Basic German: We start with something easy,  you will need in your everyday conversation: Learn how to say HOW ARE YOU in German and what you should avoid.

Informal HOW ARE YOU in German:
– for family and friends –

 

Wie geht es dir? / Wie geht’s dir?/ Wie geht’s?

  • Gut, und dir?

The reason why we say “Mir geht’s gut” instead of “Ich bin gut.” is actually quite simple:

“Mir geht’s gut.” refers to a current emotional state (How are you feeling at the moment). It uses the Dative Case.

“Ich bin gut.” refers to how you are as a person in general. In English there is no difference made between these two. However, in other languages (Spanish, German, French etc) this difference is quite important.

In English, this can lead to some confusion or funny comments. 😉 When someone says for example “I am hot.” it can mean that he/she is hot (feeling hot because of the temperature) but it can also mean that that person is sexy.

In German there is a clear difference:

  • “Mir ist heiß.” = I am hot (temperature.) VERSUS
  • “Ich bin heiß.” = I am hot (sexy)

 

The formal HOW ARE YOU in German:
– for strangers or your boss/ teachers –

 

  • Wie geht es Ihnen? (How are you?)
  • Gut, und Ihnen? (I am good and you?)

 

HOW TO REPLY IN GERMAN:

 

  • Super. – Great.
  • Gut. – Good./ Fine.
  • Es geht. – I am alright.
  • Nicht so gut. – Not so good.
  • Schlecht. – Bad.

2 Common Mistakes in German – 2 Typische Fehler auf Deutsch:

 

  • Wie geht’s? Gut, und du? ——> Correct: Gut, und dir?
  • Wie geht’s? Ich bin gut! ——> Correct: Mir geht’s gut.

 

Note: “Ich bin gut.” is a way of saying “I am a good person OR I am good at something, for example:

 

  • Ich bin gut in Deutsch. – I am good in the German language. (I can speak it well.)
  • Er ist ein guter Mensch. – He is a good person.

That was quite easy, right? After you learnt to say “how are you” in German, you have to widen your Basic language skills with my articles German Greetings and How to introduce yourself in German.

If you know this already go to the lesson How to say “I come from”  and “I live in… “ in German.

Vielen Dank und bis dann!

Anja