top of page

German Basics - Learn German fast

Want to speak real German from your first lesson? Get in touch with us start speaking German with confidence! Hi, welcome to Introduction to German. My name is Helena and in this lesson, you'll learn the basics of the German language

-Hallo, ich heisse Helena. Sehr erfreut.

-Hi, I'm Helena, nice to meet you.

In this series, we are going to learn basic German expressions. It's super easy and it only takes 3 minutes. In this lesson, we are going to learn how to introduce ourselves in German. We'll start speaking right away, but first, it's important to clarify that in German, there is a difference between the formal and the informal language.

Let's first see how German people introduce themselves in an informal situation

-Hallo, ich heisse Helena, schön dich kennenzulernen

-Hi, I'm Laura, nice to meet you Hallo, ich heisse Laura, schön dich kennenzulernen

Start by saying Hallo, ich heisse Helena. Finally say, schön, dich kennen zu lernen. Hallo, ich heisse Helena. Schön, dich kennen zu lernen.

And now, let's see the same sentence in formal speech. Guten Tag, ich heisse Helena Meier. Schön, Sie kennen zu lernen. Good day, I'm Helena Meier. Nice to meet you.

Guten Tag, ich heiße Helena Maier. Schön, Sie kennenzulernen. So, what has changed from the previous introduction? Let's take a close look at these expressions together. Hallo has been substituted with a formal greeting Guten Tag, German for good day. Ich heiße Helena has not been changed. Ich heisse simply means I am. However, during a formal self-introduction, we also say our last name. So I said Helena Maier. Here, you would say your full name. Finally, pay attention to the ending. We went from dich kennen zu lernen to sie kennen zu lernen. What is changing is the German word for you.

In a formal sentence, we use the more polite word Sie. One more time. The informal way to introduce yourself in German is Hallo, ich heisse Laura. Schön, dich kennenzulernen. The formal way to introduce yourself is Guten Tag, ich heisse Helena Mayer. Schön, Sie kennenzulernen.

Now it's time for Helena's Insights. When you introduce yourself, it's a good habit to shake hands. If you're not sure whether to use schön dich kennen zu lernen or schön sie kennen zu lernen, just say simply sehr erfreut, as I said at the beginning of this lesson. If you use the correct sentence with German people, they're definitely going to be impressed. In the last lesson, we learned how to introduce ourselves in German.

Today we are going to learn how to use good manners as we thank people. Fertig? Are you ready? Los! So let's start.

There are several ways to thank someone. Let's start with the easiest. It's just one word. Danke. Danke means thank you. When saying thank you very much you just need to add sehr Danke sehr Sehr means a lot. So Danke sehr is like saying thank you very much During the last lesson we discussed the informal and the formal way of speaking German Danke is the casual way to thank someone If you want to be more formal there is another phrase you should use. Ich danke Ihnen. Ich danke Ihnen. Let's break this phrase down.

Ich is I and danke means thanks. Ihnen is a formal word for you in the dative case. Notice that we don't use Sie as in the last lesson. We will discuss German pronouns in more depth in a later lesson the full sentence once again Ich danke Ihnen. How do you answer? It's easy here are two different ways to do it. The first is Bitteschön. Bitteschön can be used with just about anybody. The other way to say you're welcome is the expression gern geschehen gern geschehen literally, this phrase means I liked it to happen or happened with pleasure but it has become a common and polite way to respond to someone thanking you. So when someone says Danke to us we can simply reply with Bitte schön or gern geschehen. Now it's time for Laura's Insights. If you're not sure about whether to use danke or ich danke Ihnen, keeping it simple is always your safest bet.

You don't have to worry about formal or informal situations. Danke can be used with just about anyone, anywhere, and at any time. In the last lesson, we learned how to be grateful to people by saying Danke. In this lesson we learned some of the most common greetings used in Germany Fertig? Are you ready? Los! So let's start the most used informal greeting is Hallo. Hallo means hi or hello. We should only use this greeting with friends or relatives The most used formal greetings will change depending on the time of day.

Let's start with Guten Tag. Guten Tag. Literally, Guten Tag means good day. As a rule of thumb, we can use Guten Tag only during the daytime, from late morning until early evening. In the morning we say Guten Morgen, good morning. Guten Morgen. During the evening we say Guten Abend. Guten Abend. Tag, Morgen and Abend is German for day, morning and evening respectively. Easy, right? What should you say when you leave? German people usually say Auf Wiedersehen when leaving an informal situation. Auf Wiedersehen. Auf Wiedersehen means goodbye. If we say goodbye to friends or our relatives, we use the informal word Tschüss. Tschüss.

Now you can greet people in many different ways in German. Let's review them all again. First, the greetings. Informally, we simply say Hallo. Formally, use Guten Morgen in the morning, Guten Tag in the afternoon, and Guten Abend in the evening. When leaving in a formal situation, we say Auf Wiedersehen. And in an informal situation, it's Tschüss. It's easy, isn't it? Now, it's time for Laura's Insights. Due to a huge variety of dialects in Germany, you might hear many different greeting phrases depending on the area.

