When you know how to say hello and ask someone’s name in German, you are ready to move on to the next important question: “How are you?” This question is considered polite, considerate, or awkward in German-speaking countries. It all depends on the situation, but don’t be concerned. We will teach you everything.

When learning German, you will soon wonder how to say “how are you?” Fortunately, the most common way is short and sweet: “Wie geht’s,” pronounced, “Vee – gehts” (like a long “gets”). The longer version is “Wie geht es dir?” which translates literally as “how does it go to you?”

“Wie geht’s?” can usually be asked of anyone, from your best friend to your boss, even at work or a formal event. It’s a more informal term, but it’s still polite. However, depending on how well you know the other person and whether or not they are important, you can use more formal expressions.

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‘How are you’ in German in formal situations  

When you don’t know the other person and want to ask “How are you?” in German, you can say “Wie geht es Ihnen?” To be more specific, depending on the context, you can add “Wie geht es Ihnen heute Abend” (How are you tonight) or use a number of different variations.

How are you doing?Wie geht es dir?[ˌviː ˈɡeːt əs ˌdiːɐ̯]Vee geht as dear
How are you (to a stranger)Wie geht es Ihnen?[ˌviː ˈɡeːt əs ˈiːnən]Vee geht as een-en
How are you feeling?Wie fühlst du dich?[ˌviː fyːlst duː dɪç]Vee fülst do dich
How are you doing today?Wie geht es dir heute?[ˌviː ˈɡeːt əs ˌdiːɐ̯ ˈhɔɪ̯tə]Vee geht as dear hoiteh
How have you been?Wie ist es dir ergangen?[ˌviː ɪst əs diːɐ̯ ɛɐ̯ˈɡaŋənən]Vee isst as dear er-gung-en
How is work going?Wie läuft es auf der Arbeit?[vi: lɔʏ̯ft ɛs aʊ̯f de:ɐ̯ ˈaʁbaɪ̯t]Vee loift es ouf der Ar-bite
What’s new?Was gibt es Neues?[vas gi:pt ɛs ˈnɔʏ̯əs]Vuss geebt as Noies
How are you? (plural)Wie geht es euch?[vi: ge:t ɛs ɔʏ̯ç]Vee geht as oich
What have you been up to? (plural)Was habt ihr so gemacht?[vas ha:pt i:ɐ̯ zo: ɡəˈmaxt]Vuss hubt eer zo gehmacht

‘How are you’ in German slang

You can be as casual as you want when speaking to a close friend or family member. In that case, the question is usually sincere, and the answer should be more than “fine.” To have a thoughtful conversation with a German speaker, you can always enquire about their health, family, or job.

The more you know about someone, the more specific your questions can be. You probably know the names of their partner, pets, or children, so inquire about them as well. Germans generally value the genuine interest in them far more than polite small talk.

How are you?Wie geht’s?[ˌviː ˈɡeːts]Vee gehts
Hey, how are you?Na, wie geht’s?[na vi: ge:ts]Nuh, vee gehts
Are you ok?Alles ok?[ˈaləs əʊˈkeɪ]Ull-les ok
How is everything with you?Wie läuft’s bei dir?[ˌviː lɔɪ̯fts baɪ̯ ˌdiːɐ̯]Vee loifts by dear
What have you been up to?Was hast du so gemacht?[vas hast du: zo: ɡəˈmaxt]Vuss hust do zo geh-macht
Are you alright?Geht’s dir gut?[ge:ts di:ɐ̯ gu:t]Gehts dear goot
How is your family?Wie geht’s deiner Familie?[vi: ge:ts ˈdaɪ̯nɐ [faˈmiːliə]Vee gehts die-ner Fuh-me-lee-eh
How are your parents?Wie geht’s deinen Eltern?[vi: ge:ts ˈdaɪ̯nən ˈɛltɐn]Vee gehts die-nen El-tarn
How are the kids?Wie geht’s den Kindern?[vi: ge:ts deːn ˈkɪndɐn]Vee gehts den Kin-darn
How is your dog?Wie geht’s deinem Hund?[vi: ge:ts ˈdaɪ̯nəm hʊnt]Vee gehts die-nem Hoond
How is your cat?Wie geht’s deiner Katze?[vi: ge:ts ˈdaɪ̯nɐ ˈkatsə]Vee gehts die-ner cut-tseh
Did you sleep well?Gut geschlafen?[ɡuːt ɡəˈʃlaːfn̩]Goot geh-shlah-fen
Is everything good?Alles klar?[ˈaləs klaːɐ̯]Ulles clarr
Is everything good with you? (singular)Alles klar bei dir?[ˈaləs klaːɐ̯ baɪ̯ di:ɐ̯]Ulles clarr bye dear
Is everything good with you? (plural)Alles klar bei euch?[ˈaləs klaːɐ̯ baɪ̯ ɔʏ̯ç]Ulles clarr bye oich
How is everything with you? (plural)Wie läuft’s bei euch?[vi: lɔʏ̯fts baɪ̯ ɔʏ̯ç]Vee loifts bye oich
What’s up?Was geht?[vas ge:t]Vuss geht
What’s up?Was läuft?[vas lɔʏ̯ft]Vuss loift
What’s up, buttercup?Wie geht’s, wie steht’s?[vi: ge:ts vi: ʃte:ts]Vee gehts vee shtets

If you want to learn German in three months, be consistent in your learning approach. Generate notes carrying these greetings and similar ones as it will help you become fluent in German and sound like native German speakers.

how to become fluent in German

Now that you know how to say ‘how are you’ in German, you also need to learn how to respond to such greetings. If you are wondering how to respond to the question “how are you?” in German, keep in mind that it depends on your relationship with the person asking. If you have an open and safe relationship with your boss, feel free to give them an honest answer, even if you are feeling overwhelmed or exhausted.

