Quick beginner’s guide: 21 ways to say THANK YOU in German (2022)

Quick beginner’s guide: 21 ways to say THANK YOU in German (1)

Introduction

If you are wondering how to say ‘thank you’ in German, you’ve come to the right place.

Whatever the situation, it is always a good gesture to appreciate when someone does something good.

Germans, in particular, are very courteous and do expect a similar turn of courtesy from you.

I will therefore not only help you with knowing how to say ‘thank you’ in German, but I will also teach you how to respond and say ‘you are welcome’ in German in a way that makes the other person smile.

Let’s begin with the basic thank you in German translation

Danke is the most basic form to say ‘thanks’ in German

Whether you are in a formal or informal setting, ‘danke’ is the ‘one fits all’ solution.

Here are some instances when you could use it:

  • When you receive a compliment
  • When your friend does you a favour
  • When someone offers you something
  • When the host turns off the wi-fi

The last example is, of course, an ironic reaction. In that situation you can also say: ‘Na, schönen Dank auch!’ (pronounced in an ironic voice).

The point is, don’t think too hard. If you like what someone has done, just say ‘danke’.

By the way, if the person you are talking about is not with you here’s how to say he or she in German.

In addition, you may also want to check out how to say we and they in German so you know how to use the personal pronouns in their plural.

If you however don’t want to learn all that grammar, here’s how you can learn German without grammar.

That said, here are more ways to say thank you in German

Quick beginner’s guide: 21 ways to say THANK YOU in German (2)

Variations of the expression thank you in German

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Vielen Dank!

This basically means thanks a lot.

Danke sehr!

Sehrmeans very.

Like you could say “Ich bin sehr hungrig.” – I’m very hungry.

Danke sehrtherefore means thank you very much.

Danke im Voraus!

If someone promises to do something for you or offers you something, you could respond with ‘danke im Voraus’ which means ‘thank you in advance’.

Now you’re probably wondering why I capitalized the word ‘Voraus’.

This is because even though it’s an adverb, in this case it becomes a noun and therefore must be capitalized.

Danke schön!

This means thank you kindly.

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It may be a bit formal than the conventional danke, but you could use it in any occasion to add some spice to your German!

Remember: Do not translate German to English word for word, because the structure is different. What you need is to develop a feel for the language by listening to it in an actual conversation, and your brain will store the structure, words and meaning naturally.

To show you what I mean, here is an easy and basic vocabulary lesson to see how the German language structure differs from English.

After that basic lesson, you can run a quick check of this funny TPRS German lesson to learn a bit more and get a feel of some good ‘ol German humour.

How to say a heartfelt thank you in German

Quick beginner’s guide: 21 ways to say THANK YOU in German (3)

Sometimes, a simple ‘thank you’ is not enough.

Let’s say for example, your friend stepped down for you in the sports team because he/she felt that you were a better player, but you were not selected for whatever reason.

Would it be enough to say a plain ‘thank you’?

Maybe not.

If that is the case then you may want to use either of the following:

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Herzlichen Dank!

The heart knows best, does it?

The German word for heart is Herz, and so when you want to attribute your gratitude as coming from the heart, you can use herzlichen Dank.

You may also think of it as ‘heartfelt thanks’.

Here are a few more basic German words you’d benefit from knowing, because these are what you’d encounter on a daily basis

Besten Dank!

Whenever you see the German word beste, besten, bestesetc., always think of the term ‘best’.

For instance, das beste Automeans the best car while die beste Schulemeans the best school.

Besten Danktherefore generally means the best of thanks.

…if you are wondering why the articles changed for school and car, you can learn more about the German definite articles, der die dashere.

When you want to be formal

In some places such as at work or when you meet with people you respect, you do not want to sound too casual.

Sounding too formal will not only maintain the respect, it will also make the said people to like you and treat you in a kind way.

In that case, some of the phrases to use include:

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Vielen herzlichen Dank!

We have already seen that herzlichen Dankmeans heartfelt thanks, and so vielen herzlichen Dankmeans many heartfelt thanks.

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Recht herzlichen Dank!

It’s more or less the same as vielen herzlichen Dankjust a tad more formal.

Tausend Dank!

In German, tausendis a thousand, and so tausend Dankmeans a thousand thanks.

It could be used to appreciate a host after a formal party or when your senior does you a huge favor.

Vielen Dank für alles!

This basically means thanks a lot for everything.

It could fit in the above situation, but mostly, it is used when someone has done a series of things or helped in many ways to the completion of an event, especially a formal one.

Ich bedanke mich!

This means I offer my thanks.

