Greetings are formal with a quick, firm handshake. When entering a room with a group of people, shake hands with everyone, including the children. If you know a person's title and their surname use Herr (Sir, Mr.) or Frau (Madam, Mrs.) along with the person's title and their surname as titles are very important to a German and denote respect.
Guten Morgen! - Good morning!
Guten Abend! - Good evening!
Guten Tag! - This is the standard, greeting in most of Germany and can be used from sunrise to sunset.
Hallo! - The trend in Northern Germany is to say Hallo, just
like the English word "hello."
Grüezi! - Hello!: This is the standard greeting in German-speaking Switzerland (die Schweiz).
Grüß Gott! - Hello!: This is a a shortened form of "God greet you!" heard mainly in Austria (Österreich) and Bavaria (Bayern). Among those who "duzen", you will also hear Grüß dich!
Servus! - Hello! / Farewell!: this common greeting is used like the Hawaiian aloha, a greeting and a farewell.
Pfiat di! - Farewell!: an expression heard mostly in Bavaria and Austria among family and friends.
When to "duzen"
The verb duzen means, literally to you (informally) and siezen means, literally to
Contrary to English, German makes a distinction between the formal way of saying you
(Sie) and the informal way (du). The formal Sie you would use when talking to a
stranger, highly respected person, as for example in some circles ...
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