days of the week in german

The Days of the Week in German: Everything from Montag to Sonntag

There are seven important words in the German language, can you guess which words these are? The days of the week!

With this handy guide, you’ll not only learn the days of the week in German, but also ways to practice them, interesting cultural info and the must-know grammatical points.

Ready to learn? All right: Heute (today), let’s learn the Tage (days) of the Woche (week).


The German Days of the Week

To begin, here are the seven days of the week in German, linked to an audio of their pronunciations.


As you could probably guess by the look and sound of it, Montag is Monday and the first day of the work-week.

In German, Mond means “moon,” so Montag literally means “moon-day.” As with most languages, the German days tend to correspond with celestial bodies or mythological beings.


The name for German’s Tuesday comes from an old Germanic god: Tyr. Tyr was actually the Germanic name for Mars, the Roman god of war. 

It’s interesting to note that while the name was different, the patron god of Tuesday is the same being as many other languages and cultures such as Italian, French and Spanish. 


Wednesday in German is interesting because it breaks the pattern. Notice that it doesn’t end in -tag, which means “day.” 

Instead, it ends in -woch, or “week.” That’s because the direct translation for this word is actually “mid-week.”


In English, Thursday comes from “Thor’s-day,” which is a day dedicated to the Norse god of thunder, Thor. 

In German, the name for this same god is Donar, so once again we see the parallels between English and German.


Another day that originates from a Norse god, Freitag is in honor of the goddess Frige (a.k.a Freya). 

Frige was the goddess of fertility, marriage, motherhood and the home. Her name was used for both Freitag and “Friday.”


While Samstag is the universal name for Saturday in German, you may also hear it be referred to as Sonnabend in northern and western Germany. 

Samstag originates from a Greek word that means “sabbath.” Sonnabend means “sun-evening” and is in reference to the fact that Saturday comes before Sunday. 


Just as the English word for Sunday includes “sun,” so does the German word. Sonne is “sun” in German, so Sonntag is a variation of this. 

Sunday in Germany is regarded very highly as the culture cherishes reserving this day for spending time with family.

Almost all stores are closed on Sundays and most German families will spend the day in cafes, taking a stroll and decidedly not shopping or working.

German Grammar and the Days of the Week

There are a few grammatical rules you need to know to use the German days of the week correctly:

  • Use am (on) to denote that something is happening on a particular day. For example: am Montag (on Monday), am Dienstag (on Tuesday), etc.
  • The days of the week are usually capitalized, but in some cases they are not. If you want to say that something generally happens on a certain day, you don’t capitalize the day—but you do add an “s” to make it plural. For example, “Ich gehe montags in die Klasse” (I go to class Mondays).
  • All the days of the week are masculine, which means they take the masculine articles der (the) and ein (a).
  • Use von … bis … to say “from … to …” such as: Von Montag bis Donnerstag, bin ich in Kopenhagen. (From Monday to Thursday, I am in Copenhagen.)
  • There are abbreviations for days of the week. They are:

Mo, Montag (Mon.)

Di, Dienstag (Tues.)

Mi, Mittwoch, (Wed.)

Do, Donnerstag (Thurs.)

Fr, Freitag (Fri.)

Sa, Samstag (Sat.)

So, Sonntag (Sun.)

Tips for Learning the German Days of the Week

1. Call on your English knowledge.

German and English are very, very similar languages since they come from the same West Germanic branch of the linguistic family tree.

Consequently, Montag, Freitag, Samstag, Sonntag sound remarkably like their English equivalents. 

2. Start thinking of the days of the week in German.

If there’s one way to really ingrain German vocabulary into your consciousness, it’s by using it on a daily basis. The good news is that it’s very easy to do this with the days of the week. Here’s how:

  • Buy a German calendar. You may not look at it a lot, but by having it visible you’ll subconsciously be solidifying the German days in your mind.
  • Put your Gmail and Facebook in German. Once you see that someone sent you a message on Donnerstag (Thursday), for example, the word will stick in your head much faster than if you simply looked at it on a flashcard.
  • Put your phone in German. If you put your phone in German, that means you’ll see the day of the week auf Deutsch (in German) every single time you check your phone. 

3. Learn with German songs and videos.

Children’s songs often include the days of the week, or at least mention them here and there. By finding a catchy tune, you can learn these words quickly. 

These songs might be silly, but they really do help. Think about how nursery songs helped you learn English when you were a child.

Check out this song or this less childish version and start humming along.

If you aren’t interested in listening to German children’s songs, you can use other types of German videos to learn these words.

For example, the FluentU program offers an array of German videos that teach you new words in context. You can even search for videos using specific words or phrases, such as the days of the week in this case. 

You can also find more video resources to learn the German days of the week on the Deutsche Welle website. 

4. Write practice sentences.

Since more than half of the German days of the week sound a lot like their English equivalents, learning to say them is usually pretty easy.

But you also have to learn to spell them, and that’s where writing practice sentences comes in.

Practice with am (on).

Write a few sentences practicing how to say “on Wednesday, I did [something].” For example:

Am Samstag habe ich mich mit einer Freundin getroffen.
(On Saturday, I met a friend.)

Am Donnerstag bin ich shopping gegangen.
(On Thursday, I went shopping.)

Write out your whole week this way!

Practice with vonbis (from…to).

Craft some sentences that explain that you did something from one day of the week until another. For example:

Von Dienstag bis Mittwoch bin ich in London.
(I’m in London from Tuesday through Wednesday.)

Von Donnerstag bis Samstag ist meine Mutter zu Besuch.
(From Thursday through Saturday, my mother is visiting.)

Practice with saying that something typically happens on a day of the week.

Write some sentences where you don’t capitalize the days of the week, and instead say that something typically happens on Mondays or Tuesdays, for example.

Ich gehe montags ins Fitnessstudio.
(I go to the gym on Mondays.) 

Er ruft seine Eltern sonntags an.
(He calls his parents on Sundays).

Knowing the German days of the week is crucial to building your core vocabulary. Once you do, you can move on to the months, the seasons and beyond!

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