200+ List of the Most Common German Words

By OptiLingo • 10 minutes read

List of the most common German words

Learn Common German Words and Vocabulary

When you learn a new language, you need to know the core vocabulary. Without these words, you can’t form sentences, and can’t express your ideas. But, once you add these German words to your vocabulary, you’re guaranteed to reach fluency. And if you add the right words, you’ll achieve your goals even faster. Here’s why you should focus on the most common vocabulary, and then a list of 200+ of those words in German.

Fluency Isn’t About How Many Words You Know

A lot of students try to cram in as many words as they can. They brag that they learned hundreds of new German words, and they even know the most obscure words in German. Good for them. But, this doesn’t mean they’re fluent. If they try to whip up their newfound knowledge in a real conversation, they’ll fall flat.

That’s because fluency isn’t about how many German words you know. It’s about knowing the right German words. Learning only the most common and most used German words doesn’t just make you a good conversation partner. You’ll also reach fluency much faster.

Use the 80/20 Principle to Learn Common German Words

If you don’t believe me that you should only concentrate on the most common words, hopefully you’ll believe science. 80% of everyday German conversations comes from 20% of the total vocabulary. It’s called the Pareto Principle, or the 80/20 rule. And you can use this to reach fluency faster.

If you only learn that 20% of German language, you can take part in 80% of the conversations. So, with only a little effort, you can have a lot of success already. But, which exact words are part of that 20%?

Well, the following list includes the most 200 common German words. That’s a great start. But, if you’re hungry for more, you can easily access the full list with the OptiLingo app. This reliable language learning method gives you pronunciation practice and a list of the most useful German vocabulary at the same time.

Common German nouns

200+ Common German Words

You’ll definitely need these 222 German words to speak German fluently. We divided them according to their grammatical categories, so it’s even easier for you to focus on one group at a time. Of course, there are way more words in the German language. But, once you know these, speaking German will only be a matter of grammar.

List of Common German Nouns

German Nouns

Translation

das Beispiel, -e
example
das Ende, -n
end
das Geld
money
das Haus, -¨er
house
das Jahr, -e
year
das Kind, -er
child
das Land, -¨er
country, land
das Leben
life
das Mädchen
girl
das Mal, -e
time (number of times)
das Problem, -e
problem
das Prozent, -e
percent
das Recht, -e
right, law
der Abend
evening, eve, night
der Fall, -¨e
fall, case
der Freund
friend
der Herr, -en
man, gentleman, Mr.
der Junge, -n
boy
der Mann, -¨er
man
der Mensch, -en
human being, man
der Tag, -e
day
der/das Teil, -e
part
die Angst
fear, anxiety
die Arbeit, -en
work, job
die Frage, -n
question
die Frau, -en
woman, wife, Mrs.
die Hand, -¨e
hand
die Leute
people
die Million (Mio.), -en
million
die Stadt, -¨e
city
die Welt, -en
world
die Zeit
time

German verbs signal action

List of the Most Common German Verbs

German Verbs

Translation

anrufen
to call, phone
arbeiten
to work
bleiben
to stay, remain
brauchen
to need
bringen
to bring
denken
to think
dürfen
may, to be allowed
finden
to find
geben
to give; to put; to deal; there is/are
gehen
to go, walk; to leave; to work; to be in progress, last; to be going; to approach
glauben
to believe
haben
to have
heißen
to be called
kommen
to come
können
can, to be able to
lassen
to let, allow, have done
leben
to live
liegen
to lie, be lying
machen
to make, do, prepare; to produce; to go; to put
müssen
must, to have to
nehmen
to take
sagen
to say, tell
sehen
to see, look; to take care of; to view, watch, observe; to notice
sein
to be, to have, to exist, there is / it is
sollen
should, ought to
stehen
to stand
tun
to do
wissen
to know
wollen
to want
werden
to get, to become; will, to be going to; to be done (forms the passive voice)

Learn German adjectives easily

List of the Most Common German Adjectives

German Adejectives

Translation

alt
old
anz
whole, all the
deutsch
German
eigen
own
erste, -r, -s
first
genau
exact
gleich
equal, same
groß
big, large, great
gut
good
hoch
high, tall
jung
young
klein
small, little
kurz
short
lang
long
letzte, -r, -s
last
möglich
possible
neu
new
richtig
right, correct
spät
late
stark
strong
verschieden
different, diverse
weitere, -r, -s
additional
wichtig
important
wirklich
real, true, natural
besser
better, preferably
einfach
easy, simple, plain; single, one-way; simply, just
schön
beautiful, lovely; good, great; nice; fine (adjective); well, beautifully; nicely; really (adverb)
viel
much, a lot
weiß
white (adjective)
genug
enough
los
loose, not attached, rid of