In Austria and in the Catholic Southern part of Germany they even say Grüß Gott, which means greetings to God. In the past, people from the north could barely talk to people from the south, since they spoke very different languages. But nowadays, if you use these common phrases, then everyone will understand you, I'm sure. In the last lesson, we learned the most common forms of greetings in German. Do you remember them? In this lesson, we're going to learn a very useful phrase. Do you speak English? If you find yourself in a situation where you need assistance in English this phrase can be a lifesaver.

And because you're asking it in German, you can be sure that everyone will understand what you're saying even if their answer is no. Here's the informal way to say it Sprichst du Englisch? Sprichst du Englisch? In German, verbs change depending on the pronoun that is used. Please notice the word do in the middle of the sentence. Remember that this is the informal way to say you. The first word is sprichst which means to speak. Because it is referring to do it is conjugated to du sprichst to the interrogative form sprichst du and you probably recognize English to be English sprichst du Englisch?

We are now going to make the sentence formal.

First we need to use the formal version of you, which is Sie. If we change the word for you, we will conjugate the verb differently. It becomes Sprechen instead of Sprichst, like in the informal version. Everything else stays the same. Sprechen Sie Englisch? Sprechen Sie Englisch? Adding Entschuldigen Sie, excuse me, the sentence becomes even more polite Entschuldigen Sie, sprechen Sie Englisch? Entschuldigen Sie, sprechen Sie Englisch?

the responses you will receive could be one of these three Ja, yes, ja Ein bisschen, a little ein bisschen nein, ich spreche nicht englisch, no I don't speak english, nein, ich spreche nicht englisch since this last one is a negative statement we need to say nicht after the verb sprechen notice also that the verb spreche is slightly different than sprechen.

Remember the verb changes depending on the pronoun used. We are now talking about ich, German for I. Was I do not speak is, ich spreche nicht. Now it's time for Helena's insights. For those of you who are not only English speakers, you can obviously use this question with any language you need. German people study other European languages at school, so maybe you will get lucky. Just substitute English with italienisch for Italian, russisch for Russian, spanish for Spanish, französisch for French.

In this lesson we mentioned the expression Entschuldigen Sie. But did you know that this could also be used as an apology? In the next lesson, we will learn this and other ways to apologize in German. It's never too late to show your good manners with German people.

In the last lesson, we learned the phrase Entschuldigen Sie?

Sprechen Sie Englisch? Excuse me, do you speak English? We mentioned the word Entschuldigen Sie? Excuse me, do you speak English? We mentioned the word Entschuldigen Sie, which means excuse me in formal German. In this lesson, we are going to learn how to use Entschuldigen Sie and other words when apologizing in German. We should use Entschuldigen Sie in formal situations, such as when we are ordering something in bars or restaurants. For example, Entschuldigen Sie einen Kaffee bitte. Excuse me, a coffee please. We can also use it when asking a question. Entschuldigen Sie, wo ist der Ausgang?

Excuse me, where is the exit please? Sometimes we also hear people say bitte, which means the same thing when you want to draw somebody's attention. We use this phrase if you want to be polite. Bitte. The informal way to say excuse me is Entschuldige Entschuldige just like Entschuldigen Sie, we can use Entschuldige when asking a question or when apologizing we can also use the word Entschuldigung if you're not sure whether to use the formal or informal way all of these phrases can be used for either excuse me or I'm sorry but if you really want to apologize for something, it might be better to use a different phrase. That phrase is Es tut mir leid. It means I'm sorry and can be used in both formal and informal situations.

Es tut mir leid. First we have es or it. Next we have the German word for to do, conjugated for the pronoun es, tut. The word mir is German for me finally we have leid, literally meaning sorrow. Es tut mir leid. Now it's time for Loris' insights. Please remember that in Germany if you accidentally bump into someone we don't say I'm sorry, es tut mir leid. Instead we say entschuldigen Sie, entschuldige or entschuldigung. Are you able to count in German?

In the next lesson we will learn the numbers in German from 1 to 10 In this lesson we are going to learn numbers in German Yes, numbers Zahlen from 1 to 10 and you are going to learn them in only 3 minutes 3 Minuten Are you ready? Let's start Eins Eins Zwei 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 sieben acht acht neun neun zehn zehn Okay, now repeat after me I'll say the numbers and give you time to repeat each one eins zwei drei drei drei vier fünf sechs sieben acht neun zehn Great job! Do you know what comes before 1? Right, it's Null! Null!

You don't have any more excuses. You can now give your friends your cell phone number in German. Let's try together. We'll use the phrase Meine Nummer ist, which means My number is. Meine Nummer ist. Meine Nummer ist 03041225968 Can you read it by yourself? 03041225968 Perfect! Now it's time for Loris Insights. When you go to the office or department store in Germany, you sometimes have to stand in line with a number. When it's your turn to check out, they screen Nummer eins, Nummer zehn, and so on.

