Introduce YourselfSay Hello in German

Welcome to the first lesson of our Free Mini-Course! Let's learn how to introduce ourselves in German.

lessonsgerman lessonsa1
01.12.2023

Imagine this: you have been invited to lunch. When you arrive, you notice a man you have never met before. He looks a lot like the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. He says hello.

Why don't you say hello back to him, and introduce yourself in German?

Saying 'Hello'

The most straight forward way to say hello in German is simply Hallo. However, there are many different ways to greet somebody.

We have listed a few of them, here:

Hello
Good day
Good evening
Nice to meet you.

My Name is ...

Next, it's time to introduce yourself. As with greeting somebody, there are several ways to tell a person what your name is.

Let's see how the other guests attending the lunch do this:

Mein Name ist Nadar.
Ich heiße Layla.
Ich bin Tom.

Here are the translations:

My name is ...
My name is ...
I am ...

Now, to be polite, you may like to ask him for his name:

What's your name?

How Are You?

At this point, we have managed to say hello in German, and introduce ourselves with our name. Now, let's start a little conversation.

Why don't you ask Nietzsche how he's doing:

How are you?
How was your day?
💡

The formal way to ask how someone is, is in fact: 'Wie geht es dir?'. However, in informal conversation, it's typical to shorten this phrase to: 'Wie geht's?'.

In response, he may reply something like:

I am fine.
I am not feeling well.
My day was okay.

Or, simply:

Good.
Not so good.

Let's listen to a conversation between yourself & Nietzsche, using the phrases we have just learned:

Wie geht's dir?
How are you?
Gut! Und dir?
I'm fine. And you?
Auch gut. Wie war dein Tag?
I'm fine too. How was your day?
Sehr gut, danke!
Very good, thanks.

Tap on the gray bars to reveal the English translations, if needed.

Wonderful! 🎉

You have now begun a conversation with Friedrich Nietzsche. And do you know what? He seems to like you! In fact, he'd like to know more about you.

What can you say about yourself, in German?

Where Do You Live?

First, let's get a couple of the most popular questions out of the way. Namely, where do you live? Where are you from?

Where do you live?
I live in ...
Where are you from?
I am from ...
Wo wohnst du?
Where do you live?
Ich wohne in Berlin. Und du?
I live in Berlin. And you?
Ich wohne in Basel.
I live in Basel.

Very good! Let's continue.

The Verb 'sein'

In order to share even more about ourselves, we must now learn an important German verb: sein, which means "to be". It is one of the most versatile verbs in the German language, and you will use it all the time!

Take a look at this conjugation table for sein:

PronounseinTranslation
IchbinI am
DubistYou are
Er / Sie / EsistHe / She / It is
WirsindWe are
IhrseidYou are
SiesindThey are
Conjugation Table: sein (to be), present tense

Now we can use sein to talk about our age:

How old are you?
I am ... years old.

It might be helpful here to check out our post on the numbers in German.

We can also talk about what we do for a living:

What do you do for work?
I am a doctor (m / f).
I am still a student.

Alternatively, you may also use the verb arbeiten to talk about your job:

I work as a teacher.

If you're interested, here is a list of job titles in German.

More About Yourself

Lastly, here are some other Ich bin ... sentences that may come in handy when introducing yourself!

I am single.
I am a vegetarian.
I am new in Berlin.
I am here on holiday.

Well done! 🎉

You have learned some important basic phrases in German! You now know how to greet somebody, introduce yourself with your name and even talk a little bit about yourself.

Exercise

Now it's time to test your knowledge, with this listening comprehension exercise.

Here, we have a some audio recordings, that include phrases from this lesson. Listen closely to each recording. Can you follow the conversations? Do you understand what the speakers are saying?

Dialogue 1

Hallo
Hello
Guten Tag
Good day!
Ich bin Alex. Wie heißt du?
I am Alex. What's your name?
Ich heiße Friedrich.
My name is Friedrich.
Schön dich kennenzulernen.
Nice to meet you.

Tap on the gray bars to reveal the English translations, if needed.

Dialogue 2

Wie war dein Tag, Friedrich?
How was your day, Friedrich?
Mein Tag war gut, danke. Wie war dein Tag?
My day was good, thanks. How was your day?
Auch ganz gut, Dankeschön
It was also good, thank you.

Tap on the gray bars to reveal the English translations, if needed.

Dialogue 3

Was bist du von Beruf?
What do you do for work?
Ich bin noch Studentin. Und du?
I am still a student. And you?
Ich bin Professor.
I am a professor.
Hier in Berlin?
Here in Berlin?
Nein, ich bin Professor in Basel.
No, I am a professor in Basel.

Tap on the gray bars to reveal the English translations, if needed.

Were you able to follow the German conversations?

If so, well done. 🎉

You are ready to move on to the next lesson: German pronunciation.


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