Can You Complete These Simple German Phrases?

Depending on who you ask, German is considered a difficult language. Or, to put it another way, everyone claims that German is a difficult language to learn. If only there were a list of ten incredibly simple and really useful German phrases that would allow you to handle the most typical everyday scenarios that you might encounter in Germany… Congratulations, since this is exactly what we are offering you!

These ten lines, selected by native German speakers, can help you sound more like a local in no time. Consider these phrases to be your personal toolkit, which you can use to communicate with Germans in a comfortable and real manner without breaking the bank. In fact, when you study German, you may find yourself increasing your chances of falling in love with the language as you progress further along your learning journey. But let’s not give anything away about the happy ending! For the time being, simply have fun: Viel Spaß!

1. That is not my glass of wine.
That is not my beer, to put it bluntly.

In other words, I’m not interested; I don’t care for it.

The fact that Germans adore their beer — and the occasional American IPA or Irish Guinness — is a well-documented fact. Is it possible that the word “love” is inadequate for describing this unique relationship? Beer has emerged as one of the most important cultural products in Germany, and it may well be the sole conversation starter available to every German. In Germany, your choice of beer brand or beer kind reveals a great deal about your personality and character. You are, in a sense, what you consume. The six-pack of beer you bring to a party is even referred to as your “six buddies” because it contains six different kinds of beer (sechs Freunde). As a result, when you claim something is not your beer, you are communicating the message in the most direct manner imaginable that you do not want anything to do with it.

2. Drücken Sie die Daumen in meinen Atem.
To put it another way: Press your thumbs for me!

In other words, wish me luck!

Put your thumbs on the rest of your fingers and see how it feels. Isn’t it very similar to a fist? However, this gesture should not be interpreted as an indicator of violent intent. It’s possible that your best friend is simply “pressing the thumbs” to wish you good luck or to ask you to wish her good luck on your behalf. It’s the German version of crossing one’s fingers and hoping for the best. Congratulations on your success in attempting to decipher the true motive of every fist waved in your direction!

3. Toss some butter into the fish now and then.
Now, butter for the fish, to put it another way.

In other words, get to the point!

Using this statement to ask someone to pass the butter is not just convenient; it is also the key to ending a long and drawn-out diatribe. Simply uttering this sentence will convey to your conversation partner the notion that they need to get right to the topic of the talk. Our facts are essential to us Germans, therefore please deliver them soon!

4. Take a break and have some tea.
Wait and sip your tea, to put it another way.

In other words, just wait and see.

When it comes to expressing both your incapacity to affect a future situation as well as your acceptance of that outcome, this useful phrase may be the most elegant way to say it. Instead of getting stressed out over your test results or the late night bus that hasn’t arrived, you make yourself a cup of tea, metaphorically speaking. The fact that this popular statement was employed largely when drinking tea was considered a cold medicine may be accurate — yet now days, drinking tea is synonymous with blissful enlightenment.

5. Beware of the tiger!
In other words, “Pay Attention!” Alternatively, “Heads up!”

Germans utilize this one-word signal to draw attention in a variety of situations, despite the fact that it is only one word. Do you want to give it a shot? All you have to do is substitute a genuine Achtung! with long lines such as “Be careful, that ice block could collapse at any moment and crush your head,” or “Get out of my way,” or “Listen, someone is about to say something incredibly dumb” with an emotional Achtung! It can be used in conjunction with an infinitive by a more advanced speaker. Is that guy over there causing you any problems? Simply tell him, “Achtung, weitergehen!” and he will comply. He’ll be sure to get a move on, irritated by your street cred and impressed by your authority.

6. The right side is up, while the left side is down.
Right stand, left walk, to put it simply.

Escalators aren’t something we think about very often, and for good reason. They transport us from the subway to the city surface or from the 4th floor of a shopping center to the 5th floor of the same mall. Escalators, on the other hand, are subject to regulations in Germany. If you want to use the escalator at a slow pace, stand on the right side. If you need to get somewhere quickly, walk up the left side of the building past the individuals who are standing there. And if you don’t follow the (until now) unwritten rule, someone might yell that sentence in your ear from behind your back.