Think of someone who offers you a ride. What do you say when you get to your destination? This phrase would be quite ideal for such circumstances.

Herzliches Dankeschön!

Another heart!

This phrase means ‘kind thanks from the heart’, and now we have enough hearts to move to the next section.

But before we move on, I would like to tell you not to overthink it.

All these forms are interchangeable and appropriate, and the best way to internalize them is to learn the German language naturally.

How to use the formal version with appropriate pronouns

The right formal pronoun for ‘you’ isSie/Ihnenwhile for ‘your’ its Ihre/Ihren.

Remember, formal versions of the pronouns are encouraged when you do not know someone very well.

That means that unless you are speaking to children, friends or family members, you should use formal pronouns when you want to say thank you in German.

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For example:

Ich danke Ihnen!

This means basically thank you, but you can add sehrto create emphasis.

This way it becomes Ich danke Ihnen sehr!which means thank you very much.

Haben Sie vielen Dank!

This simply means ‘I give you many thanks.’

s

You may also want to check out these other pages:

>>> 12 uncommon ways to say goodbye in German

>>>How to say excuse me in German

>>>How to say cheers in German

>>> How to say YES in German

>>> How to say NO in German

>>> How to say GOOD NIGHT in German

>>> How to say STOP in German (9 alternative ways)

If you want to be more elaborate and go beyond just the usual Danke, then you can add fürafter it.

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Danke für Ihre Hilfe.
Thanks for your help.

Danke für Ihre Aufmerksamkeit.
Thank you for your attention.

Danke für Ihre Unterstützung.
Thank you for your support.

Herzlichen Dank für Ihre Einladung.
Thank you very much for your invitation.

Vielen herzlichen Dank für Ihren Anruf.
Thank you very much for calling (telephone).

Ich danke Ihnen für das schöne Geschenk.
Thank you for the beautiful gift.

Ich danke Ihnenfür die schöne Zeit.
Thank you for the wonderful time.

Ich danke Ihnenfür den schönen Abend.
Thank you for the nice evening.

How to use the informal version with appropriate pronouns

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Using the above example, if the situation was informal then you would have used dir (you) and deine/deinen (your).

That way, the sentences would be:

  • Ich danke dir!
  • Ich danke dir sehr!
  • Hab’ vielen Dank!
  • Danke für deine Mühe.
  • Danke für deine Hilfe.
  • Vielen Dank für deinen Anruf.
  • Ich danke dir für das schöne Geschenk.
  • Ich danke dir für die schöne Zeit.
  • Ich danke dir für den schönen Abend.

s

Are you confused and unsure when to use the correct pronouns?

Don’t worry if this makes your head spin.

German grammar usually does that.

The good thing is that with my method and German lessons you can learn naturally and you won’t have to memorize any of that.

… but back to more ways of saying thank you in German.

You are welcome in German

How to respond when someone says thanks in German

Just as with German grammar, the response you give depends on whether the situation is formal or casual, and also the form of ‘thank you’ used.

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But don’t think too hard. It’s really simple, because all you have to do is determine what phrase was used and then use the appropriate response.

And what are the appropriate responses?

When someone says danke, the standard response is bitte.

This normally means ‘please’, but within the context of responding to a ‘thank you’, it means ‘you’re welcome’.

If instead they say danke schön, then you should reply by saying bitte schön.

But if they on the other hand say danke sehr, you should likewise say bitte sehr.

All these mean ‘you’re welcome’.

But what would you say if someone used a formal ‘thank you?’

Slightly more formal responses to thank you in German includes:

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Nichts zu danken!

When for instance you do a good job and your superior thanks you for it, you may say nichts zu danken, which means you’re welcome or rather ‘nothing to thank for’.

This is appropriate to show humility or to state that what you did was your duty and so you were just playing your part.

It is also a response that is considered very courteous.

Gern geschehen!

When you do someone a favor and they thank you for it, you can say gern geschehento mean ‘done gladly’, ‘it’s my pleasure’ or again ‘you’re welcome’.

It’s also very courteous and friendly and though it’s mostly used in formal occasions, you can use it casually too.

Keine Ursache!

A variation of nichts zu danken.

Keine Ursachetranslates to ‘no reason to mention it’.

For instance your friend may drop an item and you pick it up for them, and when they say ‘thank you’, you can just smile and say keine Ursache.

You will also hear the casual:

Kein Problem!

Keinmeans in this case ‘no’, and so kein Problemmeans ‘no problem’.

It is however, not limited to ‘thank you’.

It can also be used in a normal conversation to say, ‘sure’.

