Good Afternoon in German: Exploring Afternoon Slang and Informal Greetings

Elly Kim6 min
Created: Apr 1, 2024Last updated: Apr 3, 2024
Good Afternoon in German

Germans, being as polite as they are, have many different greetings for various parts of the day. Today, we’ll tell you how to say good afternoon in German. You’ll be surprised, but even for this short period, there are quite a lot of expressions. So, whether looking for formal, workplace-friendly phrases or slang words to say to your friends, we’ve got you covered! And without further ado, let’s jump right in.

How to Say Good Afternoon in German: Formal and Informal Phrases

There are several expressions you can use as your afternoon greeting in German. Some of them are quite casual and relaxed, while others are more polite and discreet. Therefore, it is essential to memorize some of both to be prepared for different circumstances. So, how do you say good afternoon in German? Let’s explore some common examples.

  • ​​Guten Tag – [ˈɡuːtn̩ ˈtaːk] – Good afternoon.

This is the go-to phrase for a wide range of situations and is suitable from late morning until early evening. It strikes a perfect balance between formality and universality, making it appropriate for business meetings, formal emails, or any situation where you want to be politely respectful. For example:

Guten Tag, Frau Schmidt, wie geht es Ihnen heute? (Good afternoon, Mrs. Schmidt, how are you today?)

Guten Tag, könnten Sie mir bitte den Weg zum Rathaus erklären? (Good afternoon, could you please explain the way to the city hall?)

  • Guten Nachmittag – [ˈɡuːtn̩ ˈnaχˌmɪtaːk] – Good afternoon.

While less frequently used than the previous one, Guten Nachmittag directly addresses the afternoon time, making your greeting even more specific. It is particularly suitable in formal settings or during particular afternoon events where you want to acknowledge the time of day. For example:

Guten Nachmittag, wir würden gerne über das Projekt sprechen. (Good afternoon, we would like to talk about the project.)

Guten Nachmittag, ist jetzt ein guter Zeitpunkt für unseren Anruf? (Good afternoon, is now a good time for our call?)

  • Hallo – [ˈhalo] – Hello.

This term is a versatile greeting that can be used any time of the day. While not specifically an afternoon greeting, it’s widely used in informal situations among friends, family, or colleagues when a specific time of day acknowledgment isn’t necessary. It’s friendly, casual, and probably one of the first words learners pick up. For example:

Hallo, wie war dein Wochenende? (Hello, how was your weekend?)

Hallo, was machst du später? (Hello, what are you doing later?)

  • Moin – [moːn] – Hi/Hello.

Predominantly used in northern Germany, this is an informal greeting that can be used at any time of the day despite its morning connotations. If you’re in Hamburg or other parts of the north, don’t be surprised to hear it used as another way to say good afternoon! For example:

Moin, alles klar bei dir? (Hi, everything good with you?)

Moin, hast du heute Nachmittag Zeit? (Hi, do you have time this afternoon?)

  • Servus – [ˈsɛʁvʊs] – Hi/Hello.

The last expression on our list is a friendly, informal greeting common in southern Germany, Austria, and parts of Bavaria. It can also be used at any time of the day and reflects a warm, casual manner of addressing others. For example:

Servus, wie geht’s? (Hi, how’s it going?)

Servus, lange nicht gesehen! (Hi, long time no see!)


Slang Greetings for the Afternoon in German

In addition to highly formal and slightly casual expressions, there are some German phrases that are considered very colloquial and even slang. They are only appropriate for use in casual and relaxed settings among friends and peers. So, what does gutentag mean? Now that you know that, it is time to move further and explore some local expressions for your afternoon greetings.

  • Na? – [naː] – Hey?/What’s up?

This is a super casual, almost universal greeting among German speakers that can be used any time of the day but fits perfectly into an afternoon check-in among friends. It’s the equivalent of saying “What’s up?” or “How’s it going?” in English. This greeting is as informal as it gets and usually opens a conversation where both parties are comfortable with each other. For example:

Na, wie läuft’s heute? (Hey, how’s it going today?)

Na, alles klar bei dir? (Hey, everything good with you?)

  • Was geht? – [vas ɡeːt] – What’s going on?

This phrase is another informal, laid-back way of asking someone what they’re up to or how they are throughout the day, afternoon included. This greeting is common among young people and signals a friendly interest in the other person’s current state or plans without being too invasive. For example:

Was geht, hast du heute schon was vor? (What’s going on, do you have plans for today?)

Was geht bei dir dieses Wochenende? (What’s going on with you this weekend?)

  • Tach! – [tax] – Hi!

What is good afternoon in German? Like the English greeting, this expression consists of two words – Guten (good) and Tag (day). “Tach” is a shortened, slangy version of “Tag.” It’s a casual greeting that can be used any time but fits nicely into an afternoon context. For example:

Tach, lange nicht gesehen! (Hi, long time no see!)

Tach, wie war dein Tag bis jetzt? (Hi, how has your day been so far?)

Learning German Good Afternoon Greetings and More with Promova

Greetings are probably one of the first things language learners memorize when starting their studying journey. And there is no wonder why – it is an essential part of any language, allowing one to make a good first impression when communicating with native speakers. However, to be able to maintain the conversation, it is essential to focus on other skills, like expanding vocabulary or practicing pronunciation. And with Promova, mastering these and other language skills has never been easier!

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Within the app, you can access dozens of engaging and useful materials created by language professionals to simplify your learning. Here, you can master speaking, listening, writing, and reading, practice pronunciation, learn useful words and phrases, and do other things essential for fluency. Moreover, in addition to German, you can learn many other languages, including English, Spanish, French, Korean, Arabic, and more.

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To sum up, we can state that memorizing how to say good afternoon in German is essential for language learners. It is a great way to enrich your vocabulary, allowing you to sound more fluent when communicating with locals. We hope that, with the help of today’s article, you’ll memorize some new phrases for your casual and formal conversations.


Is it appropriate to say Guten Tag during the day?

Absolutely! This phrase is versatile, so you can use it from the morning til the evening. However, if you want to be more time-specific, you can choose some other German phrases.

Are there any other time-specific German greetings?

Indeed! In German, there are many greeting expressions for different parts of the day. For example, they prefer to say Guten Morgen – [ˈɡuːtn̩ ˈmɔʁɡn̩] in the morning and Gute Nacht – [ˈɡuːtə ˈnaχt] – as a way to say, “Good night.”

Are there regional variations in how people say good afternoon in German?

Yes, although Guten Tag is a phrase that can be understood in almost every German-speaking area, there are some local variations of greetings. For example, in some regions, especially in Southern Germany and Austria, people often say Grüß Gott – [ɡɾˈyːs ɡˈɔt] as a formal daytime greeting.

How can I practice and improve my pronunciation of German afternoon greetings?

Working on your pronunciation of German greetings (or any other phrases) involves a mix of listening, practicing, and getting feedback. Engage with German media, such as movies, TV shows, podcasts, and music. Pay close attention to greetings and try to mimic the intonation and rhythm. Also, remember that practice makes perfect – even spending a few minutes a day can make a significant difference over time.