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How Do You Say Thank You in German? 12 Helpful Phrases

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Jun 7, 2019 3:00:00 PM

General Education

 

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When you’re learning a new language, politeness is key. You’re almost guaranteed to make mistakes when speaking, but a lot of the confusion and awkwardness can be smoothed over with a few simple courtesy phrases. In this guide, we explain the most common way to say thank you in German, then give nearly a dozen other ways of expressing thanks so you always have the right phrase to use for every situation. We end with other polite phrases in German that you should know.


The Most Common Way to Say “Thank You” in German

How do you say “thank you” in German? The easiest and most common way to say thank you in German is “danke” (DAHN-keh). Your barista hands you a coffee? “Danke!” Someone holds a door open for you? “Danke!” A friend compliments your outfit? “Danke!”

Danke most directly translates to “thanks” and it’s a great all-purpose word to use whenever you want to give someone a quick “thank you.” Below is a video on how to pronounce danke.

 

 

Other Ways to Say Thanks in German

Danke is the most common way to say thank you in German, but what if you’re looking for something a little more meaningful or formal? German has you covered! There are multiple ways to say thanks in German. Below are two charts of the most common ways of saying thank you. The first chart is informal ways to say thank you (use around friends and people you know), and the second is formal ways to say thank you (for strangers or professional situations).


Informal Ways to Say Thank You in German

English

German

Pronunciation

Best of thanks

Besten Dank

BEST-in DAHNK

I’m thankful to you (speaking to one person)

Ich bin dir dankbar

ish bin DEAR DAHNK-bar

I’m thankful to you (speaking to more than one person)

Ich bin euch dankbar

ish bin oysh DAHNK-bar

Many thanks

Vielen Dank

FEEL-en DAHNK

No, thanks

Nein, danke

nine DAHN-keh

Thanks a million (literally “thousand thanks”)

Tausend Dank

TAU-zent DAHNK

Thank you for...

Danke für...

DAHN-keh fe-ur

Thank you very much

Danke schön/ Danke sehr

DAHN-keh shoon/ DAHN-keh zaer



Formal Ways to Say Thank You in German

English

German

Pronunciation

Have many thanks

Haben Sie vielen Dank

HAHB-in zee FEE-lin DAHNK

I’m thankful to you

Ich bin Ihnen dankbar

ish bin EEH-nun DAHNK-bar

Many thanks for all

Vielen Dank für alles

FEEL-en DAHNK fe-ur ALL-es



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Other Polite German Sayings

Of course, courtesy doesn’t end with just thanking someone; there are many other polite phrases to know. Below is a table of other polite German phrases that are commonly used. You can see that there are multiple ways to say you’re welcome in German. Also notice that the word “Bitte” is very useful to know. It can mean please in German, as well as you’re welcome, pardon, and can I help you.

English

German

Can you help me?

Können Sie mir helfen?

Could you repeat that please?

Könnten Sie das bitte wiederholen?

Excuse me

Entschuldigung

Goodbye (formal)

Auf Wiedersehen

Goodbye (informal)

Tschüss

Good morning

Guten Morgen

Good evening

Guten Abend

How are you?

Wie geht es Ihnen?

No problem

Kein Problem

Please

Bitte (can also mean you’re welcome, pardon, and Can I help you?)

You’re welcome (informal)

Gern

You’re welcome

Gern geschehen

You’re welcome

Bitteschön



Summary: Thank You in German

How do you say thank you in German? It can depend on many factors, such as how formal the situation is and how many people you’re speaking to, but “danke” is the most common way to say thanks in German. If you want to really show your gratitude, “danke schön” is the most common way to say thank you very much in German.

But what about other polite phrases? “Bitte” is the most common way to say please in German, and there are many ways to say you’re welcome in German, including “Gern geschehen” and “Bitteschön.”

 

What's Next?

Interested in learning Japanese, too? Learn how to say "good morning" in Japanese, plus nine other key greetings.

What's the best foreign language to take in high school? If you're wondering which language to study, check out our guide on which foreign language you should learn in school.

Want to say "hello" in other languages? We have a chart of dozens of ways to say hello in different languages. Check it out!

 

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Christine Sarikas
About the Author

Christine graduated from Michigan State University with degrees in Environmental Biology and Geography and received her Master's from Duke University. In high school she scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT and was named a National Merit Finalist. She has taught English and biology in several countries.



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