If someone asks you “How are you feeling” in German, (Wie fühlst du dich?), they want an answer and you can use one of the following phrases:

I’m good. How are you?Mir geht’s gut, und dir?[mi:ɐ̯ ge:ts gu:t ʊnt di:ɐ̯]Meer gehts goot, oond dear
I’m fine, how are you?Mir geht’s gut, wie geht’s dir?[mi:ɐ̯ ge:ts gu:t vi: ge:ts di:ɐ̯]Meer gehts goot, vee gehts dear
I’m feeling great, thanks!Ich fühle mich großartig, danke![ɪç ˈfyːlə mɪç ˈɡʁoːsˌʔaːɐ̯tɪç ˈdaŋkə]Ich fühle mich gross-artich, dunk-eh
We’re goodUns geht’s gut[ʊns ge:ts gu:t]Oons gehts goot
It could be worseEs könnte schlimmer sein[ɛs ˈkœntə ˈʃlɪmɐ zaɪ̯n]As könnte shlim-mah zine
Not too bad, thanks, and yourself?Nicht schlecht, danke, und selbst?[nɪçt ʃlɛçt ˈdaŋkə ʊnt zɛlpst ]Nicht shlecht, dunk-eh, oond selbst
I’m a little tired, but good thank you!Ich bin ein bisschen müde, aber gut, danke![ɪç bɪn aɪ̯n bɪsçən ˈmyːdə abɐ gu:t ˈdaŋkə]Ich bin ine biss-chen mü-deh, uh-ber goot, dunk-eh
I’ve been betterMir ging’s schon besser[mi:ɐ̯ gɪŋs ʃo:n ˈbɛsɐ]Mere gings shone besser
I’m not feeling so great todayMir geht’s heute nicht so besonders[mi:ɐ̯ ge:ts ˈhɔɪ̯tə nɪçt zo: bəˈzɔndɐs]Meer gehts hoit-eh nicht zo be-zon-dares
I got up on the wrong side of bed todayIch bin heute mit dem falschen Fuß aufgestanden[ɪç bɪn ˈhɔɪ̯tə mɪt de:m ˈfalʃn̩ fu:s ˈaʊ̯fɡəˌʃtandn̩]Ich bin hoit-eh mit dem fulshen foos ouf-geh-shtun-den
I’m miserableMir geht’s furchtbar[mi:ɐ̯ ge:t ɛs ˈfʊʁçtbaːɐ̯]Meer gehts foorcht-bar
Not goodNicht gut[nɪçt gu:t]Nicht goot
I’m having a bad day todayIch habe heute einen schlechten Tag[ɪç ha:bə ˈhɔɪ̯tə ˈaɪ̯nən ˈʃlɛçtn̩ taːk]Ich huh-beh hoi-teh ine-nen shlecht-en Tug
I’ll be fineIch komm’ schon klar[ɪç kɔm ʃo:n klaɐ̯]Ich komm shone clarr
Can’t complainIch kann mich nicht beklagen[ɪç kan mɪç nɪçt bəˈklaːɡn̩]Ich cun mich nicht beh-cluh-gehn
I’ve never been betterMir ging es nie besser[mi:ɐ̯ gɪŋ ɛs ni: ˈbɛsɐ]Meer ging as knee better
It’s a beautiful day today!Heute ist ein schöner Tag![ˈhɔɪ̯tə ɪst aɪ̯n ˈʃøːnɐ ta:k]Hoit-eh ist ine shön-er tug

Frequently asked questions

Q. How do you ask politely in German ‘How are you’?

A. If you want to ask “How are you” in German in a formal context, when you don’t know the other person, you can ask “Wie geht es Ihnen?”

Q. How do you start a German conversation?

A. Certain phrases and sentences can help you start a conversation. These include greetings such as hallo (hello) or guten Tag (good day), as well as questions such as Wie geht’s? (How are you?) Wie heißt du? (What’s your name?), Wie findest du…? (How do you like…?) or Kannst du mir helfen? (Can you help me?).

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Learning to ask ‘how are you’ in German will help you make some great friendships and relationships. Remember to use the right phrase in the right situation so you don’t end up being awkward.

Stop wondering why learn German and start getting along with these greetings and phrases. Use flashcards to make notes. Watch German content to understand how native speakers speak in certain situations. It will also give you the confidence to speak German in front of people.

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