7. That was, after all, what was obvious.
That was crystal plain, to put it another way.

Expectations may be a difficult thing to manage: they might be too high, too low, or simply unreasonable. In situations where you anticipate to be dissatisfied — and are ultimately disappointed — this classic German phrase is the ideal answer. In such circumstances, this term provides the tiny consolation of at the very least being able to claim that you were correct.

8. Palim, palim, palim!
Isn’t it true that Germany and humour go together like Döner Kebab and ice cream? Well, believe it or not, these can be used in conjunction with one another.

Dieter Hallervorden’s legendary comedic sketch brought the onomatopoeic terms palim, palim, which refer to someone entering a shop and duplicating the sound of the bell, to the world. In the event that you walk into a German shop and are ignored, try drawing attention to yourself. Try saying, “Achtung! Palim, palim!” if you’re feeling courageous.

9. After all, we are not made of sugar.
We are not formed of sugar, to put it another way.

Don’t be a wimp, as the saying goes. You will not be harmed by the rain!

Your friend Anna has some legitimate concerns: it’s pouring, yet you want to go for a walk without an umbrella, so she’s skeptical. Describe your strategy for convincing your doubtful friend that she will be alright. This lovely and useful German phrase should persuade her with the simple reminder that, unlike sugar, humans do not melt when it rains, as demonstrated by the example above. Anna may put on a grumpy look, but she will undoubtedly follow your lead in this matter.

10. Because we’re so young, we can’t get along anymore.
In other words, we’re not as young as we used to be.

Your friend is reluctant to stay for another beer at 4 a.m., and you are having difficulty persuading him to do so. What should I do? Simply put, the pervasive fear of old age, mortality, and the ravages of time might be expressed as follows: “We’ll never be as youthful as we are today!” Don’t waste any more time… and start using these German phrases to make your life a whole lot easier!

“Start the Quiz”

  • Question of

    What’s the second part of this common German phrase: ‘Bitte _______’?

    • Kein
    • Schön
    • Dank
    • Sie
  • Question of

    Which of these words means ‘yes’ in German?

    • Richtig
    • Ja
    • Danke
    • Nein
  • Question of

    What does this phrase sound like in English: ‘Kein problem’?

    • No thanks.
    • No problem.
    • I don’t understand.
    • I need help.
  • Question of

    How do you say ‘she’ in German?

    • Es
    • Wir
    • Sie
    • Ich
  • Question of

    What’s the first part of this German phrase: ‘_______ Vater’?

    • Darth
    • Das
    • Der
    • Dee
  • Question of

    How about this simple phrase: ‘Ich ________ Englisch’?

    • Nicht
    • Spreche
    • Brauchen
    • Brauche
  • Question of

    Here’s an anagram for the German ‘good day,’ but can you unscramble it: ‘Nuget Gat’?

    • Tun Agteg
    • Tegun Tag
    • Guten Tag
    • ‘Nuget Gat’ is correct.
  • Question of

    What’s the middle part of this word: ‘Ent______igung’?

    • Dank
    • Schuld
    • Ursache
  • Question of

    Can you solve this one: ‘______ Wiedersehen’?

    • Auf
    • Keine
    • Gute
    • Gern
  • Question of

    What’s the second part of this German phrase? ‘Alles _______.’

    • Es
    • Tut
    • Leid
    • Klar
  • Question of

    Can you solve this one, Hangman style: ‘W___s ___st los?’

    • Wis est los?
    • Wes ist los?
    • Was ist los?
    • Wes est los?
  • Question of

    Can you guess what ‘Bis bald’ means?

    • Nice to meet you.
    • My name is …
    • See you soon.
    • Where are you from?
  • Question of

    Can you fill in the missing letters: ‘F_____ mich’?

    • Ein
    • Ommen
    • Anke
    • Reut
  • Question of

    ‘Macht ordnung’ is an incorrect way of saying ‘Never mind.’ How would you correct it?

    • Macht langsamer
    • Macht nichts
    • Macht bedeutet
    • ‘Macht ordnung’ is correct.

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