Basic German phrases

This free German language lesson is not to be missed - just a few minutes with the Rocket German team and you'll know a range of basic German phrases to use when socializing with German people.

Maybe you want to blend in with the locals or perhaps you need to apologize! Either way, these common German expressions are essential for your German survival kit. Try to use these words in your daily life and it will help you to remember them – it won’t hurt your friends and family to learn a little German too!

Here are some of the most basic German sentences to get you started. Further on in this lesson we will look at the pronunciation of these and more German sentences.

  • Alles Gute! - All the best!
  • Herzliche Grüße an… - Best wishes to...
  • Herzlichen Glückwunsch! -  Congratulations!
  • Herzlich Willkommen! - Welcome!
  • Mein Beileid! - With sympathy!
  • Alles Gute zum Geburtstag! - Best wishes on your birthday!
  • Gesundheit! - Bless you!
  • Schöne Ferien! - Have a nice vacation!
  • Frohe Ostern! - Happy Easter!
  • Frohe Weihnachten! - Merry Christmas!

How to pronounce basic German phrases

Sparkling wine in German

Let’s review how to apologize again. The easiest way to apologize in German is to say…

Or in a more casual way…

You could also say…

A very polite, but less common way of apologizing in German is to say…

If someone stepped on your toes and apologized you might want to say…

That’s it for today’s lesson.

Why not check out some more lessons on German phrases next?

Bis bald!

Paul Weber
Paul Weber
Rocket German


Test yourself with the Rocket German testing tools! Improve your knowledge of German!

Note that the tests below are listed from easiest to hardest.

Hear It Say It!

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Improve your understanding of spoken German. With Hear it Say it! you can tune your ear to German, increase your vocabulary and improve your pronunciation at the same time! Ready?

  • Click the Get Started button below
  • LISTEN to the audio (and touch up your pronunciation with Rocket Record if you like; Chrome/Firefox/Edge desktop browsers only)
  • Click REVEAL to see the word/phrase and see the translation
  • Just click your RATING to continue

See how many words you've rated at each level below. Just click on the number below each rating to review your words and phrases.

Write It!

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Write it! helps you to improve your written German and your understanding of sentence structures. Just listen to the audio and type in what you hear!

  • Click the Get Started button below
  • LISTEN to the audio
  • WRITE down, in German, what you hear
  • Click REVEAL to see the word/phrase and see the translation
  • Your answer will be automatically RATED, just click the rating to continue


Click the keyboard icon for a German keyboard

Know It!

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Know it! tests you on your ability to translate English to German! Ready?

  • Click the Get Started button below
  • READ the word/phrase
  • RECORD yourself saying it in German (Chrome/Firefox/Edge desktop browsers only)
  • Click REVEAL to see the word/phrase in German and listen to the German audio

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