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German is both a useful and beautiful language to learn.
German is one of the most commonly spoken languages in the European Union and is spoken by around 100 million people globally, so it’s a good language to learn whether you are traveling for business or pleasure.
It’s also a very beautiful language with words that are unique to German culture.
Ever heard of “Feierabend”? It’s the German term for the relieved and festive mood that comes over you at the end of a workday. There’s also “ruhe” which is a simple and beautiful German word for “calm.”
Yes, German is a useful and beautiful language that is definitely fun – but a little challenging to learn.
There an estimated 300,000 words that make up the German language, and while that might sound intimidating, you only need to learn about 5% of these words to be able to hold a conversation in German.
To gain fluency in German, you need to focus on learning German common words first. To help get you started, check out our list of common German words below. We’ve also included a downloadable PDF file to help make things easier for you.
Get your copy of 135 common German words
Basic greetings are always some of the best places to start when learning any language. So, start with learning the German word for “hello”.
It’s always a good idea to know how to say “yes” in another language. In German, it’s “ja”.
This is how you say “no”.
If you are making a request, it’s only polite to add “Bitte”
This is how you express gratitude.
This is the most basic way to say “goodbye” or “farewell" in German.
This is the German word for the verb “can”
This means “do” in German.
How German speakers say the verb “use”.
When you mean “go”, you say “gehen’.
Another German common word is this, the equivalent to the English verb “come.”
Happy about how your language learning journey is going? Well, in for German speakers, that is the feeling of “Glück”.
Express your happiness without words by giving a “lächeln”.
If “lächeln” isn’t enough to express your joy, why not give a “lachen”.
This simple German word conveys one of the most beautiful feelings in any language, love.
Like cats? This is how you answer the question, what is your favorite animal, in German.
If you are more of a dog person, your favorite pet is a “hund”
This is an adjective that means “good”. A well trained “hund” will wag it’s tail in happiness if you call it “gut”.
The opposite of “gut”.
This is how you say “today” in German.
This is how you tell someone “tomorrow”.
This is referred to as the day before “heute”.
When Germans refer to the period of seven days we call a “week” in English, this is what they use.
This is the German word for “year.”
Say this when you are referring to a “calendar.”
This is the German equivalent to the verb “make”.
This refers to what you do with your eyes.
If what you “sehen” is pleasing to you, it could be because you found it “beautiful” or “schön”.
The opposite of “schön”.
This German common word is meant to express the idea of the distance between you and an object.
If the distance between you and an object or place isn’t “weit”, it is “nahe”.
This is the German word for “as”.
This means “was”.
If you want to refer to yourself in German, say “ich”.
This is a pronoun that refers to a male.
This is the pronoun for a female.
This is the male possessive pronoun.
This is the German equivalent of the English word “that”.
This is the word for “for”.
This common German adjective refers to something of diminutive size.
This is the adjective for an object that is big.
This is the German verb for “act”.
This is the verb for “ask”.
This is a noun that means “land”.
You might find learning German “schwierig” at first, but trust us, it’s worth it.
The opposite of “schewierig”.
This is the German equivalent of the English collective pronoun “they”.
This is the word used for “on” in German-speaking countries.
This is the word for “are.”
This is the word German speakers say when they mean “with”.
This is the equivalent of the English word “at”.
This is the word for “this”.
If you want to ask “what” in German, you use “was”.
This is a noun that is a German common word used to refer to the unit of time we call a “second” in English.
60 seconds is the same thing in English and German, a “minute”.
This refers to the unit of time known as an “hour” in English.
The instrument that keeps track of time.
This is the German equivalent to the English word “is”.
This is a pronoun used to refer to an object.
This is the German word to use when referring to someone other than yourself.
This is the German version of the English article “the”.
The word for “and”.
When German speakers say “wir” they mean “we”.
If you tasted a German dish for the first time and loved it, you can describe it as “lecker”.
German “Kaffee” is “lecker”.
If you want something stronger than “kaffee”, you can always order a “bier”.
If “bier” is not your drink, maybe “wein” is.
Or you can just ask for a plain, refreshing glass of “wasser”.
Someone who prepares food to be eaten.
If you are a vegetarian, avoid any dishes that are “Rindfleisch”.
If you are Muslim, make sure to ask if a dish has “schweinefleisch” and avoid it.
You can always just ask for chicken dishes by using this German word.
Or “fish”, with this word.
This verb is the equivalent of the English verb “follow”.
This is the word that German speakers say when they mean “change”.
When you say that someone “went” somewhere, you can use “ging” in German.
This is a common word to refer to your “body”.
This refers to the body part.
The body part found at the end of your “bein”.
The German word for the body part known as the “arm” in English is also “arm”.
“Hand” means the same thing for a German speaker as it would for an English speaker.
Ditto for “finger”.
The German word for “head”.
This is what the “stomach” is called in German.
Your “back” in German.
What we call your “chest” in English is your “brustkorb” in German.
This verb means “work.”
If you “arbeit” for a German company, then you are an “angestellter” for that company.
If you have the title of “manager” with your company, this is the equivalent German word.
If you get in trouble in a German speaking country, you might have to ask for the “polizistin”
If you need medical care, look for an arzt.
Someone who assists the “arzt”.
Someone who works in the field of education
If you work developing computer programs, this is your job title.
This is the job title of someone who works in sales.
This is the German job title of what we call an “engineer” in English.
When you tell someone to “versuchen” you are asking them to “try”
You can use this word to ask “where” a certain place is.
You can use this word if you want to ask “when” an even is taking place.
If you want to ask “how”, this is the word to use.
This is the German interrogative word for “why”.
This word means that you do not object to something.
When you are referring to a collective group of people and including yourself.
This is what German speakers use to refer to a “plant”.
This is the German word to refer to a living being that is not a human nor is it a “pflanze”.
This is the German word for “air”.
This refers to a dwelling, usually where people live.
German-speakers will use this word when they refer to their “home”.
This verb refers to the act of reading.
This refers to a still image.
This is an adverb that means “soon”.
This is the equivalent of the English word “World”.
This word means “earth”.
This verb means “build”.
This refers to the female parent.
This refers to the male parent
This is the equivalent to the word “self” in English.
When you are asked to make a choice and you say “any”, the German word you should use is “jeder”
This means a certain spot or area.
If you are heading to a particular “ort” you are going on a “fahrt”.
If someone asks you for this, they need your opinion on a problem they have.
This is the German word for “left”.
This means “right”.
This is the word for “entrance”.
If you are looking to get out of a building or area, you should look for the “ausgang”.
For any beginner language learner, one of the most important things to do is to build up your vocabulary by learning common words in that language.
Downloading the PDF file of these 135 German common words will give you a good start along your language learning journey.
Get your copy now
Memorizing these words and their meaning will give you a good base to start putting German words together to form proper sentences that will help you communicate with native speakers.
Go through this list of common words of German with an online German language tutor so that they can better explain to you when and where these words are used and how they are used in everyday speech.
They can also help you with your pronunciation and accent in order to better equip you to start having conversations with German speakers ASAP.
Hallo - Hello, Ja - Yes, Nien - No, Bitte - Please, Danke - Thank you, Machen - Do, Benutzen - Use
Ja in German means Yes. Nien means No.
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