For instance, I may askif you could help me learn German, and you could respond by saying, Na klar, kein Problem.

Go on and make your friends envy you!

Now that you know the above phrases, go ahead and be the envy of your friends.

As they all exhaust the common danke, you will be able to pull out many versions and they will wonder how you’re doing it.

To take it even a notch higher, you should check out these 45 unique ways to say good morning in German so you have a lot more to say when everyone else is stuck with guten morgen.

You may also want to know the difference between the German words gern and gerne or denn vs dann.

But if you don’t want to learn one grammar lesson after another, you don’t have to.

You can learn all this without taking a single grammar lesson, and I call it learning the smart way.

I have taught German to over 20000 international students and over 16000 have benefitted from learning the smart way.

You too can learn the smart way if you sign up here.

FAQs

What is the German response to thank you? ›

When someone says danke, the standard response is bitte. This normally means 'please', but within the context of responding to a 'thank you', it means 'you're welcome'. If instead they say danke schön, then you should reply by saying bitte schön.

How do we write thank you very much in German * 1 point? ›

3. Danke Sehr! – Thank you very much!

How do Germans show gratitude? ›

So we know that saying "danke" is the most common way in the German language to show your gratitude to other people.

Is it Bitte and thank you please? ›

We say “Bitte” (Please).

The German word bitte means so much more than “please” or “you're welcome.” In some ways, it's a go-to word like “pardon.”

Does Bitte Schon mean please? ›

Bitte and Bitteschön

While you can't use bitteschön to mean “please”, you can use it to mean “here you go”, “go ahead” and “you're welcome”.

What are the 4 extra letters in German? ›

While many say that the German alphabet has 26 letters just like English, there are also four additional letters in the German language: ä, ö, ü and ß. If you count these, this brings the count up to 30 letters.

Why do Germans say ah so? ›

Achso is a combination of ach which is generally translated as “oh”, or “alas” if you're feeling fancy, and so, which has a number of translations, including “so”, “right! ' and “yeah?”. The term ach so is used to express understanding.

What is ABCD in German? ›

In German, the letters of the Alphabet are pronounced like this, and can be spelt phonetically as such: A = ah. B = bay. C = tsay. D = day.

Why do Germans say danke schon? ›

- Danke is the most basic way to say thanks. - Danke schön, literally "beautiful thanks," and danke sehr ("thanks a lot") are a variation adding a touch of formality to the initial form. - Vielen Dank, or "many thanks," is often used in written and is even more formal than the above.

What is Bitte Danke? ›

“Bitte” can mean “please” but may also mean “you're welcome”. Other words that can make you sound more polite include “danke” which means thank you and “gern” or “gerne” which translates to gladly or with pleasure. “Entschuldigung” is also a very useful word which means excuse me or I'm sorry.

What is Danke schon? ›

In German, the phrase Danke schön is equivalent to the English expressions 'thank you very much' or 'thank you kindly'. The word Danke means 'thanks' and schön means 'pretty', 'lovely', or 'nice'.

How do you show respect in Germany? ›

German Etiquette & Manners
  1. Greetings are formal.
  2. A quick, firm handshake is the traditional greeting.
  3. Titles are very important and denote respect.
  4. Use a person's title and their surname until invited to use their first name.
  5. You should say Herr or Frau and the person's title and their surname.

How do Germans express happiness? ›

Two Words. German Words of the Day: froh and glücklich. Both of these German words essentially express happiness, with some subtle differences: The word froh expresses a somewhat more temporary gladness or relief.

What can Germans be proud of? ›

12 Things Germans Can Be Proud Of
  • Our education system. It's free. ...
  • Being straightforward. Germans don't like to beat around the bush or try to make small talk before getting to the point. ...
  • Beer. ...
  • Our recycling system. ...
  • Bread. ...
  • Feierabend. ...
  • Our public transport system. ...
  • Curing headaches.
23 Jun 2017

Is there a German word for sorry? ›

A simple sorry is enough to acknowledge the mistake. In German, you can say “Entschuldigung” or use the more informal abbreviation “'Tschuldigung”. The English word “Sorry” works, too. You'll hear it a lot, especially among younger people.

Is it Danke or Danka? ›

The easiest and most common way to say thank you in German is “danke” (DAHN-keh).

Is Bitte Schon formal? ›

Bitte schön (“You're very welcome”)

So where Bitte sehr is “very welcome”, Bitte schön is something like “nicely welcome” (which isn't really something you would say in English, but it is meant to convey a particularly polite or kind quality to the welcome). It is at the same formality level as Bitte sehr.

What Wie Gehts means? ›

German phrase

: how goes it? : how is it going? used as a greeting.

