How to Make Appointments in German

In most German-speaking countries, people are a bit more formal than in the United States. They prefer to set appointments for most everything. Consequently, it is important to learn how to make appointments in German so that you don't waste any time.

Whether you want to get together with friends or make an appointment at the embassy, the following words will come in handy.

die Verabredung (appointment)
die Nachricht (message)
die Telefonnummer (phone number)
die Adresse (address)
die E-Mail-Adresse (E-mail address)
treffen (to meet)
besuchen (to visit)
anrufen (to call [on the phone])
einen Termin vereinbaren (to make an appointment)
einen Termin absagen (to cancel an appointment)

If you decide to just go to an office without an appointment, you'll be given a time to come back for an actual meeting. If you need to make a more formal appointment with business or doctor’s office, plan to give them plenty of notice. Appointments are typically scheduled a week or more in advance.

The following phrases will come in handy when making appointments in German.

  • Können wir den Termin auf Mittwoch früh verlegen? (Can we reschedule the meeting for Wednesday morning?)

  • Treffen wir uns zum Kaffee. (Let’s meet for coffee.)

  • Ich habe heute nachmittag frei. (I have some free time this afternoon.)

  • Hast du Lust, ins Kino zu gehen? (Do you feel like going to the movies? [Informal])

  • Möchten Sie heute abend mexikanisch essen? (Would you like to go out for Mexican this evening? [Formal])

  • Leider nicht. (Unfortunately not.)

  • Ja, gerne. (Yes, gladly.)

  • Wann ist das Treffen? (When is the meeting?)

  • *Bitte wiederholen Sie! (Will you please repeat that?)

  • *Können Sie langsamer sprechen? (Could you speak slower?)

When it comes to an official appointment of any kind, punctuality is crucial. Arriving five minutes late is considered downright rude; being fifteen minutes could spell the end of any business relations. Call ahead if absolutely must be late, but be prepared to provide a reasonable explanation.

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