Most Common German Words

So you’ve just started your German learning journey. Congrats! Now if you’re like most people, you’re wondering: how do I get started? We can tell you that after seeing thousands of students enter into the world of German lessons, fundamentals are critical. Especially those that don’t waste your valuable time.

Most institutions will teach you vast amounts of German vocabulary that you’ll hardly use. However, we believe that if you focus on the most common German words, you’ll get the best return for your time. The reason being, we use only a fraction of the words we know in our native language. Think about the last time you used the words ‘idiosyncratic’, ‘amortization’, or ‘hyperventilation’?

The way you’ll speak in German is no different. Unless you’re preparing for a very specific presentation in a particular industry, 99.9%+ of your conversations will be using common German vocabulary. With that said, let’s dig into the top 100 German words that you’ll use most often.



Top 100 Most Common German Words

1. der / die / das (def. art.) the; (dem. pron.)  that, those; (rel. pron) who, that
2. und (conj.) and
3. sein (verb) to be; (aux./perfect tense)
4. in (prep.) in [variation: im in the] 5. ein (indef. art.) a, an; (pron.) one (of)
6. zu (prep.) to, at; (adv.) too
7. haben (verb) to have; (aux./perfect tense)
8. ich (pers. pron.) I
9. werden (verb) to become; (aux./future tense); ; (aux./passive voice)
10. sie (pers. pron.) she, her (acc. form of sie [sing.]); they, them (acc. form of sie [pl.]; Sie (pers. pron.) you(formal)
11. von (prep.) from, of
12. nicht (adv.) not
13. mit (prep.) with
14. es (pers. pron.) it
15. sich (refl. pron.) -self
16. auch (adv.) also, too
17. auf (prep.) on, at, in
18. für (prep.) for
19. an (prep.) at, on [variation: am at/on the] 20. er (pers. pron.) he
21. so (adv.) so; thus, this way, such
22. dass (conj.) that
23. können (verb) can, to be able
24. dies- (det. /pron.) this, that
25. als (conj.) as, when; (adv.) than
26. ihr (pers. pron.) you (pl., familiar), her (dat. form of sie [sing.]); (poss. adj.) her, their, hers, theirs (poss. form of sie [sing.], sie [pl.]); Ihr(poss. adj.) your (formal, poss. form of Sie)
27. ja (adv.) yes; certainly, really
28. wie (adv.) how; as
29. bei (prep.) by, with, at
30. oder (conj.) or
31. wir (pers. pron.) we
32. aber (conj.) but; (adv./flavoring particle)
33. dann (adv.) then
34. man (pron.) one, you
35. da (adv.) there; (conj.) because
36. sein (poss. adj.) his, its (poss. form of er, es)
37. noch (adv.) still, yet
38. nach (prep.) after, toward
39. was (pron.) what
40. also (adv.) so, therefore
41. aus (prep.) out, out of, from
42. all (pron.) all
43. wenn (conj.) if, when
44. nur (adv.) only
45. müssen (verb) to have to, must
46. sagen (verb) to say
47. um (prep.) around, at [variation: um … zu in order to] 48. über (prep.) above, over, about
49. machen (verb) to do, make
50. kein (pron.) no, not a/an
51. Jahr das, -e (noun) year
52. du (pron.) you (familiar, sing.)
53. mein (poss. adj.) my (poss. form of ich)
54. schon (adv.) already; (adv./flavoring particle)
55. vor (prep.) in front of, before, ago
56. durch (prep.) through
57. geben (verb) to give
58. mehr (adv.) more
59. andere, anderer, anderes (adj./pron.) other
60. viel (adj./pron.) much, a lot, many
61. kommen (verb) to come
62. jetzt (adv.) now
63. sollen (verb) should, ought to
64. mir (pers. pron.) [to/for] me (dat. form of ich)
65. wollen (verb) to want
66. ganz (adj.) whole, all the; (adv.) quite
67. mich (pers. pron.) me (acc. form of ich)
68. immer (adv.) always
69. gehen (verb) to go
70. sehr (adv.) very
71. hier (adv) here
72. doch (adv.) however, still; (adv./flavoring particle)
73. bis (prep./conj.) until
74. groß (adj.) big, large, great
75. wieder (adv.) again
76. Mal das, -e (noun) timemal (conj.) times [math]; (part.) time(s); once; just
77. zwei (num.) two
78. gut (adj.) good
79. wissen (verb) to know
80. neu (adj.) new
81. sehen (verb) to see
82. lassen (verb) to let, allow, have (something) done
83. uns (pers. pron.) us (acc., dat. form of wir)
84. weil (conj.) because
85. unter (prep.) under
86. denn (conj.) because; (part.) (used in questions to tone down bluntness)
87. stehen (verb) to stand
88. jed- (det./pron.) every, each
89. Beispiel, das, -e (noun) example
90. Zeit, die (noun) time
91. erste, erster, erstes (adj.) first
92. ihm (pers. pron.) him, it (dat. form of er, es)
93. ihn (pers. pron.) him (acc. form of er)
94. wo (adv.) where
95. lang (adj.) longlange (adv.) for a long time
96. eigentlich (adv.) actually; (adj.) actual, real 
97. damit (adv.) with it; (conj.) so that
98. selbst, selber (pron.) -self; (adv.) even
99. unser (poss. adj.) our (poss. of wir)
100. oben (adv.) above, up there


Most Common German Greetings

As an added bonus, we thought we’d include the most common greetings in German that you could use. In most cases, the first 100 common German words don’t offer enough context to strike up a conversation in German. With the following greetings, we hope you can do so.


Guten Morgen!
Good Morning!

Guten Tag!
Good day!

Guten Abend!
Good Evening!

Ich heiße…
My name is…

Wie heißen Sie? 
What is your name? 

Wie geht’s?
How are you? 

Mir geht’s gut. 
I’m doing well. 

Mir geht’s nicht gut. 
I’m not doing well. 

Ich komme aus…
I am from…

Wie lange bleiben Sie in…
How long are you staying in…

Ich bin da für…
I am here for…

Bis später!
See you later! 


Tips to Learn the Most Common German Words


1. Index cards

Index cards (online preferably) offer easy-to-digest templates that are designed to help you memorize new words quickly. Compared to memorizing it on paper, index cards help you learn in bite-sized chunks. We recommend using Anki, which is the most recognized digital flashcard application or which offers a more friendly user interface.



2. Mnemonics

Mnemonics is another fun technique that you can use to memorize new German words faster. Many of you have probably used it in high school or college, so this shouldn’t be a big learning curve. Think ROYGBIV.


3. Rype

Last but not least, we recommend working with a private German teacher on Rype to speed up your learning. While the first 100 most common German words is doable, getting to 1,000 words is going to require some motivation and accountability. Beyond that, Rype offers a live immersive experience to help you speak German in months, not years.

On Rype, you get 1-on-1 live video (or audio) lessons with a personalized lesson plan that’s fit to you goals, needs, and proficiency level. No more standard one-size-fits-all curriculums that don’t relate to your needs.

Come join over 10,000+ members who have taken the step in learning German faster, around their busy schedule. We have a special offer where we’ll offer 7 days of German lessons, risk-free. Come try it out today.

How to Learn German Online

If you’re interested in learning how to speak German, we’d love for you to try Rype.

With the ability to immerse yourself on a daily basis, it’s the easiest and most effective way to learn German for busy people.

Start your free trial with Rype, and you can book daily German lessons at anytime of the day, any day of the week. We’ve built the entire experience to fit the needs of busy individuals like yourself, and you can even try it out for free!



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