What is a Schone? ›

Noun. schone m or f (plural schonen, diminutive schoontje n ) A beauty, beau/belle.

What does Passt Schon mean? ›

Passt schon is a casual expression in German that generally means something is “all right” or “okay.” However, it can be used in different ways. Let's do some examples so you can learn how to use passt schon correctly. In some cases, passt schon can mean “nevermind.” For example, Ich denke…. nee, passt schon.

What does ü mean in German? ›

U-umlaut. A glyph, U with umlaut, appears in the German alphabet. It represents the umlauted form of u, which results in [yː] when long and [ʏ] when short. The letter is collated together with U, or as UE. In languages that have adopted German names or spellings, such as Swedish, the letter also occurs.

What is Ö called in German? ›

The letter o with umlaut (ö) appears in the German alphabet. It represents the umlauted form of o, resulting in [œ] or [ø]. The letter is often collated together with o in the German alphabet, but there are exceptions which collate it like oe or OE.

What is Germany's longest word? ›

1. Kraftfahrzeug-Haftpflichtversicherung (36) Officially recognised by the Duden - Germany's pre-eminent dictionary - as the longest word in German, Kraftfahrzeug-Haftpflichtversicherung is a 36-letter, tongue-tying way of describing a rather, mundane everyday concept: motor vehicle liability insurance.

What is the coolest German word? ›

10 beautiful and memorable German words
  1. Sehnsucht. Amid different definitions, which vary from yearning, desire and/or craving, Sehnsucht is a feeling of longing for something unknown and indefinite. ...
  2. Weltschmerz. ...
  3. Torschlusspanik. ...
  4. Fernweh. ...
  5. Zweisamkeit. ...
  6. Backpfeifengesicht. ...
  7. Feierabend. ...
  8. Reisefieber.
9 Feb 2021

Do Germans say I love you a lot? ›

GERMANS DON'T SAY I LOVE YOU. They have each other's love – sie haben sich lieb. It means less than I love you, which they really save for special occasions. The thing is, this is what you have to realize: the English words “I love you” literally mean less than the German words ich liebe dich.

How do you respond to ist los? ›

The saying is "Vas ist los?" The answer was always "Nicht ist los, alles kaput" (Nothing is happening, everything is broken).

What does ß mean in German? ›

In German orthography, the letter ß, called Eszett (IPA: [ɛsˈtsɛt] ess-TSET) or scharfes S (IPA: [ˌʃaʁfəs ˈʔɛs], lit. "sharp S"), represents the /s/ phoneme in Standard German when following long vowels or diphthongs. The name Eszett combines the names of the letters of ⟨s⟩ (Es) and ⟨z⟩ (Zett) in German.

Is ß the same as ß? ›

Non-English letters, such as from the Greek alphabet, are frequently used in biomedical research while mathematics uses an even wider range of symbols. In this note, the importance of not confusing the German special character, the Eszett (uppercase ẞ; lowercase ß), with the lowercase Greek beta (β), is emphasized.

Is ß A German letter? ›

In German, the letter ß is known as the eszett or scharfes (sharp) S. It's a special character, similar to the German umlaut you're probably used to seeing by now. But unlike those two dots above a, o or u, the eszett is written as a capital B-shaped character with a tail: ß.

How do you respond to Sehr Gut? ›

Mir geht es gut. (I am doing good.) Mir geht es sehr gut. (I am doing very good.)

Does Donka mean thank you? ›

Danka for Thank You, Bitteschön for You're Welcome.

What is Auf Wiedersehen? ›

Interjection. auf Wiedersehen. Used to express farewell. Until we see each other again; goodbye.

How do you use Bitte Schon? ›

bitte schön
  1. (commonly said in answer to danke schön (“thank you very much”); usually not translated into English) don't mention it, not at all, you're welcome.
  2. (commonly said when offering or returning something; usually not translated into English) would you like?, here you are, thank you.

What does Wie bitte? ›

Seriously, the full sentence "I beg your pardon." is most often used, as often with "wie bitte?", to mean "I understood you very well but you just said something I can't believe or didn't want to hear."

How do you respond to Guten Abend? ›

Is it okay to answer "Abend" when somebody says "Guten Abend"? Usually we say 'n Abend (or "Nabend", as it's pronounced as one word) as the short form of "Guten Abend" :) Danke schön!

What does Waltersobchakeit mean? ›

It comes from the movie The Big Lebowski – specifically, it is named after a character in the film called Walter Sobchak. Waltersobchakeit's imaginary meaning is, 'You're not wrong; you're just an asshole'. It's also used when people make up a German-sounding word that doesn't actually exist…

What language is Danke Shay? ›

interjection German. thank you very much.

