This article will teach you how to write an email in German. Let’s get started!
How to write an email in German
Having a discussion in person or over the phone can be intimidating if you don’t speak German fluently yet. Fortunately, you can handle many professional and informal issues via email.
The drawbacks of this method of communication include issues with formality, tone, and proper address when writing an email in German.
In this article, we’ll show you how to write both officially and informally in German emails and how to finish your message to receive a response as soon as possible.
Lastly, look over our list of terms to use while composing an email in German to avoid language errors.
How to start an email in German: Proper address
Before you start writing, it would help to decide whether to use formal or informal language when addressing the recipient in a German email. Suppose you’re writing to more than one person at once.
In that case, the English second-person pronoun “you” is equivalent to Sie or du in the singular and Sie or ihr in the plural (formal and informal, respectively).
The formal address is typically a good choice in a business email, a job application, or any other professional inquiry, especially if you haven’t met in person.
The only exceptions might be if you’ve already been addressed casually or don’t want to sound stuffy or formal.
For instance, in a start-up setting with flat hierarchies, it might be typical for people to address one another casually and by first names.
You can use their first or last name, leading us to the second element of addressing your email recipient in German.
Again, in official situations in Germany, using a person’s last name is often acceptable.
However, be alert for any signals that would suggest differently, such as how a person addressed you, how formal their web profile is, or the formality of the situation.
Salutations for a formal email in German
Consider using the following formal salutation to start your German email:
Sehr geehrte Frau Scholz, – “Esteemed Ms. Scholz”
Sehr geehrter Herr Döring, – “Esteemed Mr. Döring”
Sehr geehrter Herr Professor Schmitz, – “Esteemed Professor Schmitz”
Sehr geehrte Frau Doktor Freud, – “Esteemed Doctor Freud”
Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren, – “Dear Sir or Madam”
Guten Tag, – “Good day”
Salutations for an informal email in German
Using a first name basis or the last name in a more casual email salutation:
Liebe Frau Trudel, – ”Dear Ms. Trudel”
Lieber Herr Brauns, – ”Dear Mr. Brauns”
Lieber Anton, – “Dear Anton”
Lieber Kai, – ”Dear Kai”
Hallo Sabine und Tim, – “Hello Sabine and Tim”
Hallo, – ”Hello”
Hey, – ”Hey”
Composing the main part of an email in German
The chosen method of addressing the email recipient will then be repeated throughout your German email’s body or major content.
It would be best to stick with either du or Sie, but you don’t have to say their name and title every time.
Remember that your email’s salutation finishes with a comma and that the first line is not capitalized.
There are many of these principles in German; study the language quickly to master them!
Composing a formal email in German
Avoid spelling and grammar errors, as well as using slang or other offensive words, while writing your professional German email.
You don’t need to ramble on or discuss the weather when talking about most topics; you can go right to the point. Life is, after all, short.
For a job application: Briefly describe yourself, the position for which you’re applying, why you’d be a good fit and any documents you’re submitting.
See our more comprehensive guides on how to work in Germany.
How to write a business email in German: If you haven’t met or been introduced, introduce yourself quickly before summarizing why you’re contacting the person.
Please describe the issue, offer a solution or lay out your vision, then let them know what you want them to do and by when.
Follow-up email in German: Remind the reader of your identity, summarize your stance, your suggestion, or any prior communications, and specify the kind of response or action you seek from them.
It would be best if you also mentioned how soon you would want to hear from them or how they should get in touch with you.
Composing an informal email in German
Depending on how well you know the person, you can write with far greater freedom to a buddy or casual acquaintance.
Emoticons, emoticons, casual language, jokes, and asides are all appropriate in such a situation.
There is less motivation to be succinct, but like in a professional context, clearly convey deadlines and expectations to avoid misunderstandings and needless back-and-forth.
Closing an email in German
It’s time to sign off correctly once you’ve written the body of your German email and reviewed it for any spelling and grammar faults.
You must decide whether to use professional or casual language, just like the opening salutation.
In contrast to English, all the following expressions don’t require you to include a comma before your name.
Formal closing for a German email
Ich freue mich von Ihnen zu hören und verbleibe mit freundlichen Grüßen – “I look forward to hearing from you and remain with best regards” (very formal)
Mit freundlichen Grüßen – ”With kind regards”
Mit freundlichem Gruß – ”Sincerely”
Vielen Dank und freundliche Grüße – ”Thank you and best regards”
Besten Dank und beste Grüße – “Many thanks and best regards.”
Mit den besten Empfehlungen – “With the best recommendations.”
Informal closing for a German email
Viele Grüße (short: VG) – Many greetings
Liebe Grüße (short: LG) – Warm greetings
Beste Grüße – Best regards
Mach’s gut – Take care
Bis bald – See you soon
Tschau – Bye
Tschüss – Bye
Useful phrases for writing an email in German
Here are a few phrases you can find useful while writing your email in German if you’re still wracking your brains for what to say in the body.
GERMAN to ENGLISH
Ich schreibe Ihnen weil… I am writing to you because …
Bitte haben Sie Verständnis, dass… Please understand that…
Es tut mir leid, aber… I am sorry, but…
Es geht um Folgendes: It is all about:
Ich habe folgendes Anliegen: I have the following request:
Ich antworte auf Ihre E-Mail vom… I am answering your email from …
Ich würde gerne klären, ob… I would like to clarify whether …
Zur Sache: Regarding:
Ich erinnere an mein Schreiben vom… I want to remind you of my correspondence dated …
Bitte lassen Sie mich wissen, ob… Please let me know if …
Vielen Dank für Ihre schnelle Antwort. Thank you for your quick response.
Ich hoffe, bald von Ihnen zu hören. I hope to hear from you soon.
Vielen Dank für Ihre Aufmerksamkeit und beste Grüße. Thank you for your attention and best regards
Bei weiteren Fragen stehe ich Ihnen gerne zur Verfügung. For further information do not hesitate to contact me.
Vielen dank im Voraus für Ihre schnelle Antwort. Thank you in advance for your quick reply.
Final check before sending a German email
Last but not least, double-check your spelling before pressing the send button. Utilize your email’s spelling and dictionary features; Gmail will highlight misspelled words, even in German.
Verify that your signature and any necessary attachments are present. Speaking of attachments, find out how to create an English résumé for job applications in Germany.
Do you need to send something via regular mail, or are you seeking a more traditional communication method? Become proficient in German letter writing.