How do you learn the most important German words: Is it possible to build up your vocabulary quickly and efficiently, or is it just a dream? How do you even know which are the most important words and where to find them all? The answers are in our today’s article!

Do you know the Pareto principle? It says that “20% of effort yields 80% of the result, and the remaining 80% of effort yields only 20% of the result.” In other words, by choosing the right minimum of the most important actions, you can quickly obtain a significant part of the planned full result.
How do we apply this to learning German? Very simple!

To understand 70-80% of German texts you need to know… only 500 words!

This means that if you learn the 500 most common German words, you can read and understand a large proportion of non-specialised (general) texts in German with ease. These are all very basic words and it is not necessary to learn highly specialized or slang words or terms in the beginning. In the meantime, let’s learn words that you would normally use in your mother tongue in everyday life.

Where can you find those 500 words all at once? Don’t panic – we’ve got them all ready! Let’s start with the first top 100 most used German words, which we have gathered alphabetically for your convenience. It would be great to start learning (or repeating) them today.

So, here we go! The first hundred:


alle – all
alt – old
an – to, at
auf – on
das Auto – car


bin – [1st person singular of the verb “to be – sein”]
bleiben – to stay
brauchen – to need
bringen – bring


die Chance – chance
die Chemie – chemistry
das Café – café


dann – afterwards
denken – to think
dürfen – to be able to (have permission)


ein – one
er – he
erzählen – to tell
essen – to eat


fahren – to ride
finden – to find
die Frau – woman


ganz – whole, quite
geben – to give
gehen – to go
groß – big
gut – good


haben – to have
halten – to hold
die Hand – hand
hat – [3rd person singular of the verb “haben”].
das Haus – house
helfen – to help
hoch – high
hören – to hear
holen – to fetch
der Hund – dog


ich – I
im = in dem – in
immer – always
in – in
ist – is


ja – yes
das Jahr – year
jetzt – now
der Junge – boy


kaufen – to buy
das Kind – child
klein – small
können – to be able to
kommen – to come
kurz – short


lang – long
lassen – to let
laufen – to run
legen – to put
lesen- to read
die Leute- people
liegen- to lie down


machen- to make
das Mädchen- a girl
der Mann – man
mein – my
mit – with
müssen – to be due
die Mutter – mother


neu – new
nicht – not
noch – yet


sagen – to speak
schnell – fast
schön – beautiful
die Schule – school
sind – [1st person plural of the verb “sein”]
sitzen – to sit
spielen – to play
stehen – to stand
stellen – to put up
die Straße – street
die Stunde – hour


der Tag – day
das Tier – animal
tragen – to wear
tun – to do


die Uhr – watch
und – and


der Vater – father
viel – many
voll – full
vor – in front of


warten – to wait
das Wasser – water
was – what
der Weg – the way, the road
weiter – further
wieder – again
wir – us
wo – where
wollen – to want


die Zeit – time

We have deliberately dropped most of the word forms and articles (eine, einem, einen, einer etc.) from this list, leaving only the most important ones. In this way, we have tried to make this top 100 as useful as possible.

Help yourself: write out these words and then say them out loud several times, because visual and auditory memory work well together. You can also make vocabulary cards and put them in prominent places or on appropriate objects. Don’t forget to make sure to repeat words that you have already learned.

It is important to note that nouns should always be taught with an article, and verbs need to be memorised in all three forms.
Good luck!

Give my Telegram channel a follow
& receive your daily dose of German

Do you want to get your German language learning planner?

Dive into a World of German Mastery with Leo.  Over 7500 enthusiasts  are already  unlocking the secrets  to fluency with our  tailored strategies, tips, and now, the German language learning planner.  Secure yours today  and  transform your language  journey with me!

You May Also Like