German words are easy to learn

List of Common German Adverbs

German Adverbs

Translation

also

so, therefore
auch
also, too, as well
da
there
dabei
there, here, then, so (adverb); since, as, given that (conjunction)
dafür
for this
dann
then, after that
davon
from that
doch
but, still
dort
there
eben
just now
eigentlich
actually
erst
first, only, not until
gar
at all
heute
today, nowadays
hier
here
immer
always
jetzt
now; yet
mehr
more
natürlich
naturally, of course
nicht
not
nie
never
noch
still, yet
nun, nu
now
nur
only, merely, just;
oben
above, up there
schon
already
sehr
very
so
so, thus, this way, such
vielleicht
perhaps, maybe
warum
why
weit
widely, far
wieder
again
zurück
back, backwards
ganz
all, all the, every, everything, everybody, everyone
gerade
just
aber
again (adverb); but, though (conjunction)
damit
with it, thereby; so that, in order that
wo
where, somewhere; when
wie
how (adverb); like, as (conjunction)
ja
yes; really, definitely; of course (adverb); a yes (capitalized as a noun – Ja)
nein
no; a no

Create German sentences easily

Common German Conjunctions to Make Sentences

German Conjunctions

Translation

als
than, when, as, while, as if
bevor
before
beziehungsweise
or, respectively
dass
that
denn
because
entweder…oder
either…or
falls
in case, if
indem
while, by
nachdem
after
ob
whether
obwohl
although
oder
or
so dass
so that
sobald
as soon as
solange
as long as
sondern
but (rather)
sowie
as well as
sowohl … und
both
und
and
weder  noch
neither … nor
weil
because
wenn
if, when, whenever
zumal
particularly, especially

Berlin is the capital of Germany

List of the Most Common German Pronouns

German Pronouns

Translation

diese
this, these
ein
a, an
andere
other, different, next
kein
no, not a, not an;
man
one, they, you
nichts
nothing
all
all, all the, every, everything, everybody, everyone
etwas
some, something, any (pronoun); somewhat, slightly, a little, a bit (adverb); something (capitalized as a noun – Etwas)
ach
oh!
bitte
please, you’re welcome, excuse me, please do, go ahead; request, plea (capitalized as a noun – die Bitte); to ask (inflection of the verb “bitten”)
danke
thank you!, thanks!; inflection of the verb “danken”
was
what (interrogative); which (relative)
wer
who; the person who; somebody, someone

German Personal and Reflexive Pronouns

German Pronouns

Translation

du
you (informal, singular)
er
he, it
es
it
euch
you, yourselves (plural )
ihm
him, to him
ihn
him, it
ihnen
them, to them
mir
me, to me
Sie
you (polite, singular or plural)
sie
she, it; they, you
wir
we
ihr
you, you all (plural, informal); her, to her ; her, its, their
dich
you; yourself
dir
you, to you; yourself, to yourself
uns
us; ourselves
mich
me, myself
ich
I (not capitalized); ego (capitalized – Ich)
deine
your
ihre
hers, its, theirs
Ihre
yours (singular and plural)
mein
my
am
on, at, on the, at the
an
to, on, at, by, about, against

List of Common German Prepositions

German Prepositions

Translation

am
on, at, on the, at the
an
to, on, at, by, about, against
auf
on, onto, at
aus
out of, from
bei
by, near, with, at
durch
through, by means of
für
for
gegen
against
gegenüber
across from
hinter
behind, in back of
im
in the
in
in
in
in, within, at, pertaining to
ins
to the, into the
mit
with
nach
after, to, toward
neben
beside, next to
ohne
without
seit
since, for a period of time
über
above, over, about
um
around, at
unter
under
von
from, of
vor
in front of, before, ago
während
during
wegen
because of
zu
to, at
zwischen
between
ab
from, as of (preposition); off, away (adverb)
bis
to
sich
oneself, itself, himself, herself, themselves

How to Learn This List of Common German Words

Now you’ve got 222 German words. That’s great, but what’s next? Well, you need to learn them. Having them here, or even on a piece of paper won’t make this knowledge yours. So, how can you learn these German words fast and effectively? Here are a few tricks you can use to commit them to your long term memory effortlessly:

  • Don’t cram! Let’s start off with what not to do. Never, under any circumstances, try to cram German vocabulary. Forcing yourself to remember a lot in a short time only leads to two things: you’ll hate your lessons and you won’t actually commit them to your long term memory. Try one of the following techniques instead:
  • Try chunking: Chunking is a great memory aid. Try to divide this German vocabulary list into smaller and more manageable groups. These can be by categories or topics too. Then, you learn the groups one by one. Smaller and more achievable tasks get you to success steadily.
  • Use spaced repetition: Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could hack your brain to store all this information? Well, you actually can. With spaced repetition, you can remember anything you want. It’s a simple trick that not many know about. You just periodically review this list of German words. Every time you come back to read these, you’ll reinforce your German knowledge. Soon, you can recall all 222 of these German words effortlessly.
  • Write it all down: Handwriting is linked to tactile learning. If you write these words down by hand you’ll remember them better.
  • Say them out loud: The only way to reach fluency is by speaking a lot. Practice your German pronunciation. The more you say these German words, the more it sticks to your memory. And you’ll also get more comfortable with the language.

Learn Even More Common German Words

222 common German words is a lot. But, there’s a lot more to a full German vocabulary than that. If you want to learn all the most useful German words and phrases, you need to use OptiLingo.

OptiLingo is the app that gets you to fluency. It gives you all the best German vocabulary, for sure. But, it also makes you speak the language. It builds your confidence and shows you exactly how the locals speak. Achieve German learning success when you download OptiLingo!

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