11 Ways to Say “Good Afternoon” in German for Warm Greetings and Farewells

Ready for some afternoon tea… the German way?

You might already know the most common German way to say good afternoon is Guten Tag.

But in this post, we’ll dive even deeper and discover other ways to greet someone in the afternoon, as well as some common vocabulary related to afternoon activities.

Let’s get started!

Contents

Guten Tag : The Most Common “Good Afternoon” in German

Upon knowing that gut is “good” and Mittag is “afternoon,” you might be tempted to greet your neighbors on your lunchtime constitutional with a hearty “guten Nachmittag!”

You might then wonder why they all simply stare back in bemusement. 

Turns out—you can’t literally translate “good afternoon” into German. “Was…?!” We hear you exclaim. 

Instead, you simply want to use a phrase you probably already know— Guten Tag—literally “good day.”

And just as this translation hints at, this phrase is not just for the afternoon. In fact, it’s customary to use Guten Tag between around 11am and 6pm, so you get a whole extra hour with this one. 

Guten Tag is a very common phrase that leans slightly to the more formal side of things. You’d be safe to use this in the office or with strangers, but it might sound a bit stiff to use with your friends or in very casual settings. 

More German Expressions You Can Use in the Afternoon

Want to take it beyond the most common greeting? Mix things up by using one of the following greetings for a more personalized “good afternoon.”

  • Hallo! “Hello!”
  • Na, du? — This is a colloquial greeting you’d only use with a friend, sort of like, “What’s up?”
  • Moin moin! — This is a regional greeting that tends to be more common in North Germany. It’s a friendly way of saying “hello.” The repetition is optional, so just moin! works too. 
  • Grüß Gott — This is a common greeting in South Germany and Austria. It originates from grüße dich Gott (may God bless you), but is largely removed from this religious context in modern usage. 
  • Servus! — Another very common and informal salutation in Southern Germany and Austria. Use in the afternoon and any other time of day. 
  • Mahlzeit! — This is a greeting used between co-workers during their lunch break, as it literally means “meal.”
  • Ich wünsche dir einen angenehmen Nachmittag — “I hope you have a lovely afternoon.” This is the sort of thing you might see on a kitschy postcard from your grandma.
  • Herzlichen Nachmittagsgruß — This is another pretty cheesy phrase that means “Sending warm afternoon greetings.” But who doesn’t love a heartfelt hello on a humdrum afternoon?
  • Hallo am Nachmittag  —”Hey, good afternoon!” (Note: this is also the title of an online radio show!) 
  • Schönen Nachmittag —  Technically not a greeting, this phrase means “Have a nice afternoon” and you can say this to wish someone a pleasant afternoon upon saying goodbye.

Common German Afternoon Vocabulary

Learn a few more afternoon terms with these vocabulary words!

You can practice these and find more common afternoon words on the language learning program FluentU.

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Wish anyone a good afternoon in German with these greetings in any situation!

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