How to Say Hello in German

There are many ways to say hello in German - as you are about to find out. They are used in different situations (with friends or with colleagues), and some are used more commonly in the different regions of Germany.

Follow the rules bellow and you will have no fear about saying the right greeting!

Hallo Hello
Wie geht es dir/Ihnen? / Wie geht’s? How is it going?
Guten tag Hello / Good day
Was ist los? What's up?
Grüß Gott/Sie/dich Hello (formal/informal)
Servus Hello
Moin! Hello

Hallo - Hello

Simple and informal. People use it in casual settings.

Wie geht es dir/Ihnen? / Wie geht’s?

Only use this one with people you know.

Wie geht es dir/wie geht's with friends, and wie geht es Ihnen with older people whom you know.

Guten Tag

Literally meaning "good day", this is used in a more formal settings, when you would refer to the person you are speaking with with a "Sie".

Was ist los? 

This means what's up? It is used casually and only with young people.

Grüß Gott/Grüß Sie/Grüß dich

This is used in Bavaria.

Grüß Gott means "God greets you", Grüß Sie is used with someone you don't know, and Grüß dich is used with friends or people you know.


This is also popular in Bavaria, and used in slightly more informal contexts - you will hear hikers say it passing one another in the mountains, for example, or between people who know each other.


You will hear this in Hamburg and in other regions in the North - it just means hello!

Practice your spoken German in our online German speaking classes (5-day free trial).

The classes are fun and friendly - you'll meet new people and also talk to native speakers. We have classes every single day and new and interesting conversation themes for each session. Give them a go!

I'm the founder of Deutsch Gym. In the past I've worked in startups as a marketer and frontend developer and surfed a few waves along the way. I moved to Berlin from Ireland a few years ago and learned German - prompting the idea for Deutsch Gym.
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