How to say hello in German correctly? Does the greeting depend on the time of day and the region? How to say hello in a formal environment? Let us explain simply and in-detail!

How to say hello in German? It may seem simple to say “hallo” in German, but there are many variations and features of the greeting. We’ll explore the most interesting ones together in this article!

The German way of greeting is an important part of the conversation! The first impression of a person is often based on the greeting. Today, let’s talk about the German system of greeting words and expressions: simply about complicated!

Although the culture of communication is changing and the strict rules have been relaxed, Germans are still formal with people from other countries and with each other.

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This becomes evident when we look at the variations of German greetings, which vary both by the time of day they are used and by the different regions where they are in use.

FACT: In Bavaria and southern Germany it is common to say: Grüß Gott! And in Berlin one often hears: Schönen Tag!

In the morning you should use:
Guten Morgen“, or simply “Morgen“, that is, “Good morning.”

Or the universal phrase:
Guten Tag“, which means “Hello“. “Guten Tag” also means “Good afternoon,” so it can be used throughout the day.

FACT: By the way, the day in the German worldview system usually begins at 12:00

After about six p.m., Germans greet each other with the phrase:
Guten Abend“, that is, “Good evening.”
Gute Nacht“, “Goodnight”, is used either when saying goodbye at the end of the evening or when one actually goes to bed.

There is another greeting:
Grüß dich“, literally “I greet you“. This phrase is mostly used by young people.

There are different regional variations of German greetings. For example, in Austria and southern Germany, “Grüß Gott” is used as a greeting.
Grüß Gott“, literally “greet God.” And then there’s “Servus!“, literally “hello.”

When in doubt about which phrase to use in a given situation, you can always say
Hallo“, “hello”.

FACT: It is always better to start with a more formal address and gradually move to a less formal one, if you feel that the person you are talking to does not mind.

Because Germans pay great attention to formality, they use titles all the time. When addressing someone who is not your friend, always use words such as Herr, Frau, Dr (“Sir,” “Madam,” “Doctor”) in combination with their last name – Herr, Frau, Dr Schmidt.

A little bit about goodbyes

For goodbyes, a range of expressions can also be used, varying depending on the status of your interlocutor. If the situation is formal, you could say “Auf Wiedersehen”, “goodbye”, literally: “until we see each other again”. In friends or informal situations, you can use “Bis bald“, “See you soon”, “Tschüss“, “Bye” or “Sehen wir uns” – “See you”.

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