How to greet in German

Learning to greet in a language is part of the ABC that we should have engraved in the mind from the beginning, even if we only know four basic words. After all, it will almost always be the first thing we say when we want to address someone. So if you want to know how to say hello in German, here is a list of the most used expressions.

Steps to follow:


Formal greetings

  • Wie geht is Ihnen ?: How are you?
  • Ich grüße Sie: I welcome you
  • Willkommen: welcome (s)
  • Herzlich Willkommen: welcome (s) of heart


Informal greetings

  • Hallo: hello
  • Grüß dicht: hello (informal greeting in southern Germany, Austria and Switzerland).
  • Moin: regional form used in the north of Germany.
  • Grüß Gott: literally like "God bless you", although increasingly disused. It is used as a greeting in southern Germany.
  • Wie geht's ?: How are you?
  • Mahlzeit !: is used to say hello at lunchtime.
  • Morgen! / Abend! / Tag !: Good! (depending on the time).


Say hello depending on the time Educated expressions are considered:

  • Guten Tag: good morning (until about 5pm).
  • Guten Morgen: good morning (until 10 o'clock).
  • Guten Abend: good afternoon (from 5pm).
  • Schöne Abend noch: good night.
  • Gute nacht: good night.



  • Auf wiedersehen (formal).
  • Tschüss (informal).
  • Servus (informal, used in southern Germany and Austria).