When I ask how are you to a friend which would I use?? -Wie geht es Ihnen? -Wie geht es dir? -Wie geht's Ihnen? -Wie geht's dir? Someone please help me, I am writing a letter and have no idea which to use......Thank you soooooo much if you can help me.....anybody.....

March 15, 2018


If they're a friend, wie geht's is all you need.

really! okay I think i'll use that on instead....thanx:)

If you are on first-name-terms you could use "wie geht es dir". That might be to a friend, a chap from your gym or a person you're related to. The formal version "wie geht es Ihnen" (with a capital 'i', lower case 'i' - ihnen - turns it to "how are they") is for business use, for people older (or higher in rank) or unknown persons.

Really? Thanks for your help

i would like to ad something : nowadays you can even adress people you do not know with "du" in germany. only if the people are a lot older than you or higher in rank ( like your superior at work, police officers, teachers etc.) you should be careful and use "Sie" instead. lets say: as long as u meet someone in a private environment (for both) you can usually use du.

While I agree that the usage of "du" is more common than in the past, "Sie" is still commonly used when talking to strangers. I would especially recommend using the formal address when talking to people in an "inferior" or "serving" position (the maid, the bus driver, the clerk, the nurse etc.) as a form of showing respect. A person of a higher rank will probably generously overlook that a foreigner got the du/Sie-thing wrong.

Hi, this is the general "Duolingo" forum, and most people on Duolingo do not study German. Could you please edit your original post and use the drop-down list at top left to change the topic from "Duolingo" to "German"? That way it won't clutter up the general forum, and the answers you get might help others who are learning German and browse through the forum looking for new info. Thanks!

(You should edit the topic to German, Duolingo in general is the wrong subforum)

If you write an informal letter to a friend you can use "Wie geht es dir?" or "Wie geht's dir?". Another collogial expression would be "Wie läuft's?", which focuses more on the situation of your friend rather than how he or she feels.

If you write a formal letter, then you usually use Sie instead of du. So "Wie geht es Ihnen?" would be the right choice. I personally wouldn't use "Wie geht's Ihnen". It sounds weird because it combines a formal element (Sie) with the informal sounding abbreviation geht's.

Thank you soooo much.....After I got help from a teacher though......Sorry But thank you....

wie geht es dir = informal

wie geht es Ihnen= formal

wie gehts = very informal (to use with friends and family only)

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