Introduce YourselfSay Hello in German

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:

Hallo
Hello
Guten Tag
Good day
Guten Abend
Good evening
Schön, dich kennenzulernen.
Nice to meet you.

Introducing Yourself 🧑🏽‍🦱

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:

Mein Name ist ...
My name is ...
Ich heiße ...
My name is ...
Ich bin ...
I am ...

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

Wie heißt du?
What's your name?

Asking '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:

Wie geht's?
How are you?
Wie war dein Tag?
How was your day?

In response, he may reply something like:

Mir geht's gut
I am fine.
Mir geht's schlecht
I am not feeling well.
Mein Tag war okay
My day was okay.

Or, simply:

Gut.
Good.
Nicht so gut.
Not so good.

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

Wie geht's dir?
Gut! Und dir?
Auch gut. Wie war dein Tag?
Sehr gut, danke!

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?

Talking about Yourself 🏡

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

Wo wohnst du?
Where do you live?
Ich wohne in ...
I live in ...
Wo kommst du her?
Where are you from?
Ich komme aus ...
I am from ...

Once again, listen to a conversation between yourself & Nietzsche, using these phrases:

Wo wohnst du?
Ich wohne in Berlin. Und du?
Ich wohne 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:

Wie alt bist du?
How old are you?
Ich bin ... Jahre alt.
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:

Was bist du von Beruf?
What do you do for work?
Ich bin Arzt / Ärztin.
I am a doctor (m / f).
Ich bin noch Student.
I am still a student.

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

Ich arbeite als Lehrerin.
I work as a teacher.

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

Ich bin Ärztin.
Ich bin Lehrerin.
Ich bin Student.
Ich arbeite nicht mehr.

More Sentences 📖

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

Ich bin Single.
I am single.
Ich bin Vegetarier.
I am a vegetarian.
Ich bin neu in Berlin.
I am new in Berlin.
Ich bin hier im Urlaub.
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.

Once you have completed the listening exercise just below, head over to the next lesson, to learn about the German alphabet.

Exercise 💪

Test your knowledge of our first lesson, with this listening comprehension exercise.

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

Hallo
Guten Tag
Ich bin Alex. Wie heißt du?
Ich heiße Friedrich.
Schön dich kennenzulernen.

Wie war dein Tag, Friedrich?
Mein Tag war gut, danke. Wie war dein Tag?
Auch ganz gut, Dankeschön

Was bist du von Beruf?
Ich bin noch Studentin. Und du?
Ich bin Professor.
Hier in Berlin?
Nein, ich bin Professor in Basel.

Were you able to follow the German conversations?

If so, well done. 🎉

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