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10 simple phrases to make your German sound more impressive

Sarah Magill
Sarah Magill - [email protected]
10 simple phrases to make your German sound more impressive
Knowing a few key phrases can be very helpful in feeling confident with your German language skills. Photo: Amy Hirschi/Unsplash

If you're having a confidence crisis with the German language, these phrases will help you sound and feel like a pro.


As we all know too well, learning German is not easy and for many learners, achieving fluency seems like a distant goal.

It doesn't help that, often, when you muster up the courage to speak in German, your conversation partner will often switch to English - especially if you live in a big city in Germany. 

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However, using the right phrases can help convince people – and yourself – that your German is great. So you can not only impress native speakers but also hold meaningful conversations in German.

Mir ist aufgefallen, dass...

Translating to "I realised" in English, this phrase is a nice way to draw attention to something you've observed or realised and can be a great way to start off a conversation in German on a sure footing. It's a sophisticated step up from the simple "Ich habe bemerkt..." (I noticed/realised...)

For extra brownie points, the phrase incorporates the joining word dass (meaning "that") which sends the verb to the end of the sentence and will help you look like a German language pro.


Mir ist aufgefallen, dass die Straßen hier sehr sauber sind.

I've noticed that the streets here are very clean.

Ich muss mir überlegen

When you need time to think about a decision or weigh up your options, Ich muss mir überlegen ("I need to think about it") is the phrase to use, as it demonstrates much more language proficiency than plain old Ich weiß nicht (I don't know).

Use "Ich muss mir überlegen" when you're undecided.

Use "Ich muss mir überlegen" when you're undecided. Photo: Andrea Piacquadio/Pexels

You can use this phrase as a stand-alone sentence to say "I need to think about it" (Das muss ich mir überlegen) or followed by the conjunction ob ("if").


Ich muss mir überlegen, ob ich am Wochenende Zeit habe.

I need to think about whether I have time on the weekend.

Ich kann mir das gut vorstellen

Translated as "I can imagine that well" in English, this phrase is your go-to expression when you can picture or visualise something and want to go a step further than Das klingt gut ("that sounds good") or Das wäre gut ("that would be good").

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It's commonly used in German when discussing hypothetical scenarios or future plans and, on the flip side, you can use Ich kann mir das kaum vorstellen ("I can hardly imagine that") to express disbelief at an idea.


Ich kann mir gut vorstellen, im nächsten Jahr nach Italien zu reisen.

I can imagine travelling to Italy next year.

Ich kann mir kaum vorstellen, dass er das alleine geschafft hat.

I can hardly imagine that he did it all by himself.


Ich kenne mich damit gut aus/nicht so gut aus

Whether you're well-versed in a topic or not, these phrases allow you to express your familiarity - or lack thereof - and convey a more nuanced understanding of the subject matter than Ich weiß nicht. 

These phrases also help you to show off another German language skill by using the reflexive verb sich auskennen, which means "to be familiar with" or "to know one's way around."


Ich kenne mich gut mit der Technologie aus.

I'm know my way around with technology.

Ich kenne mich mit der Kunstgeschichte nicht so gut aus.

I'm not very familiar with art history.

Ich würde das (nicht) empfehlen

Translating to "I would not recommend that," this phrase is perfect for expressing your opinion or giving advice, especially when you want to encourage or discourage a particular course of action or choice.

It's a substantial step up from the simple Das ist gut and a useful tool for offering guidance or sharing your thoughts in German conversations.


Ich würde die Schokoladencroissants empfehlen.

I would recommend the chocolate croissants.

Ich würde empfehlen, das Buch zu lesen, bevor du den Film siehst.

I would recommend reading the book before watching the movie.


Nicht nur … sondern auch …

This phrase, meaning "not just … but also ….", is not just a good phrase to trot out in a German exam, but also a simple way to explain the dual nature of something and to make you sound like a German language expert. 


Er ist nicht nur intelligent, sondern auch sehr lustig.

He is not just intelligent but also very funny.

Es kommt darauf an

Meaning "It depends" in English, this phrase is great for acknowledging that there isn't a one-size-fits-all answer and is good to use in discussions where context or circumstances play an important role in determining the outcome.


Es kommt darauf an, wie das Wetter morgen ist.

It depends on the weather tomorrow whether we can go hiking.

Ich bin gespannt darauf

This phrase is a favourite sign-off for many German speakers and is definitely a good one to have in your own vocabulary bank to express excitement or anticipation about something.

The phrase translates to "I'm looking forward to it". Whether it's an upcoming project or a new experience, it conveys your eagerness.

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Ich bin gespannt darauf, das neue Restaurant in der Stadt auszuprobieren

I'm looking forward to trying the new restaurant in town.


Das ist ein interessantes Thema

If you want to steer a conversation in a more intellectual direction or simply express your interest in a topic, this phrase, "That's an interesting topic," will either help you engage more deeply, or just clever in response to whatever your conversation partner has just said.


Das ist ein interessantes Thema, das wir in unserer Diskussion erkunden sollten.

That's an interesting topic that we should explore in our discussion.

Ich bin damit einverstanden

If you want to take a step up from Das ist ok für mich, use this phrase to express your agreement or consent more formally.


Ich bin damit einverstanden, die neuen Vorschläge im Team zu besprechen.

I agree to discuss the new proposals within the team.


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