (DAN-kuh shurn)
  • Thanks – Danke. (DAN-kuh)
  • You’re welcome – Bitte schön! (BEE-tuh shurn) You can also say Gerne! (“Gayr neh”) which is a shortened form of “Ich habe das gern” (I’m happy about this – “Isch hab-eh das gayrn”. It doesn’t really translate because English doesn’t have a direct equivalent).
  • Yes – Ja. (yah)
  • No – Nein. (nine)
  • Gibt es hier jemanden, der Englisch spricht? (geept es heer yeh-MAHN-dun dare ENG-leesh shprikht)
  • Help! – Hilfe! (HEEL-fuh) or to be more specific to yourself, Hilf mir! (HEELF-meer)
  • I’m sorry – Es tut mir leid. (es toot meer lite)
  • Goodbye – Auf Wiedersehen. (owf VEE-dur-zane)
  • Good morning – Guten Morgen. (GOO-tun MOR-gun)
  • Good evening – Guten Abend. (GOO-tun AH-bunt)
  • Good night – Schönen Abend noch. (shur-nun AH-bunt nokh)
  • Good night (to sleep) – Gute Nacht. (GOO-tuh nakht)
  • Nice to meet you. (informal) – Nett, dich kennen zu lernen. (net deesh KEN-en tsoo LER-nen)
  • Please – Bitte. (BEE-tuh)

Conclusion

We hope these foundational words and phrases will improve your ability to speak German confidently.

The first few times won’t be simple, so practice is the only and best option.

And always remember to prioritize the most important terms first rather than attempting to memorize all the phrases we shared with you today.

 

 

Author

  • Barry Allen

    Barry Allen is a Technical writer at Layman Solution. He is an expert in writing How To and Fixes articles.

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