92 Basic German Phrases To Survive Your First Conversation With A Native Speaker

basic german phrases

Have you ever wanted to learn German?

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!

In this post, you'll learn 92 basic German phrases and words that will help you on your travels or just at home. 

To make it easier for you, I've divided the phrases into different categories.

  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

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

Having a few common German phrases will make you experience these countries in a completely different way.

And even at home, learning German will allow you to learn more about German culture and connect with German speakers in your local community.

You don't need to have a natural flair for languages. Learning a few key phrases and being able to use them is a great start. 

You never know, maybe learning these phrases will motivate you to go on and learn to speak German fluently.

Note: The anglicised pronunciation is listed for each phrase is approximate. There are certain aspects of German pronunciation which are unique sounds not used in English. To download these for free, just click here .

German Greetings & Introductions

German greetings and 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. 

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“I Do Not Understand!” – Getting Out Of Sticky Situations

getting out of sticky German situations

It might seem a little intimidating to speak German, especially if you're new to the language. German people will be understanding if you're struggling to get your message across or catch what they say.

At the same time, don't hesitate to use these expressions to help the conversation run smoothly if you don't understand something or need a little help.

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Numbers In German

numbers in German

Whether you're at the supermarket, ordering in a restaurant, or just having a normal conversation, it's essential to know how to use numbers in German. Eins, zwei, drei….let's get to it!

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Visiting A German Restaurant

eating out in German

One of the most enjoyable cultural experiences you can have in a German-speaking country is visiting a restaurant and trying out some of the delicious local dishes.

The following phrases cover all the questions and statements you need to make when eating out, from asking for a table to paying the bill!

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Transport – Getting Around In Germany

german transport

There are lots of practicalities to consider when taking a trip to Germany, including finding your way around. Finding the right train or bus on time isn’t always easy and you don’t want to end up being the ‘foreigner’ who is holding up the ticket queue!

In this section, you’ll learn some key transport phrases that will help you quickly and easily navigate your way around any German-speaking city or country.

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Asking For Directions In German 

looking for directions

Public transport in Germany is notoriously excellent, but there are some places you'll need to walk or drive to yourself. And for most of us, that means occasionally getting lost and asking for directions!

Here are the phrases you need to ask and receive directions in German:

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Shopping And Grabbing A Bargain In German

shopping in German

Whether you're at the supermarket, the shopping centre or the local farmer's market you're going to buy things at some point or another!

And even haggle a bit –  just like you would in English. Here's how to grab a bargain in German. 

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Dealing With Medical Emergencies

german medical emergency

Hopefully, you'll never need the phrases in this section! Nonetheless, it's always good to know some basic medical vocabulary so that you can handle an emergency if you're unwell or have an accident.

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Finding Hidden Gems In German-Speaking Countries 

german cafe

Finally, let's learn a few more phrases that don't fall into any particular category. These final phrases will allow you to sound more polite and natural.

I've included a couple of questions you can ask the locals, so you can find the hidden gems in their cities and have a more authentic German experience!

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Your Next Steps In German

German Uncovered Course 800px

So there you have it: a collection basic phrases to help you get started on your new adventure!

With these phrases in your back pocket, you will soon find yourself having your first basic conversations and getting excited about continuing to improve your German.

So now that you've learned the basics, are you ready to take the next step in your German adventure?

I'm a big believer in the power of story to enable you to learn a language. That's why  I've created an entire beginner course dedicated to learning German by immersing yourself in an engaging story.

It's my German Uncovered course, and it's designed to take you from beginner to B1 Intermediate level.

Click here for more information on the course and how it'll help you.


How many of these phrases did you know already? Which new phrases do you think are most useful for you in your conversations? Let me know in the comments below.

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