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92 Basic German Sentences to survive every day

Germany is one of the most popular destinations for tourists, jobseekers, and students. Whether you’re going for a vacation or planning to stay in the country for an extended period, knowing some basic German phrases can make all the difference. It can help you break the language barrier and communicate effectively with locals, making your stay more enjoyable and memorable. In this article, we’ll explore the importance of learning essential German phrases for your daily survival, and we will learn 92 basic German sentences to survive every day.

German as a Foreign Language

German is the official language of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, and it’s the second most spoken language in Europe after English. According to the German government, around 15.4 million people worldwide are learning German as a foreign language, and this number is increasing every year. With many German companies operating globally, the language is also essential for business and employment opportunities.

For those who are new to the language, learning German can seem intimidating. However, it’s essential to remember that practice is key, and with consistent effort, anyone can learn the language. Familiarizing yourself with the basics, such as the alphabet, numbers, and common phrases, can go a long way in building your language skills.

Surviving in the German-Speaking World

If you’re planning to spend a significant amount of time in Germany, it’s crucial to equip yourself with the necessary language skills to thrive in everyday situations. Whether you’re looking for directions, ordering food, or interacting with locals, knowing basic German phrases can make all the difference. Here are some common scenarios where knowing German can be helpful:

  1. Ordering Food

Germany is known for its delicious food, and it’s a significant part of the country’s culture. Whether you’re at a restaurant or a food market, knowing some basic German phrases can help you order food that you’ll enjoy. Some essential phrases to know include:

  • Ich hätte gerne (I would like)
  • Das hier bitte (This here please)
  • Was empfehlen Sie? (What do you recommend?)
  • Ich esse kein Fleisch. (I don’t eat meat.)
  1. Transportation

Getting around in a foreign country can be challenging, especially if you’re not familiar with the local transportation system. In Germany, knowing basic German phrases can help you navigate public transport like a pro. Here are some essential phrases:

  • Wo ist die nächste U-Bahn-Station? (Where is the nearest subway station?)
  • Wann fährt der Bus/die Bahn? (What time does the bus/train leave?)
  • Eine Fahrkarte nach (A ticket to)
  • Ich möchte nach (I want to go to)
  1. Shopping

Shopping in Germany can be an exciting experience, but if you don’t speak the language, it can quickly turn into a frustrating one. Knowing some basic German phrases can help you communicate with local vendors and make the most out of your shopping experience. Here are some essential phrases to know:

  • Wie viel kostet das? (How much does it cost?)
  • Haben Sie das in meiner Größe? (Do you have this in my size?)
  • Ich suche (I am looking for)
  • Ich möchte das kaufen. (I would like to buy this.)
  1. Emergencies

One of the most critical scenarios where knowing German can be lifesaving is during emergencies. In a foreign country, an emergency can occur at any time, and it’s crucial to know how to ask for help. Here are some essential phrases to remember:

  • Hilfe! (Help!)
  • Meine Brieftasche wurde gestohlen. (My wallet has been stolen.)
  • Wo ist das nächste Krankenhaus? (Where is the nearest hospital?)
  • Ich brauche einen Arzt. (I need a doctor.)

Learning Strategies

Learning a language requires regular practice, and there are several ways to accomplish this. Here are some effective strategies for learning basic German phrases:

  1. Vocabulary Lists

Create a list of essential German phrases and review them regularly. Try to memorize the phrases and repeat them until you can recall them effortlessly.

  1. Language Apps

There are several languages learning apps available, including Duolingo, Babbel, and Rosetta Stone. These apps can provide you with a fun and interactive way of learning German.

  1. Language Exchange

Find a language exchange partner, preferably someone who speaks German as their native language. This way, you can practice your German-speaking skills with a native speaker who can also help you with pronunciation and grammar.

  1. German Language Courses

Consider taking a German language course, whether online or in person. These courses can provide structured learning and help you gain a more in-depth understanding of the language.

In this post, I have collected a number of basic words and German sentences that will help you get through your first interview in German.

92 Basic German Sentences to survive every day, How Learn German

For simplicity’s sake, the sentences are divided by topic:

  1. German Greetings & Introductions
  2. “I do not understand!” – Getting Out Of Sticky Situations
  3. Numbers In German
  4. Visiting A German Restaurant
  5. Transport – Getting Around In Germany
  6. Asking For Directions
  7. Shopping In German
  8. Dealing with Medical Emergencies
  9. Finding Hidden Gems

1. German Greetings & Introductions

#1 HalloHello [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]
#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!

Back to the list

2. “I do not understand!” – Getting Out Of Sticky Situations

#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 aufPlease 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 leidI’m sorry
#24 Ich weiß nicht I do not know
#25 In Ordnung – All right
#26 Macht nichtsnever mind

Back to the list

3. Numbers In German

  • nullzero
  • einsone
  • zweitwo
  • dreithree
  • vierfour
  • fünf – five
  • sechs – six
  • sieben seven
  • achteight
  • neunnine
  • zehnten
  • elfeleven
  • zwölftwelve
  • dreizehn thirteen
  • vierzehnfourteen
  • fünfzehnfifteen
  • sechzehnsixteen
  • siebzehnseventeen
  • achtzehneighteen
  • neunzehnnineteen
  • zwanzig twenty
  • einundzwanzigtwenty-one
  • zweiundzwanzigtwenty-two
  • dreiundzwanzig  – twenty-three
  • vierundzwanzigtwenty-four
  • fünfundzwanzigtwenty-five
  • sechsundzwanzigtwenty-six
  • siebenundzwanzig  – twenty-seven
  • achtundzwanzigtwenty-eight
  • neunundzwanzigtwenty-nine
  • dreißig thirty
  • einunddreißigthirty-one
  • zweiunddreißigthirty-two
  • vierzigforty
  • fünfzig fifty
  • sechzigsixty
  • siebzigseventy
  • achtzigeighty
  • neunzigninety
  • hundert – one hundred
  • zweihundertfünfzigtwo hundred and fifty
  • fünfhundertfive hundred
  • siebenhundertdreiundachtzigseven hundred and eighty three
  • tausendone thousand