Learn your numbers well, so you can be ready. Do you know the German word for a hundred? It's actually very similar to the English word. In the next lesson, we are going to learn the numbers from 11 to 100 in German. In the last lesson we learned the numbers from 1 to 10 have you forgotten? Here I tell you again Eins, zwei, drei, vier, fünf, sechs, sieben, acht, neun zehn and now let's continue from eleven elf elf zwölf zwölf dreizehn dreizehn vierzehn vierzehn fünfzehn fünfzehn sechzehn 15 15 16 16 17 17 18 18 19 19 and finally we have 20 20 Okay, now repeat after me. I'll say the numbers and give you time to repeat each one 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 These numbers may seem hard to remember, but you really just have to add 10 or 10.

Let's not stop at 20. Counting from 10 to 100 is super easy. Now I'll give you the tens. 50 50 60 60 70 70 80 80 90 90 100 100 while you have to memorize a few of these numbers there are a couple of tricks that will make memorizing them incredibly easy in order to build 40 you just add 10 to 4 here and you get 40 the same goes for 50 80 and 90 let's have a look at the pronunciation if G comes last in the word, it makes a sch sound. So you would say fürzich instead of fürzik fürzich you probably recognize the dots on A O and U Ä, Ö, Ü. For example fünf, five. These are called Umlaute Ä is being pronounced like the I in elder. Ö comes close to the O in worry.

And Ü could be imagined as something between you and I. Ä, Ö, Ü. The last thing to learn today is how to form compound numbers above 20. This is also super easy. Take the terms and simply add the numbers you learned in the previous lesson. Let's try it out. How would you say 56 in German? Let's take it step by step. 50 is 50. 6 is 6. The smaller number comes first and then add und. And in German.

56. 56. 56. It's done. Isn't that easy? Let's make another number, for instance 98, take 8, acht, add end, und, and then 90, neunzig, achtundneunzig, achtundneunzig. Now it's time for Loris Insights. If you're talking about decades in German, like the 80s or the 20s, you just have to add er after the actual number. So you would say achtziga or zwanziga. Here you pronounce G as a G and not as a S, since it doesn't come at the end of the word. Now you can talk about the exciting 80s or golden 20s with your friends. After only two lessons you are now able to count to 100 in German In the next lesson we are going to put your number knowledge to use In the last lesson we learned how to count in German I hope you spend some time practicing the numbers because they will come in handy today We're going to learn how to go shopping in Germany Before we go, you need to know how to say how much is it? Wie viel kostet das? Wie viel kostet das? Are you ready to go shopping in Germany? Let's go! You see something you like and want to ask the shop clerk how much it costs. The first thing to say to the shop clerk is Entschuldigung. Do you remember what Wie viel kostet das?

Entschuldigung, wie viel kostet das? If we want to be more specific when asking how much is this and refer to a certain type of object, we first need to drop the word das. Next, we need to know if the object is a masculine, feminine or neuter object. If it's masculine, add diese when referring to it or diese for a feminine object and dieses for a neuter one and then say the noun for example hat is a masculine noun der Hut Entschuldigung, wie viel kostet dieser Hut? excuse me, how much is this hat? Entschuldigung, wie viel kostet dieser Hut?

And pants is a feminine noun, die Hose. Entschuldigung, wie viel kostet diese Hose? Excuse me, how much is this pair of pants? Entschuldigung, wie viel kostet diese Hose? Finally, book is a neuter noun, das Buch. So you would say Entschuldigung, wie viel kostet dieses Buch? Excuse me, how much is this book? Entschuldigung, wie viel kostet dieses Buch? At this point the shop clerk can answer by saying Das kostet, Das macht, and then the number followed by Euro for example Das kostet 39 Euro Das macht 39 Euro or Das sind 39 Euro What number is 39?

I'm not telling you Ok, ok, it's 39 It costs 39 Euros thirty nine it costs thirty nine euros now it's time for Laura's Insights a quicker way to ask how much is Wie viel? Wie viel? which literally means how much when you ask for a beer at the counter of a bar you can ask the cashier Ein Bier ist wie viel bitte?

how much is one beer please? at this point can you count euros in German? We're going to learn how to do this and much more in the next lesson. I'll be waiting for you in our next Deutsch in drei Minuten lesson. Bis bald!

7 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Beyond Basics: Exploring Advanced German Lessons

Guten Tag! Welcome back to I'm Helena, your personal German language coach. If you've mastered the basics and are ready to delve into the complexities of the German language, you're

Fast-track Your German: A 30-day Plan for Beginners

Hallo and welcome back to This is Helena, your personal guide to the German language. As someone who has helped numerous students achieve their language goals with 1-on-1 online less


bottom of page