16 Awesome Ways to Say Hello In German & German Greetings


You may know how to say bye in German but…

How do you say hello in German?

Great question! In this quick lesson (2-3 minute read), you’ll learn the 16 ways and common German greetings.

If you’re a Beginner, this lesson is a perfect way to speak more of this new language. Ready?

Want to learn to read and write in German? Download your FREE Alphabet worksheet here.

1) Hallo – Hello

This is informal. Pronounced as “hah-low.” You can use this with your friends and anyone you know on a close level.

  • Hallo
  • Hello

say hello in german greetings

By the way, you should also HEAR REAL German. So…

Here’s a free Audio lesson so you can hear the German pronunciation from GermanPod101 – a German learning program. Listen along as you read these ways to say Hello in German. Just press the play button below.

Let’s move onto the next common way to say hello in German…

2) Guten Tag – Good day/afternoon

This, my junkies, is formal. If you’re talking to a teacher, this is perfect. Never use “hallo” with them. Now, yes, this does mean and is used as  “hello” but it has some more meanings.

  • Guten Tag
  • Hello
  • Good day/afternoon (literal translation)

say hello in german greetings

Informally, you could say Hallo (hah-low), but if you’re talking to a teacher… You want to be more on the formal side. Say Guten Tag. Never say that to a friend though – because it’s more formal than your dad’s brown suit.

3) Tag – Hey

Now, you can also shorten “Guten tag” to just “tag.” That in itself is a German greeting. Tag literally means “day.” So, think of it a shortened version…. kind of like “G’day

  • Tag
  • Hey

say hello in german greetings

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4)  Alles klar? – What’s up?

Literally, it means “all right? However, this question is commonly used as a greeting. IT’s a way to say “what’s up” or “how’s it going?” Good casual phrase to know. Native germans use this a lot.

  • Alles klar?
  • What’s up?

say hello in german greetings

5) Was geht ab? – What’s up?

This is the direct translation of what’s happening or what’s up in German. However, warning – this is very slangy and used by young people only.

  • Was geht ab?
  • What’s up?

say hello in german greetings

6) Na in German

Use this as a question. Ask… Na? This is the shortest way of asking about someone’s well being. It is a way to say both “hello” and “how are you doing?” Literally it means “well” … like when you’re trying to get an answer out of someone…. “Well?!?” Note: informal.

  • Na?
  • Hello/How are you doing?

say hello in german greetings

7) Guten Morgen – Good Morning

Okay, you know Guten tag means hello in German – as well as good day or good afternoon. Let’s cover the other parts of the day. Obviously, here, morgen means morning. Not so hard. This is a formal phrase, by the way.

  • Guten Morgen
  • Good Morning

say hello in german greetings

8) Guten Abend – Good Evening

You know day and morning. What about 6PM when it’s evening time? Let’s introduce a new word – abend which means evening.

  • Guten Abend
  • Good Evening

say hello in german greetings

9) Gute Nacht – Good Night

What about night? Now…question for you. Do you use good night as a greeting? Maybe a parting greeting rather than one for when you meet someone. However, if you want to know how to say good day, good evening in German… and so on… it’s good to know night. The word is nacht.

  • Gute Nacht
  • Good night

hello in german greetings

10) Wie geht’s?  – How are you?

Another acceptable greeting. However, this is fairly casual. Another acceptable translation of this is… what’s up in German. I’ll give you 4 variations of this question:

  • Wie geht es Ihnen?
    • How are you? Formal
  • Wie geht es dir?
    • How are you? Informal
  • Wie geht’s?
    • How are you? – SUPER Informal
  • Wie geht es euch?
    • How are you? (Plural)
    • Use this when talking to a group of people

say hello in german greetings

11) Grüß Gott – Hello/Good day

Grüß Gott literally means “may God greet you.” Now, this isn’t used too much in Germany (northern Germany)… but go south, say Austria and Bavaria (southern Germany), you will hear it used a lot. It’s used just like guten tag.

  • Grüß Gott
  • Hello/Good day

say hello in german greetings

12) Servus – Hello

What does servus mean? Like Grüß Gott, this is also used in Bavaria and Austria. Same meaning – Hello. However, it’s far more traditional. It can also be used as goodbye.

  • Servus
  • Hello

say hello in german greetings

13) Grüß dich – Hello

What does Grüß dich mean? It means “hello” in Bavaria, Austria and Switzerland. Literally though, it means “greet yourself.” If you’re wondering about the ß, it’s a letter that represents “ss.” Originally, it comes from Grüß dich GottBe blessed (by god).

  • Grüß dich
  • Hello

say hello in german greetings

14) Moin  – Hello

Now.. what does moin mean? It’s a shortened version of moin moin (good morning) and is a greeting in Northern Germany. However, it can be used ALL DAY LONG as a greeting. So, not just mornings.

  • Moin
  • Hello

say hello in german greetings

15) Moin Moin – Good morning

Yep, this means good morning in Northern Germany so be mindful of where you use it.

  • Moin moin
  • Good morning

say hello in german greetings

16) Jo! – Yo!

Can you guess what Jo is? It’s Yo! Yo is a common greeting among young people around the world. America. The UK. Even Japan. And Germany’s no different. So keep in mind – this is a super casual phrase to use. It’s slang.

  • Jo!
  • Yo!

hello in german greetings


Now you know the top 16 ways to say hello in German. In other words, you know a lot of German greetings!

So, take this lesson…

  • Review often: success comes from REPETITION
  • Print it out to have physical study material (i do it all the time)
  • Read out loud to practice speaking
  • Review the free audio lesson

And did I miss any ways of how to greet or say hello in German? Leave me a comment, you. Yes you. I read them all!

– Written by the Main Junkie

P.S. I highly recommend this for German learners. If you REALLY want to learn to German with effective lessons by real teachers – Sign up for free at GermanPod101 (click here) and start learning!

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Around Frankfurt “coos coos” is used as a greeting.


Thank You for sharing such an amazing knowledge with us. I really loved how you perfectly differentiated how we should use all the greetings according to the place, time etc. Loved it.

oscar baraka

Nice to meet you guys. I am a Tanzanian i wanna learn german can i get your contacts?

Patricio Leñan

Ta te weno cabros toy rayando la papa con el deutsch, así que alles gute! Danke chön