Like in many other languages, how you greet people may change depending on the time of day. So you may be wondering how to say “good evening” in German?
In this post, we will teach you how to say good evening in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. We will also talk about the key differences between “good evening” and “good night” in German.
Good Evening in German at a Glance
Most Common Ways to Say Good Evening in German
Guten Abend means “good evening” in German and is the most common way of greeting someone in the evening. It can be used when it starts getting dark – around 6pm – up until you go to bed. You can use Guten Abend when you talk to someone face to face but also when you call, text or email someone.
An alternative to Guten Abend is Schönen Abend, which means “nice evening”. In informal settings, it is acceptable to use the abbreviated Abend, especially if you direct it at a group of people.
Guten Abend noch
Guten Abend noch is a way to say farewell – when you leave a room or finish a conversation with someone. It means something like “have a good rest of the evening”. You can also use Schönen Abend noch, which means “have a nice evening”.
Ich wünsche Ihnen einen guten Abend
Ich wünsche Ihnen einen guten Abend is more formal than the previous two expressions and means “I wish you a good evening”.
This phrase can be used to greet someone or say goodbye. If you are dealing with friends and family, you can substitute the formal Ihnen with the informal Dir. You can also use schönen instead of guten.
The Difference Between Guten Abend and Gute Nacht
Gute Nacht means “good night” and is different from Guten Abend (which can be used to greet someone) because it is only used to say goodbye.
You can say gute Nacht after 8pm as you leave a party, or say good night to someone before they go to bed.
How to Say Good Evening in Switzerland
In Switzerland, there are several ways of saying “good evening”, such as Naabig , guetenaabig , guten Abid or guten Oobe . When you look closely you discover that they are all derived from the Hochdeutsch, (official German)Guten Abend.
How to Say Good Evening in Austria
Guten Abend is a frequently used option in Austria. In young and informal circles Servus, a greeting that can mean “hello” or “goodbye” at any time of the day, is also popular.
In any German-speaking country, Guten Abend is a frequently used expression. You can say it between 6 pm and 8 or 9 pm as you enter a room, greet someone, or greet a group of people.
Remember to always use a greeting when you join a group of people but make sure you don’t confuse Guten Abend and Gute Nacht!