70 Basic German Sentences You Have to Know in Every Situation + Special Method for Unfair Advantage

When you’re beginning to learn German, or planning a trip to a German-speaking country, having a set of go-to sentences can be a game-changer. They allow you to communicate effortlessly and – more importantly – confidently. Before you start reading these essential German sentences, check out Spring German’s (a project I co-founded) video for the basics:

Whether you’re asking for directions, ordering a meal in a restaurant, or simply trying to make new friends, knowing these German sentences will make your experiences richer and more enjoyable. And what about the Conversation Based Chunking method? It’s a special technique that leverages common phrases and lexical chunks of language as a building block for fluency, giving you an unfair advantage in mastering the language.

1. Top 10 German phrases and sentences you need every time

Every language learner needs a foundation of key phrases to build upon, and German is no exception. These basic German phrases are essential for any beginner and will act as your stepping stone into the world of speaking German fluently.

They provide a polite and conversational way to engage with native German speakers, from greetings to expressions of gratitude. Some of these introductory sentences are basically German greetings but we have some secret chunks you can check out in their own dedicated article.

  1. Hallo! (Hello!)
  2. Guten Morgen! (Good morning!) – More ways to say good morning in German.
  3. Guten Tag! (Good day!)
  4. Guten Abend! (Good evening!)
  5. Wie geht es Ihnen? (How are you? – formal)
  6. Mir geht es gut, danke. (I’m good, thank you.)
  7. Wie heißt du? (What’s your name? – informal)
  8. Ich heiße… (My name is…)
  9. Entschuldigung, wo ist…? (Excuse me, where is…?)
  10. Danke schön! (Thank you very much!) – Read more about thank you in German.
+1 if all else fails (although you should always aim to speak German):
Sprechen Sie Englisch? (Do you speak English?)

2. Top 10 useful German travel phrases

German travel phrases will come in handy when you’re walking through cities like Munich or enjoying Oktoberfest. They’ll help you easily navigate different situations during your travels.

german sentences can be used for traveling around the world with passport and credit card

You can be sure that if you learn these German sentences, the locals are going to adore you!

  1. Ich hätte gerne eine Fahrkarte. (I would like a ticket.)
  2. Könnte ich bitte einen Stadtplan haben? (Could I have a city map, please?)
  3. Wo ist die Toilette, bitte? (Where is the bathroom, please?)
  4. Gibt es hier in der Nähe ein gutes Hotel? (Is there a good hotel nearby?)
  5. Ich habe eine Reservierung. (I have a reservation.)
  6. Wie viel kostet das? (How much does this cost?)
  7. Könnte ich bitte die Rechnung auf mein Zimmer schreiben lassen? (Could I charge the bill to my room, please?)
  8. Könnten Sie das bitte auf die Karte zeigen? (Could you please show it on the map?)
  9. Haben Sie freies WLAN? (Do you have free Wi-Fi?)
  10. Welcher Ausgang führt zur Innenstadt? (Which exit leads to the city center?)

German travel phrases are probably the cornerstone of a language learning journey when you want to visit a country or learn their special expressions. If you want, you can immediately sign up for the German Conversation Based Chunking Guide and we’ll give you all the tips you need to learn German – a proven program, full practice worksheets, explanation of the method and lots of materials!

3. Top 10 German sentences when you want to order food

Ordering food is always quite the experience in German-speaking countries, given their rich history in culinary excellence.

german sentences can be essential when you want to order a food in a restaurant

Use these sentences to help you get exactly what you’re looking for and perhaps to express your satisfaction after a delicious meal!

  1. Ich möchte bitte… bestellen. (I would like to order…)
  2. Was empfehlen Sie? (What do you recommend?)
  3. Ich bin Vegetarier. (I am a vegetarian.)
  4. Ein Glas Wasser, bitte. (A glass of water, please.)
  5. Die Rechnung, bitte. (The bill, please.)
  6. Kann ich bitte mit Karte zahlen? (Can I pay with card, please?)
  7. Ein Bier, bitte. (A beer, please.)
  8. Ist das Gericht scharf? (Is this dish spicy?)
  9. Ich hätte gerne einen Tisch für zwei. (I’d like a table for two.)
  10. Kann ich das zum Mitnehmen haben? (Can I have this to go?)

4. Top 10 common German phrases to start a conversation in German

Tapping into everyday conversations is always good for language learners who are ready to take the next step beyond basic German phrases. Here are phrases that’ll help you start speaking with your new friends!

  1. Woher kommst du? (Where are you from?)
  2. Was machst du beruflich? (What do you do for a living?)
  3. Hast du Kinder? (Do you have children?)
  4. Was sind deine Hobbys? (What are your hobbies?)
  5. Ich habe gehört, dass… (I’ve heard that…)
  6. Was denkst du über…? (What do you think about…?)
  7. Ich lerne Deutsch. (I am learning German.)
  8. Können wir Deutsch sprechen? (Can we speak in German?)
  9. Wie lange lebst du schon hier? (How long have you been living here?)
  10. Darf ich mich zu Ihnen setzen? (May I sit with you?)

