Greetings in German

Two persons in suits shake hands.
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Guten Tag

This is the most important formal greeting in German. You can use it throughout the day.

Depending on the time of day, you can also use:

Guten Morgen – until about 11 a.m.

Guten Abend – as of about 6 p.m.

When you greet another person, you offer your hand for a handshake and look them in the eye in a friendly way.




This is how you greet friends, acquaintances and young people. You can also just smile, offer a handshake, or nod to them.

Some people hug or give each other a kiss on the cheek.


Everyday language:




There are lots of different options in everyday language.


You can say this to people you know well and see on a regular basis. It more or less means: "Hello, everything ok with you?" or "Hello, what's up?" The easiest way to respond is to ask the same question back: "Na?"


Regional variations:

In some regions there are particular greetings, such as:

Servus! – especially in Bavaria and Austria, informal

Grüß Gott! – Southern Germany and Austria

Grüezi! – Switzerland

Moin! – Northern Germany