15+ Amazing Ways to Say How Are You in German

Bodhi Ramos8 min
Created: May 23, 2024Last updated: May 27, 2024
How Are You in German

What’s up, buttercup? This is one of our favorite ways to ask how are you in English. But what about other languages? The truth is, there are actually a handful of expressions in each tongue. Some are more formal, while others are great in their simplicity. Today, we’ll tell you how to say how are you in German. And let’s start!

Saying How Are You in German: Common Polite Expressions

If you’re just starting to learn German, the safest option would be to focus on more polite and even widespread phrases. This way, you’ll be able to communicate with anyone, whether strangers, superiors, or peers. Make sure to accompany your how are you doing in German expressions with a polite smile and friendly attitude, and you are all good to start a small talk.

  • Wie geht es Ihnen? – [ˈviː ɡeːt ɛs ˈiːnən] – How are you?

This one is for those who want to play safe. It is the most versatile and polite expression. You can use it absolutely anywhere, and you’ll still sound appropriately. 

  • Wie befinden Sie sich? – [ˈviː bəˈfɪndən ziː zɪç] – How are you feeling?

If you want to sound even more polite, pay attention to this expression. Although it is a bit old-fashioned, it is still widely used in formal circumstances. 

  • Wie geht es dir heute? – [ˈviː ɡeːt ɛs diːɐ̯ ˈhɔʏtə] – How are you today?

This expression is another great way to say how are you today in German. It is polite enough to use with strangers, although you still need to be aware of the context.

  • Wie ist es dir ergangen? – [ˈviː ɪst ɛs diːɐ̯ ɛɐ̯ˈɡaŋən] – How have you been?

This one is an informal way to ask someone how they have been doing, typically over a longer period. It’s appropriate for catching up with friends or acquaintances you haven’t seen in a while.

  • Wie geht es euch? – [ˈviː ɡeːt ɛs ɔʏç] – How are you (plural)?

If you need to say hello how are you in German to a group of people, this should be your go-to choice. It works especially well in conversations with close friends or family members.

  • Was macht die Arbeit? – [vas maxt diː ˈaʁbaɪt] – How is work?

This one is a great way to start a small talk with someone you know. Because it will be weird to ask strangers about their job, right? 

Wie Geht’s and More: Popular Informal Expressions

After dealing with formal phrases, it’s time to have some fun and relax. And the best way to do it, in the context of today’s article, is by memorizing casual expressions to ask someone about their well-being in German. So, how can you do it?

  • Wie geht’s? – [ˈviː ˈɡeːts] – How’s it going?

If you’re planning on going to Germany, keep this expression in mind. It is informal yet polite and probably one of the most common ways to say ‘How are you?’. It works well for interactions with both friends and strangers.

  • Was gibt es Neues? – [vas ɡɪpt ɛs ˈnɔʏəs] – What’s new?

Unlike the previous one, this phrase is only suitable for conversations with people you know. Yet, it is also quite widespread, and locals use it on a daily basis.

  • Alles ok? – [ˈaləs oˈkeː] – Everything okay?

If a person seems off and you want to ask them about it, don’t hesitate and choose this expression. It is an informal way to find out whether they are alright or not without being too persistent.

  • Geht’s dir gut? – [ˈɡeːts diːɐ̯ ɡuːt] – Are you doing well?

It is a slang variation of a Wie gehts dir phrase you are already familiar with. It is a bit more colloquial than the previous one, but it is also used to ask a person whether everything is okay or not.

  • Gut geschlafen? – [ɡuːt ɡəˈʃlaːfən] – Slept well?

This one works wonders in the morning when you see someone who has just woken up. It is used in more casual settings, like interactions with family members or peers.

  • Alles klar bei dir? – [ˈaləs klaːɐ̯ baɪ̯ diːɐ̯] – Everything alright with you?

Once again, if you see a person seeming to feel not-so-good, don’t hesitate to use this informal expression.

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

If you feel like asking Wie gehts es dir is a bit too long, don’t worry! Use this shortened slang expression instead. It is a German equivalent of the English “What’s up?”

  • Was läuft? – [vas lɔɪ̯ft] – What’s up?

This one conveys almost the same expression as the previous one, and it is also very informal. It is mostly used by younger generations to interact with close friends or siblings.

  • Wie geht’s, wie steht’s? – [ˈviː ˈɡeːts, ˈviː ˈʃteːts] – How’s it going?

It’s almost like “What’s up, buttercup,” but in German. It is an overly casual and funny expression, so make sure you won’t use it in any formal interactions.

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How You Doing in German: How to Respond?

The ability to ask someone how they are doing won’t get you far if you don’t know how to respond to such questions. But don’t worry! There are numerous options, and we’ve compiled them for you. And yeah, we’ve made sure to include various phrases, not just the ones you can use in a good mood.

  • Mir geht’s gut, und dir? – [miːɐ̯ ɡeːts ɡuːt, ʊnt diːɐ̯] – I’m good, and you?

