10 Ways to Say Good Luck in German with Examples + Good Luck Symbols

Do you want to wish good luck to your friend before an exam? Or want to wish success to your brother before a performance?

Then this blog post is for you: how to wish good luck in German! Coffee Break Language made a short video on how you can do this:

In this blog post, we’ll list not just 6, but 10 ways to say good luck in German. Click on any of these phrases to learn more about them!

GermanEnglish
Viel Glück!Good luck!
Alles Gute!All the best!
Toi, toi, toi!Knock on wood!/Break a leg!
Hals- und Beinbruch!Break a leg and a neck!
Ich drücke dir die Daumen!I’ll keep my fingers crossed!
Gutes Gelingen!Successful execution!
Viel Erfolg!Much success!
Mach’s gut!Take care!/Do well!
Daumen drücken!Fingers crossed!
Viel Glück für deine Prüfung!Good luck for your exam!

What are the good luck symbols in Germany?

What should you look for if you want luck in Germany?

Well, there are different good luck symbols that you can search for. One of the most popular symbols is das vierblättrige Kleeblatt (the four-leaf clover) – it’s so rare, that it’s believed to bring luck.

A lucky penny, der Glückspfennig is also used: people keep it in their wallets or purses to bring in fortune. Das Hufeisen (the horseshoe), especially when hung above a door with the open end facing up, is also a powerful good luck charm.

And there are many more! Let’s check this table to list them:

GermanEnglishExplanation
Das vierblättrige KleeblattThe Four-Leaf CloverFinding a four-leaf clover is considered very lucky.
Der GlückspfennigThe Lucky PennyA penny is kept in a purse or wallet for good fortune.
Das HufeisenThe HorseshoeHanging a horseshoe above a door is thought to bring good luck.
Der SchornsteinfegerThe Chimney SweepSeeing or touching a chimney sweep is considered very lucky.
Das SchweinThe PigPigs are symbols of wealth and good luck in Germany.
Der MarienkäferThe LadybugSeeing a ladybug, especially one with seven spots, is believed to bring good luck.
Das FliegenpilzThe Red and White MushroomThis red mushroom with white spots is a common symbol of good luck.
Das GlückskäferchenThe Lucky BeetleSimilar to the ladybug, other beetles are also considered lucky.
Der TeddybärThe Teddy BearOften given as a good luck charm, especially to children.

1. Viel Glück! (Good luck!)

Effortless Answers

Viel Glück!” is the most common way to say good luck in German.

You can use it in almost any situation where you want to wish someone luck.

In a real-life situation, this could look like:

Anna: Viel Glück bei deinem Test heute! (Good luck with your test today!)
Max: Danke, Anna! Ich hoffe, es geht gut. (Thanks, Anna! I hope it goes well.)

2. Alles Gute! (All the best!)

Alles Gute!” is another great phrase that means “all the best.”

It’s used to wish someone well in general, not just for luck.

Let’s imagine this:

Lena: Alles Gute für deine Reise! (All the best for your trip!)
Tim: Danke! Ich freue mich schon darauf. (Thanks! I’m really looking forward to it.)

A photorealistic image of a four-leaf clover, vibrant green with delicate veins, lying on a lush, dewy grass background. The scene is bright and fresh, capturing the natural beauty and rarity of the clover, symbolizing 'Viel Glück' (good luck in German)

3. Toi, toi, toi! (Knock on wood!)

Toi, toi, toi!” is a cultural expression similar to “knock on wood” or “break a leg.”

You usually say it to ward off bad luck before a performance or big event.

In a real-life scenario:

Julia: Toi, toi, toi für dein Konzert heute Abend! (Knock on wood for your concert tonight!)
Paul: Danke, Julia! Ich bin schon ganz aufgeregt. (Thanks, Julia! I’m already excited.)

4. Hals- und Beinbruch! (Break a leg and a neck!)

Hals- und Beinbruch!” means “break a leg and a neck.”

Despite how it sounds, it’s used to wish someone good luck, especially in performance arts or in theaters.

A true German dialogue could be:

Emma: Hals- und Beinbruch für dein Theaterstück! (Break a leg and a neck for your play!)
Lukas: Danke, Emma! Ich hoffe, alles läuft gut. (Thanks, Emma! I hope everything goes well.)

5. Ich drücke dir die Daumen! (I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you!)

Ich drücke dir die Daumen!” means “I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you.”

This is used when you want to show support and hope for the best for someone.

Imagine this situation:

Sophie: Ich drücke dir die Daumen für dein Vorstellungsgespräch! (I’ll keep my fingers crossed for your job interview!) Nico: Danke, Sophie! Ich werde mein Bestes geben. (Thanks, Sophie! I’ll do my best.)

6. Gutes Gelingen! (Successful execution!)

Gutes Gelingen!” translates to “successful execution.”

It’s often used when someone is starting a project or task, and you want to wish them success in completing it.

A good example for this:

Mia: Gutes Gelingen bei deinem neuen Projekt! (Successful execution on your new project!)
Felix: Danke, Mia! Das bedeutet mir viel. (Thanks, Mia! That means a lot to me.)

7. Viel Erfolg! (Much success!)

Viel Erfolg!” means “much success.”

This phrase is mainly used before exams, interviews, or any challenging task.

For instance:

Laura: Viel Erfolg bei deiner Prüfung morgen! (Much success on your exam tomorrow!)
Tom: Danke, Laura! Ich habe viel gelernt. (Thanks, Laura! I have studied a lot.)

8. Mach’s gut! (Take care!)

Mach’s gut!” means “take care” or “do well.”

It’s a bit more casual and can be used when saying goodbye or wishing someone well in a general sense.

For example:

Nina: Mach’s gut und bis bald! (Take care and see you soon!)
Leo: Du auch, Nina! Bis später! (You too, Nina! See you later!)

A photorealistic image of a well-decorated studio with soft, ambient lighting and a cozy, modern setting. The foreground features a four-leaf clover, a horseshoe, and a ladybug, all symbols of 'Viel Glück' (good luck in German). The scene is serene and inviting, with natural colors and subtle decorative items conveying prosperity and charm

9. Daumen drücken! (Fingers crossed!)

Daumen drücken!” literally means “fingers crossed.”

It’s a shorter way to express hope and support for someone.

You could express support like this:

Clara: Daumen drücken für deinen Auftritt! (Fingers crossed for your performance!)
Jan: Danke, Clara! Ich hoffe, es wird gut. (Thanks, Clara! I hope it goes well.)

10. Viel Glück für deine Prüfung! (Good luck for your exam!)

Viel Glück für deine Prüfung!” means “good luck for your exam.”

You can change “Prüfung” to fit different contexts, like “Vorstellungsgespräch” for “job interview.”

This is how you could wish someone good luck:

Sara: Viel Glück für deine Prüfung morgen! (Good luck for your exam tomorrow!)
Ben: Danke, Sara! Ich bin ein bisschen nervös. (Thanks, Sara! I’m a bit nervous.)

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