German Essay Phrases: 24 Useful Expressions to Write an Essay in German

As we often think in English first, translating our ideas into useful German phrases can be tricky.

This handy blog post includes 24 essential German essay phrases to help make your writing flow more smoothly and sound more natural. Whether you’re preparing for the Goethe exam, a GCSE test, or just want to improve your written German for real-life situations, these chunks and phrases will help you. Easy German has a great video on useful German expression:

From organizing your thoughts with transitions like “zudem” and “außerdem“, to expressing your opinion with phrases like “meiner Meinung nach” and “ich denke, dass…“, this post has you covered.

Write an essay with German essay phrases: learn how to structure your story

Goethe tests love a clear and logical format. They follow the same structure throughout the different levels. The good news is, when you’re learning a language, you can use these German essay phrases with these structures even in your real-life dialogues. Then, gradually, you can shift your focus to a more natural-sounding speaking.

First, begin with an engaging introduction to get the reader’s attention. This intro paragraph should also include a short thesis statement that outlines the central argument you’ll be taking.

In the body of your essay, organize your thoughts into separate paragraphs. Use transitional phrases like “außerdem” (furthermore) and “zudem” (moreover) to connect your paragraphs and create a flow.

After that, summarize your main points and restate your thesis. But! Avoid introducing new information. Leave the reader with a compelling final thought or even a call to action that makes your central argument stronger.

If you’re not certain enough, check the following list and learn about the must-have go-to German essay phrases now!

german essay phrases presented in a notebook in a classroom

1. Erstens – Firstly

This German essay phrase is used to introduce the first point in your essay.

Erstens werden wir die Hauptargumente diskutieren. [Firstly, we will discuss the main arguments.]

2. Zweitens – Secondly

Normally, this phrase is there for you when you want to introduce the second point in a structured manner.

Zweitens betrachten wir einige Gegenbeispiele. [Secondly, we will look at some counterexamples.]

3. Drittens – Thirdly

Used to signal the third point for clarity in your argument.

Drittens ziehen wir eine Schlussfolgerung. [Thirdly, we will draw a conclusion.]

4. Einleitend muss man sagen… – To begin with, one has to say…

Start your essay with this phrase to introduce your key points.

Einleitend muss man sagen, dass dieses Thema komplex ist. [To begin with, one has to say that this topic is complex.]

5. Man muss … in Betracht ziehen – One needs to take … into consideration

When you want to consider a specific aspect in your discussion.

Man muss den historischen Kontext in Betracht ziehen. [One needs to take the historical context into consideration.]

6. Ein wichtiger Aspekt von X ist … – An important aspect of X is …

To highlight an important part…

Ein wichtiger Aspekt von Nachhaltigkeit ist die Ressourcenschonung. [An important aspect of sustainability is resource conservation.]

7. Man muss erwähnen, dass… – One must mention that …

Used to emphasize a point that need acknowledgement.

Man muss erwähnen, dass es verschiedene Ansichten gibt. [One must mention that there are different viewpoints.]

8. Im Vergleich zu – In comparison to…

To compare different elements in your essay.

Im Vergleich zu konventionellen Autos sind Elektrofahrzeuge umweltfreundlicher. [In comparison to conventional cars, electric vehicles are more eco-friendly.]

9. Im Gegensatz zu – In contrast to…

When you want to present an alternative viewpoint or argument.

Im Gegensatz zu optimistischen Prognosen ist die Realität ernüchternd. [In contrast to optimistic forecasts, reality is sobering.]

10. Auf der einen Seite – On the one hand

To add a new perspective.

Auf der einen Seite gibt es finanzielle Vorteile. [On the one hand, there are financial benefits.]

german essay phrases with german dictionary

11. Auf der anderen Seite – On the other hand

Present an alternative viewpoint.

Auf der anderen Seite bestehen ethische Bedenken. [On the other hand, ethical concerns exist.]

12. Gleichzeitig – At the same time

When you want to show a simultaneous relationship between ideas.

Gleichzeitig müssen wir Kompromisse eingehen. [At the same time, we must make compromises.]

13. Angeblich – Supposedly

If you want to add information that is claimed but not confirmed.

Angeblich wurde der Konflikt beigelegt. [Supposedly, the conflict was resolved.]

14. Vermutlich – Presumably

Used when discussing something that is presumed but not certain.

Vermutlich wird sich die Situation verbessern. [Presumably, the situation will improve.]

15. In der Tat – In fact

To add a fact or truth in your essay.

In der Tat sind die Herausforderungen groß. [In fact, the challenges are great.]

16. Tatsächlich – Indeed

Emphasize a point or a fact.

Tatsächlich haben wir Fortschritte gemacht. [Indeed, we have made progress.]

17. Im Allgemeinen – In general

When discussing something in a general context.

Im Allgemeinen ist das System reformbedürftig. [In general, the system needs reform.]

18. Möglicherweise – Possibly

Spice your essay with a possibility or potential scenario.

Möglicherweise finden wir einen Konsens. [Possibly, we will find a consensus.]

19. Eventuell – Possibly

To suggest a potential outcome or situation.

Eventuell müssen wir unsere Strategie überdenken. [Possibly, we need to rethink our strategy.]

20. In jedem Fall / Jedenfalls – In any case

Used to emphasize a point regardless of circumstances.

In jedem Fall müssen wir handeln. [In any case, we must take action.]

21. Das Wichtigste ist – The most important thing is

If you want to highlight the most important thing in your saying.

Das Wichtigste ist, dass wir zusammenarbeiten. [The most important thing is that we cooperate.]

22. Ohne Zweifel – Without a doubt

To introduce a statement that is unquestionably trues.

Ohne Zweifel ist Bildung der Schlüssel zum Erfolg. [Without a doubt, education is the key to success.]

23. Zweifellos – Doubtless

Just as the previous one, when you want say something that is, without a doubt, true.

Zweifellos gibt es noch viel zu tun. [Doubtless, there is still a lot to be done.]

24. Verständlicherweise – Understandably

If you want to add a thing that is understandable in the given context.

Verständlicherweise sind einige Menschen besorgt. [Understandably, some people are concerned.]

Practice the most important German essay phrases

Practice the German essay phrases now!

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By learning phrases and expressions used in natural discourse, students internalize vocabulary and grammar in context rather than as isolated rules. This method helps you achieve fluency and helps you develop a ‘feel’ for a an authentic patterns.

Chunking common multi-word units accelerates progress by reducing cognitive load compared to consciously constructing each sentence from individual words. Sign up now to get access to your German Conversation Based Chunking Guide.

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