What are some common shortenings in German?

I know of:

  • eine -> 'ne
  • einen -> 'nen
  • First person 'e' being dropped (i.e. habe -> hab', bleibe -> bleib')

We have these added:

  • nichts - > nix
  • Deutschland -> 'Schland or D-land
  • in der -> inna
  • in dem -> innem
  • kennst du -> kennst e (just the e is important, you can do that with any verb in 2nd person singular to mean: (verb) you
  • Dropping the 'e' for sie or wir conjugation (i.e. hab'n)
  • wir -> wa
  • mal or einmal -> ma'

Are there any more?

September 15, 2014


How about some abbreviations?

z.B. - zum Beispiel, "for example"

usw. - und so weiter, "etc."

bzw. - beziehungsweise, "or rather, and ... respectively"

September 16, 2014

This stuff depends on the local dialect and is different in corner of Germany. Most of the shortenings you have posted are totally untrue for Saxony. And this 'schland is not really a shortening, it is more a mocking, usually used by Germans who don't like their own country.

September 16, 2014

I agree. This list is just a compilation of the dialects spoken by the persons that posted in this thread. As an example, in several dialects there are several ways to shorten "nicht": nich, net, nit, it, idde, nedde, ... (of course, this list is incomplete)

However, there are a few shortenings that are not only used in dialects, but also in poems, chat etc., like nichts-nix, eine-'ne and the "e" at the end of the first person conjugation (habe-hab'). But these should not be used in formal language.

And here are examples from my dialect: Isch'n it? (=Isst du ihn nicht?) Hõsch'm's geɐ (Hast du es ihm gegeben?) [I used IPA-Symbols for the sounds that have no corresponding letters in German.] I think these are pretty short, but it is dialect.

September 16, 2014

Agree on both counts.

September 16, 2014

Drauf = darauf

Dran = daran

Im = in dem

September 15, 2014

they're common (for example in the area "Ruhrgebiet") , but not in every part of germany. and a lot of germans would call this "bad german" -> schlechtes Deutsch. for me they're a great way to shorten the language and to show, where I come from ; )

but it's very funny when foreigners speak or trying to speak like that.

  • musst du -> musse (like the example above)
  • hast du -> hasse
  • gehen -> geh'n (like any other verb in the infinitive form and the we/they-form)
  • haben wir ... -> ham'wa (example: Dort haben wir gegessen -> Da ham'wa gegessen.) haben sie ... -> - ham'se (Dort haben sie gewartet -> Dort ham'se gewartet.)
  • habt ihr ... -> habt'a (generally Germans use the Perfekt-form "haben+Perfekt" very frequently for everyday language, when they speak about things in the past, because it's much easier than the Präteritum)
September 15, 2014

My favorite: Hömma. Short for Hör mal (listen/listen up). Very frequent in the Ruhrgebiet-Area. It can be used to get the hearer to listen something, but it can also start any utterance if the speaker adresses someone he is rather enraged about.

September 17, 2014

nix = nichts.... 'Schland or D-land = Deutschland

September 15, 2014

Thank you...I should just go ahead and add this to the list above.

September 15, 2014

Very good idea for a thread!!

September 15, 2014
  • inna = in der
  • innem = in dem
  • kennst_e_ = kennst du (just the e is important, you can do that with any verb in 2nd person singular to mean (verb) you
  • hab'n = dropping the e for sie or wir conjugation
  • wa = wir
  • ma' = mal or einmal
September 15, 2014

Thanks! Added :)

September 15, 2014

I've noticed Germans drop almost all the "e"s of the two last letters: hab', hab'n. I would prefer to say they shorten it.

September 15, 2014

for my area around Berlin there also "ein'n" possible for "einen".

September 17, 2014

I think it is important to note that, according to the Rechtschreibreform, the apostrophe is omitted unless it would be hard to read or correctly interpret without it. The example given at (German) is Bitte nehmen S' doch Platz! Ich hol sofort den Chef. with an apostrophe for Sie and no apostrophe for hole.

September 22, 2014
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