Back to the list

4. Visiting A German Restaurant

#27 Ein Tisch für eine Person bitte A table for one, please
#28 Ein Tisch für zwei Personen, bitte – A 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 bitte – A small beer, please
#38 Ein großes Bier bitte – A large beer, please
#39 Bringen Sie mir bitte eine Auswahl von leckeren Sachen – Please bring me a selection of nice things
#40 Bitte wählen Sie etwas – It’s up to you / You can decide
#41 Die Rechnung, bitte – The bill, please
#42 Kann ich bitte die Speisekarte haben? Can I have the menu, please?

Back to the list

5. Transport – Getting Around In Germany

#43 Ich möchte nach _____ – I want to go to
#44 Wann fährt der nächste Zug / Bus nach _____?What time is the next train/bus to __?
#45 Was kostet das?How much is it?
#46 Einmal/ zweimal (nach _____), bitte1 ticket / 2 tickets (to _____), please
#47 Wie lange dauert das?How long does it take?
#48 Wohin muss ich jetzt gehen?Where should I go now?
#49 Wann fährt er ab?When does it leave?
#50 Wie spät ist es (jetzt)?What time is it (now)?
#51 Hält der Zug/ Bus in _?Does this train/bus stop in _____?
#52 Entschuldigen Sie, ist dies _____?Excuse me, is this _____ ?
#53 Können Sie das bitte für mich aufschreiben? Can you write that down for me?
#54 Zeigen Sie mir das bitte auf der Karte? Can you show me on the map?
#55 Wo ist _____ auf der Karte? Where is _____  on the map?

Back to the list

6. Asking For Directions

#56 Entschuldigung, darf ich Sie etwas fragen? – Excuse me, could I ask you something?
#57 Ich möchte nach _____ – I want to go to _ [If you know the name of your destination]
#58 Ich möchte dahin – I want to go here [Pointing to your destination on the map]
#59 Ich habe mich verlaufen – I’m lost (on foot)
#60 Ich habe mich verfahren – I’m lost (by car)
#61 Wie komme ich dahin? How can I get there?
#62 Geht es hier lang? Is it this way? [Useful for checking if you’re walking in the right direction]
#63 Zeigen Sie mir das bitte auf der Karte? Can you show me on the map?
#64 Wo ist __?Where is _ ?

Back to the list

7. Shopping In German

#65 Das gefällt mir – I like this
#66 Was kostet das? How much is this?
#67 Bitte wiederholen Sie das – Can you say that again, please?
#68 Schreiben Sie das bitte für mich auf? Can you write that down for me?
#69 Und wenn ich das alles kaufe? If I buy these together? [A useful way to knock the price down]
#70 Das ist mir zu teuer – it’s too expensive for me
#71 Geben Sie mir einen Rabatt? Can you give me a discount?
#72 Ich suche nach _____ – I’m looking for a _____
#73 Ich schaue mich nur umI’m just looking around
#74 Danke, ich suche noch weiter – Thank you, I’ll keep looking
#75 Moment, bitte – Just a moment
#76 Ja, bitte – Yes, please
#77 Nein, danke – No, thanks

Back to the list

8. Dealing with Medical Emergencies

#78 Können Sie mir bitte helfen? Can you help me, please?
#79 Ich brauche einen Arzt – I need to see a doctor
#80 Es geht mir nicht gutI do not feel well
#81 Es geht ihm/ihr nicht gut he / she does not feel well
#82 Gibt es ein Krankenhaus in der Nähe? Is there a hospital near here?
#83 Fahren Sie mich bitte zum Krankenhaus – Take me to the hospital [To a taxi driver]
#84 Es tut hier weh – It hurts here [pointing to body part]
#85 Ich brauche Medizin – I need some medicine

Back to the list

9. Finding Hidden Gems

#86 Es tut mir leid, Sie zu stören, aber… – I’m sorry to bother you, but …
#87 Kann ich Sie schnell etwas fragen? Could I ask you something quickly?
#88 Ich suche ein Restaurant mit gutem Essen hier in der Nähe – I’m searching for a place with good food around here
#89 Ich suche ein nettes Café in der Nähe – I’m looking for a nice cafe in the area
#90 Wissen Sie etwas über _____? Do you know anything about _____ ?
#91 Gibt es hier in der Nähe etwas Interessantes zu sehen?Is there anything interesting to see in this area?
#92 Trotzdem danke – Thank you anyway [if the person cannot help you]

Back to the list


Knowing basic German phrases can make a significant impact on your daily life in a German-speaking country. It can help you communicate effectively with locals, navigate through everyday situations, and make the most out of your travel experience. While learning a new language can seem daunting, with consistent effort and practice, anyone can learn German. Whether you decide to enroll in a language course, practice with language apps or find a language exchange partner, remember that practice is key in language learning. With dedication and persistence, you can learn basic German phrases and enjoy your time in Germany to the fullest.


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