Best Guide to Formal Email Writing in German

Best Guide to Formal Email Writing in German

Email Writing in German is an important writing skill which one should acquire. Nowadays, sending emails is an essential part of professional life. If you are planning to work in Germany, you must know how to write emails.

Below is a guide to make email writing in German easy for you. You will learn about opening salutations, conclusions and more.

Format For Email Writing in German

Email writing in German - email writing format German- All About Deutsch


Segments of a formal Email

Salutation Segment – When to use these salutations in German formal email writing scenarios

Salutation translates to “die Anrede” in German. A salutation is a greeting used in an email.

Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren

This salutation is used when you barely know the individuals you are writing to. It means Dear Sir or/and Madam. When you have no idea who you are writing to, you can use this salutation.

Sehr geehrter Herr Schmidt

In a formal situation, when you know the name of the male individual you are writing to, you can use this salutation. Notice how we use geehrter here because of the German cases.

Sehr geehrte Frau Schmidt

In a formal situation, when you know the name of the female individual you are writing to, you can use this salutation. Notice how we use geehrte here because of the German cases.

Sehr geehrte Herren

When you want to write to two male persons but don’t know their names, you can use this salutation.

Sehr geehrte Damen

When you want to write to two female persons but don’t know their names, you can use this salutation.

Sehr geehrter Herr Professor Schmidt

In this case, you are writing a formal email to your professor, Mr. Schmidt. In such cases you can also mention the profession in the salutation.

Sehr geehrte Frau Doktor

Another case of writing the profession as a part of the salutation is this one. If you are writing to your doctor, you can use this salutation.

Werte Geschäftspartner

This translates to “Dear valued business partners”. If you are writing to your business partners, you can use this salutation.

Sehr geehrte Frau Kollegin

To write to your female colleague, you can use this salutation.

Sehr geehrter Herr Kollege

To write to your male colleague, you can use this salutation.

Text Segment – Tips to write formal Emails in German

Always start the opening word of the text segment in lower case

This is not really a tip, but a note. Do not capitalize the first letter of the first sentence. For instance- “ich schreibe … ” and not “Ich schreibe … “. The reason is that our sentence actually starts with “Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren,”. Post the comma, we should start the words with small letters and not capital letters. Hence we use ich, but not Ich.


Use the “Sie” form

Depending on the context of the email, use the appropriate formal language. Like we explained in “100+ Important Business German Words, Phrases and Sentences”, use the formal “Sie” form and not the “du” form of pronouns while writing. Sie (Ihr, Ihnen, Ihre)


Use K2

Use the “Konjunktiv II” or the “K2” form as needed. It makes the sentence even more polite.

English: Please try the following.
German without K2:
Probieren Sie Folgendes.
German with K2:
Wäre es möglich, dass Sie Folgendes probieren?


Closing and Signature Segment – How to end formal German E-mail

Mit freundlichen Grüßen

This means ‘sincerely yours or sincere regards’. People also use MfG as a short form these days. This is one of the most frequently used closing lines.

If you are writing to your colleagues, you can use the short-form “MFG” or “MfG’.

Beste Grüße

The meaning of this closing line is ‘best regards’.

Mit herzlichen Grüßen

The meaning of this closing line is ‘with kind regards’.

Some common phrases for writing Emails

GermanEnglish
Vielen Dank für Ihre schnelle Antwort.Thank you for your quick answer.
Für weitere Fragen und Klärungen stehe ich Ihnen gerne zur Verfügung.For further questions and clarifications, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Ich hoffe, bald von Ihnen zu hören.Looking forward to hearing from you soon.
Im Voraus vielen Dank für Ihre Mühe.Thank you in advance for your effort.
Ich wäre Ihnen sehr dankbar, wenn Sie mir bald antworten würden.I would be very thankful if you would answer me soon.
Es tut mir leid.I am sorry.
Wir freuen uns auf Ihre Antwort.We look forward to your reply.
Ich bedanke mich im Voraus!Thank you in advance.
Ich bitte um Verständnis.Please bear with me.
Ich schreibe Ihnen, weil___I am writing to you because___
Ich würde mich freuen, bald wieder von Ihnen zu hören.I look forward to hearing from you soon.

This was all about formal email writing in German. Also check out our post on formal letter writing, “Best Guide to Letter Writing in German Part 1 – Formal Letters”.

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