What do German say before eating? ›

German Mealtime Expressions

Because saying “Guten Appetit” before a meal in German is mandatory. You can also say “zum Wohl” (good health) or “Mahlzeit” (mealtime), particularly at lunch. Another mandatory German saying is the “Prost!” when you clink glasses.

Is eye contact rude in Germany? ›

In Germany, it's considered polite to maintain eye contact almost all the time while talking to another person. This is especially important during business meetings. Eye contact is a sign of attentiveness, and you don't need to be afraid of threatening someone with this.

What is the most famous German saying? ›

1: “Ich kriege so eine Krawatte

And it comes from the pressure you feel in your throat when you get so angry you could scream. Germans use this saying when they find something makes them really angry.

What are some cool German words? ›

10 weird German words
  • Ohrwurm (ear worm) ...
  • Weichei (soft egg) ...
  • Backpfeifengesicht (slap face) ...
  • Erklärungsnot (explanation poverty) ...
  • Purzelbaum (tumble tree) ...
  • Zungenbrecher (tongue breaker) ...
  • Schattenparker (shadow parker) ...
  • Kuddelmuddel (muddled mess)

What are some famous German sayings? ›

10 German expressions everyone should know
  • “Das ist mir Wurst”
  • “Nur Bahnhof verstehen”
  • “Jemandem die Daumen drücken”
  • “Ich glaub mein Schwein pfeift”
  • “Ich glaub' ich spinne”
  • “Fix und fertig sein”
  • “Na?”
  • “Bock haben”
26 Oct 2022

What does Germany love the most? ›

What the Germans Love…
  • Beer. There is no doubt beer is a national passion in Germany. ...
  • Wurst. In Germany, there are sausages of any kind you might imagine. ...
  • Cars. Would you have any doubt whatsoever that the Germans love cars if I told you that the best cars brands in the World are from Germany? ...
  • Sauce. ...
  • Rules. ...
  • To Travel.
18 Feb 2015

What is German weakness? ›

German weaknesses

These were: the lack of productivity of its war economy, the weak supply lines, the start of a war on two fronts, and the lack of strong leadership.

What should I wear in Germany to not look like a tourist? ›

“First and foremost, avoid fanny packs like the plague! Another tip is to not wear sports jerseys or baseball caps from a home sports team. If possible, also avoid wearing clothing from a chain store with large and recognizable logo placements.”

What is the correct response to Danke Schoen? ›

Often you will hear people respond with "Bitte sehr" when you say "Danke schön" to them. It can be "Bitte sehr" or "Bitte schön," and the meanings are nearly identical, as the first phrase literally means "well pleased" and the second means "nicely pleased." They also frequently use the abbreviation "Bitte."

How do you respond to someone saying thank you? ›

Synonyms
  1. you're welcome. phrase. used in reply to someone who has thanked you.
  2. no problem. phrase. ...
  3. not at all. phrase. ...
  4. don't mention it. phrase. ...
  5. it's no bother. phrase. ...
  6. (it's) my pleasure. phrase. ...
  7. it's/that's all right. phrase. ...
  8. it's nothing/think nothing of it. phrase.

How do you respond when someone says thanks? ›

"You're welcome.", "My pleasure.", "No problem." or "No worries." The first two are more formal and the last two are more informal. I hope this helps.

What is the best answer for how are you? ›

The correct response is “Fine, and you?” That's it. Fine and you. Or some variation, like “Good, how about yourself?” Or “Doing fine, and you?”

How do you say thank you meaningfully? ›

Examples:
  1. Thank you again, I really appreciate working with you.
  2. Even though I may not say it all the time, I appreciate all you do.
  3. Thank you again for your support, it made a real difference for me.
  4. Thank you for all that you do.
  5. Thank you!
17 Nov 2021

How do you respond to a humbly compliment? ›

How to Accept a Compliment
  1. “Thank you, it makes my day to hear that.”
  2. “I really put a lot of thought into this, thank you for noticing.”
  3. “Thank you, I really appreciate you taking the time to express that.”
  4. “Thank you, I am happy to hear you feel that way!”
12 Oct 2019

How do you respond to thank you flirty? ›

Flirty reply to thank you
  1. I think you're really attractive.
  2. I know a better way you can thank me.
  3. Sending you kisses.
  4. You are such a darling.
  5. Thank YOU for being gorgeous.
  6. Yes, handsome.
  7. Welcome again and again. (wink)
  8. The pleasure will be yours.
20 May 2022

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