Informal HOW ARE YOU in German:

 

  • 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)

 

FORMAL HOW ARE YOU in German:

 

  • Wie geht es Ihnen?
  • Gut, und Ihnen?

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.