Clear and simple. This one is polite and casual, so you don’t have to worry about its appropriateness. Just make sure to look friendly and sincere, and you are good to go.

  • Ich fühle mich großartig, danke! – [ɪç ˈfyːlə mɪç ˈɡʁoːsˌʔaːʁtɪç ˈdaŋkə] – I feel great, thanks!

If you feel quite enthusiastic and want to share your feelings with your interlocutor, try this phrase! It is friendly and casual, and it perfectly demonstrates your positive vibe.

  • Es könnte schlimmer sein – [ɛs ˈkœntə ˈʃlɪmɐ zaɪ̯n] – It could be worse.

Well, this one works well when you feel a bit “meh.” It implies that nothing terrible (luckily) happened, but you are also not in the mood to be too cheerful.

  • Nicht schlecht, danke, und selbst? – [nɪçt ʃlɛçt ˈdaŋkə, ʊnt zɛlpst] – Not bad, thanks, and you?

Here’s another great response for you when you feel neutral. It is amazing for small talk or interactions with strangers, especially when you don’t feel like sharing some personal insights.

  • Ich bin ein bisschen müde, aber gut, danke! – [ɪç bɪn aɪ̯n ˈbɪsçən ˈmyːdə ˈaːbɐ ɡuːt ˈdaŋkə] – I’m a bit tired, but good, thanks!

When someone asks, “Was macht die Arbeit?” (How’s work?) you can always respond using this expression. It is a polite and relaxed way to inform about your well-being and reciprocate the question.

  • Mir geht’s heute nicht so besonders – [miːɐ̯ ɡeːts ˈhɔʏtə nɪçt zo bəˈzɔndɐs] – I’m not doing particularly well today.

We all have some bad days, and it is perfectly fine! Yet, you need to know how to articulate your feelings, especially if you want your interlocutor to know about them. In that case, look for this expression!

  • Ich kann mich nicht beklagen – [ɪç kan mɪç nɪçt bəˈklaːɡən] – I can’t complain.

The last answer for today is positive and neutral. When you feel alright but don’t want to overshare, go ahead and use this expression.

Learning to Say How Are You in Germany with Promova

German, like any other language, consists of many distinct features. It includes not only basic grammar rules and vocabulary words but also regional variations, slang expressions, and many other vital things. So, if you’re aiming to master it, you need to focus on all the components, not only the most obvious ones. 

If you are just starting your journey, it might be a bit confusing. But you don’t have to worry! Here at Promova, we’ve got you covered. Our platform is a one-stop solution for anyone aiming to master a foreign language. With a convenient Promova application, you can easily access all the essential features needed for efficient learning. But what are they, exactly?

  1. Engaging lessons created by language professionals. We try our best to make our classes not only useful but fun, making sure you get the most pleasant experience.
  2. Bite-sized learning to avoid tons of overwhelming materials. We know how hard it might be to comprehend all the language nuances, so we ensure you focus only on those things that really matter.
  3. The convenience and accessibility of the app allow you to study literally in any circumstance. Standing in traffic? Check out the Promova! Lying in bed, bored? Spend a few minutes learning! No matter where you are, you can use our application and become one step closer to your goals.
  4. The variety of languages you can access within the app allows you to try several options at once and decide which one you want to more. German, English, French, Arabic, and many more tongues are available.

The best thing is that you can even practice several languages at the same time, making it even more convenient. Whatever your current level is, you can definitely find something useful within the Promova app. So, there is no need to hesitate! Install the application today and reach your language learning goals!

Conclusion

As you can see, there are plenty of different ways to say ‘How are you’ in German. Of course, you don’t have to learn them all for starters. However, to be prepared for different circumstances, make sure to memorize at least a few of the options from today’s article. This way, you’ll feel more comfortable and confident and will be able to easily communicate with others regardless of the given context.

FAQ

Are there any regional variations of saying how are you in German?

Since German is spoken in various countries, there are several versions of some expressions, even the simplest greetings. In most cases, the difference lies in the pronunciation. For example, in Bavaria, someone might say, “Wie geht’s dir?” in a very distinct Bavarian accent, “Wia geht’s da?”

Can I use these expressions as a way to say “Hello” without maintaining the conversation?

Well, it depends. Such phrases can sometimes be used more as a greeting rather than an invitation for a detailed conversation. However, it is generally courteous to listen to the response, even if brief. In more formal or professional settings, it’s expected to engage in the conversation and not just use the question as a greeting.

Can I mix formal and informal phrases in the same conversation?

Actually, it is better to stick to one level of formality throughout a conversation. However, if you are talking to a stranger, for instance, you can start with more formal phrases and then, depending on the interaction, switch to a casual tone.

How do I know when to switch from informal to formal language in German?

It depends on several factors. For starters, make sure that in professional settings, you’ll always start with formal language, regardless of the person you’re talking to. Use the same tone with people you don’t know well, superiors, or just older people. In some German-speaking regions, locals might be more formal and take longer to switch to informal language, while in others, they might switch more quickly. Make sure to observe and adapt to local customs.

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