The Top 30 German Words

The 30 words ranked here for spoken German are excerpted from the Rangwörterbuch hochdeutscher Umgangssprache by Hans-Heinrich Wängler (N.G. Elwert, Marburg, 1963). The words are ranked by frequency of use in everyday, spoken German.

Top 30 Words – Spoken German
Ranked by frequency of use
German Speaking Vocabulary
Rank Word Comment
1 ich “I” – personal pronoun
2 das “the; that (one)” neuter – definite article or demonstrative pronoun)
3 die “the” f. – definite article
4 ist “is” – form of “to be” (sein)
5 nicht “not”
6 ja “yes”
7 du “you” familiar
8 der “the” m. – definite article
9 und “and”
10 sie “she, they”
11 so “so, thus”
12 wir “we” – personal pronoun
13 was “what”
14 noch “still, yet”
15 da “there, here; since, because”
16 mal “times; once” – particle
17 mit “with”
18 auch “also, too”
19 in “in, into”
20 es “it” – personal pronoun
21 zu “to; at; too” preposition or adverb
22 aber “but”
23 habe / hab’ “(I) have”
24 den “the” – (form of der or dative plural)
25 eine “a, an” fem. indefinite article
26 schon “already”
27 man “one, they>
28 doch “but, nevertheless, after all” particle
29 war “was” – past tense of “to be” (sein)
30 dann “then”

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