5. Top 10 German idioms to sound like a native speaker

German sayings and idioms always add color to your language skills and show that you’re comfortable with more than just the basics.

Here are some idiomatic expressions (along with their literal translations and their true meaning) that are common in the German language and can make you sound more like a native.

  1. Das ist nicht mein Bier. (That’s not my beer – That’s not my problem.)
  2. Ich verstehe nur Bahnhof. (I only understand train station – I don’t understand anything.)
  3. Um den heißen Brei herumreden. (To talk around the hot porridge – To beat around the bush.)
  4. Da steppt der Bär. (The bear dances there – It’s going to be a great party.)
  5. Das ist mir Wurst. (That’s sausage to me – I don’t care.)
  6. Ich glaube, mein Schwein pfeift. (I believe my pig whistles – I can’t believe it!)
  7. Mit ihm ist nicht gut Kirschen essen. (It’s not good to eat cherries with him – He’s not easy to deal with.)
  8. Jemandem die Daumen drücken. (To press thumbs for someone – To keep one’s fingers crossed for someone.)
  9. Die Kirche im Dorf lassen. (To leave the church in the village – Not to get carried away.)
  10. Auf dem Holzweg sein. (To be on the wooden path – To be on the wrong track.)

6. Top 10 German slang use in sentences to connect with the youngsters

German slang is constantly evolving, and using it can help you connect with younger native German speakers. It’s a fun way to show that you’re up to date with modern expressions and that you can connect with the youngsters!

  1. Das ist krass! (That’s awesome!)
  2. Ich bin voll am Chillen. (I’m just chilling.)
  3. Das geht ab! (That rocks!)
  4. Lass mal treffen! (Let’s meet up!)
  5. Das ist voll mein Ding. (That’s totally my thing.)
  6. Ich check das nicht. (I don’t get it.)
  7. Was geht ab? (What’s up?)
  8. Bock haben. (To be up for it.)
  9. Ich bin platt. (I’m wiped out/exhausted.)
  10. Alter! (Dude!)

7. Top 10 Austrian German and Swiss German sentences

Both Austrian German and Swiss German has its own unique expressions and local dialect words and sentences that you might not encounter in standard German language learning materials. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

Here are the top 5 Austrian German sentences you might encounter when you’re a tourist in Vienna:

a typical austrian landscape is full of german sentences if you visit
  1. Ich hätte gerne einen kleinen Braunen. (I would like a ‘small brown’ – Referring to a type of coffee, similar to espresso with a dash of milk.)
  2. Wie viel kostet eine Tageskarte für die Öffis? (How much does a day ticket for public transportation cost? – “Öffis” is a colloquial term for public transport, short for “öffentliche Verkehrsmittel.”)
  3. Ich nehme ein Krügerl Bier, bitte. (I’ll take a mug of beer, please. – “Krügerl” is a typical term in Austria for a medium-sized beer mug.)
  4. Ich suche nach einem Heurigen in der Nähe. (I am looking for a local wine tavern nearby. – A “Heuriger” is a type of wine tavern in Austria where new wine and local food are served.)
  5. Was ist Ihre Tagesempfehlung? (What is your daily recommendation? – Often used in restaurants to ask for the special of the day.)

And if you want to visit beautiful Switzerland, you can’t miss these essential phrases and sentences!

german sentences are useful on these beautiful swiss landscapes
  1. Ich bruch e Billett für Züri. (I need a ticket to Zurich. – “Bruch” is Swiss German for “brauche,” meaning “need,” and “Züri” is the local nickname for Zurich.)
  2. Dä Zug isch ufe Minute pünktlich. (The train is precisely on time. – Punctuality is a well-known feature of Swiss public transport.)
  3. Ich hätte gern ein Stück Schwiizer Chäs. (I would like a piece of Swiss cheese. – “Chäs” is the Swiss German word for “Käse,” which is cheese in standard German.)
  4. Hesch du Zyt? (Do you have time? – Asking if someone is available or has time to talk/meet.)
  5. Wie chunnt mer zum Bahnhof? (How do I get to the train station? – Practical question for directions.)

8. Learn more useful German phrase & the special method of Conversation Based Chunking

The special method we’ve highlighted previously in this article is called Conversation Based Chunking. It involves learning common language blocks and common German phrases as whole chunks, without getting bogged down by grammar.

This approach allows you to use language patterns that native speakers use, helping you to sound more natural and understand spoken language better – just think about the German idioms listed above!

It’s a powerful tool in language learning that’ll help you learn any language, by focusing on practical usage rather than getting stuck on rules. Use this method to start learning German phrases effectively, and you’ll soon find yourself having effortless conversations in German.

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