Germans may have a reputation for being reserved and quiet, but if you live in Germany, you know that many Germans are rather outgoing and welcoming once they warm up to you. If you want to speed up this process, showing appreciation to the Germans in your life by giving them compliments – and knowing how to respond to their compliments to you – may go a long way. In addition to expressing that you like or enjoy something, there are many other ways to communicate how you feel about something or someone. No matter if you like a look, a sound or an interest: Here you will find just the right thing to say!
- Complimenting someone’s or something’s appearance
- Complimenting an achievement
- Complimenting music and sounds
- Complimenting interests
- Complimenting food
- Accepting a compliment
1. Complimenting someone’s or something’s appearance
No matter if you are trying to make friends or are flirting with someone, complimenting someone’s appearance is always a nice thing to do and just like anyone else, any German likes being told that they’re beautiful. You can also use the same expressions to compliment the looks of anything, be it clothing, an item or a person! Keep in mind, however, that not everyone may appreciate it if you comment solely on their looks – after all, it’s what’s on the inside that matters.
|Du siehst gut aus.||You look nice.|
|Ich finde dich hübsch.||I think you’re pretty.|
|Das sieht schön aus.||That looks beautiful.|
|Das ist wunderschön.||That is gorgeous.|
|Mir gefällt deine Jacke.||I like your jacket.|
2. Complimenting an achievement
Achieving something in itself is a great feeling, but it gets even better when someone acknowledges it. In addition to congratulating someone, you can also use other expressions to show your admiration and give praise to someone in German.
|Das hast du gut gemacht.||You did well.|
|Das ist beeindruckend.||That is impressive.|
|Das ist cool.||That is cool.|
|Was für eine Leistung!||What an achievement!|
3. Complimenting music and sounds
Germany has a vivid music culture, both classical and modern. If you are learning German or live in Germany, you may have already encountered some famous German songs. Enjoy what you’re hearing? Here’s how to say it:
|Das klingt schön.||That sounds beautiful.|
|Das hört sich gut an.||That sounds good.|
|Das ist Musik in meinen Ohren.||That’s music to my ears.|
4. Complimenting interests
Sharing interests with one another is a sure way to connect to people and get to know them and their culture even better. Just like any other person, Germans are happy to hear any positive feedback about their personal interests and hobbies, for example:
|Das ist interessant.||That is interesting.|
|Du weißt so viel darüber.||You know so much about that.|
|Das ist besonders.||That is special.|
|Du hast einen guten Geschmack.||You have great taste.|
5. Complimenting food
As the German saying goes: Liebe geht durch den Magen (Love enters through the stomach)! That’s why it’s important to know how to compliment the food that someone serves you.
|Das schmeckt gut.||That tastes good.|
|Das finde ich lecker.||I think this is tasty.|
|Ich liebe dieses Essen.||I love this food.|
6. Accepting a compliment
Giving compliments is nice, but receiving them might be even better. If a German gives you a compliment, there are different ways to respond – here are some options.
|Das ist lieb von dir.||That is sweet of you.|
|Das kann ich nur zurückgeben.||Same goes for you.|
|Das freut mich zu hören.||I’m happy to hear that.|
|Das versüßt mir den Tag.||That makes my day.|
|Danke für das Kompliment.||Thanks for the compliment.|
Show some love to the Germans!
Everyone loves a good compliment, and Germans are no exception to this rule! No matter if someone cooks for you, shows you their home or wears a cool new pair of pants, with this quick guide you can be sure to find just the right words to say and maybe brighten someone’s days while improving your German skills!
Anne is a German freelance writer and communication consultant. In addition to her job, she is the founder and coach of the Dutch not-for-profit organization CLUB Coaching. Due to her work, she resides in both Germany and the Netherlands. Whenever her time is not occupied with communication in all its forms, she spends time with her six pets, gardening or being creative with fashion and design. You can follow her on LinkedIn.