Although you may be able to wish someone a “Guten Tag!” in German meaning “good day”, you may not actually know how to say what day it is.
Learning the days of the week in another language like German is an important step in a language learning process and these basic words will certainly come in handy.
Whether you want to make plans with friends, figure out the opening days of a business or even set up a business meeting, it is important to know your days of the week.
Luckily, the days of the week in German are quick and easy to learn since there are only seven of them and they are quite similar to the English versions.
This guide will take you through the days of the week in German as well as other key vocabulary and phrases relating to this topic so you will be able to turn up to plans with your German friends on the right day.
The guide will also cover some handy memorization techniques so you can easily solidify these words in your mind.
The Days of the Week in German at a Glance
- Monday = Montag
- Tuesday = Dienstag
- Wednesday = Mittwoch
- Thursday = Donnerstag
- Friday = Freitag
- Saturday = Samstag
- Sunday = Sonntag
Other useful phrases
- Yesterday = Gestern
- Today = Heute
- Tomorrow = Morgen
- Tomorrow morning = morgen früh
- The day before yesterday = vorgestern
- The day after tomorrow = übermorgen
- What day of the week is it? = welchen Wochentag haben wir heute?
- Week = Woche
- Weekend = Wochenende
- What day of the week is it? = welchen Wochentag haben wir heute?
- Which day do we have today? = Welchen Tag haben wir heute?
- Which day is today? = Welcher Tag ist heute?
- What date do we have today? = Welches Datum haben wir heute?
German Days of the Week
Montag – “Monday” in German
Kicking off the week is “Monday” which in German is Montag.
Since “tag” means day in German, “Montag” is almost exactly the same as the English “Monday”.
The name actually comes from the German word for “moon” which is “Mond”. Therefore “Montag” literally means “moon-day” and this is actually where the English “Monday” comes from too.
Like all countries in Europe, “Montag” is considered the first day of the week, unlike in the United States and Canada where the week is considered to begin on a Sunday.
Dienstag – “Tuesday” in German
Following on, “Tuesday” in German is Dienstag.
Dienstag can ultimately be traced back to the old Germanic god Týr.
Týr was a deity of Germanic mythology who was a patron of heroes and warriors and who was also associated with the legal assemblies of ancient Germanic peoples.
Dienstag therefore literally means “Týr’s day” and this is also how the English word “Tuesday” was formed.
Interestingly, the Roman equivalent of Týr was the god of war Mars which is where “Tuesday” in Spanish, French, Italian and Romanian derives from.
Mittwoch – “Wednesday” in German:
The German word for “Wednesday” is “Mittwoch” and this is the only German day of the week that doesn’t end in “tag” meaning “day”.
Mittwoch isn’t named after the moon or a god and so doesn’t need the “tag” part at the end of the word like the other “moon-day” or “Týr’s day” that we have seen so far.
Actually, Mittwoch simply means “midweek” in German and since Wednesday is of course in the middle of the week “Mittwoch” makes perfect sense and is a pretty easy word to remember.
Donnerstag – “Thursday” in German:
Another German day of the week that is named after a god is Donnerstag which is the German word for “Thursday”.
“Donner” derives from the Germanic word “Donar” who was the God of thunder, also popularly known in Norse mythology as Thor.
Therefore, Donnerstag was basically “Donar’s day”. Nowadays Donnerstag literally means “thunder’s day” since “Donner” is actually the German word for thunder.
The English word “Thursday” also derives from Thor and it is more obvious to make the connection between “Thursday” and the God of thunder “Thor’s day”.
Freitag – “Friday” in German:
The final weekday “Friday” in German is “Freitag”.
“Freitag” is another German day of the week that is easy to remember since it is so similar to the English version. This is because, like most days in this list, both words have the same origin.
In both English and German, the day is named after the goddess from Germanic mythology called “Frigg”.
Therefore, like most days on this list “Freitag” means “day of Frigg”.
Samstag – “Saturday” in German:
In German Samstag is the name for “Saturday”.
“Samstag” can be traced from Old High German all the way through to the Byzantine Greek word meaning “sabbath”.
This is because historically Saturday was the last day of the week and was considered the day of rest or sabbath day in the Abrahamic religions.
Despite the fact “Samstag” is similar to the English “Saturday”, Saturday actually derives from the Old English and Latin for “Saturn’s day, influenced by the ancient Roman god of agriculture.
Interestingly in northeastern Germany you may also come across “Sonnabend” used instead of “Samstag”.
There is not much difference between “Samstag” and “Sonnabend” since they both mean “Saturday” in German. However, “Sonnabend” literally means “Sunday-eve” and is mainly used in the north and east of Germany by older generations.
Sonntag – “Sunday” in German:
The German word for “Sunday” is Sonntag.
The literal translation of “Sonntag” is “Sun Day” since “sonn” derives from the German word for “sun” which is “Sone”.
As you may be able to guess, the English version is also referencing that “Sunday” is a day of the Sun.
How to Say “Yesterday”, “Today” and “Tomorrow” in German
Of course when talking about the days in German you don’t always want to say the specific day by its name.
Therefore, there are other terms you need to know when talking about the days in German.
Gestern means “yesterday” in German, “today” in German is “heute”, and the German word for “tomorrow” is “morgen”.
As you may already know, “morgen” is also the German word for “morning”, which can be a bit confusing.
However, do not worry, it is usually obvious whether you are intending to say “tomorrow” or “morning” from the context you use “morgen” in.
For example, if you say “dieser Morgen” it is clear that you mean “this morning” and not “this tomorrow” since that doesn’t make sense.
If you want to say “tomorrow morning” you would say “morgen früh” which actually means “tomorrow early”.
The English phrases “the day before yesterday” and “the day after tomorrow” actually have their own special words in German.
“Vorgestern” means “the day before yesterday” and when you want to say “the day after tomorrow” you would use the German word “übermorgen”.
Other important words to know are “Woche” which means “week” and “Wochenende” which is the German word for “weekend”.
If you ever want to make plans to do something “on the weekend” you would say “an der Wochenende” which is quite similar to English and so it should be easy to remember.
What Gender are the German Days of the Week?
If you are wondering what gender the days of the week are in German, they are all masculine.
Since the word “tag” meaning “day” is a masculine word, the rules of compound German words dictate that a word like “Sonntag” must be masculine too.
Of course, Mittwoch doesn’t include the word “tag” but luckily it is also a masculine word, even though the word “Woche” is actually feminine.
How to Ask “What Day of the Week is it?” in German
Now you know what the days of the week are in German, but what happens if you are unsure of the actual day and want to ask someone what day it is?
There are many different ways to ask someone when you are unsure of the day. One phrase you could use is “welchen Wochentag haben wir heute?” which in German means “what day of the week is it?”
However, you could also ask “welchen Tag haben wir heute?” which means “which day do we have today?” or “welcher Tag ist heute?” that translates as “which day is today?”
Another way to ask “what day is it today?” in German is to say “was ist denn heute für ein Tag?” which directly translates to “what is today for a day?”
However, the above phrases do not specify if you are asking for the specific day of the week or for the date unlike “welchen Wochentag haben wir heute?” in which “Wochentag” means “day of the week”.
If you did want to ask for the date you would use the word “Datum” meaning date. For example, “welches Datum haben wir heute? means “what date do we have today?” and “was ist das aktuelle Datum?” means “what is the current date?”.
How to say “On Monday”, “On Tuesday”, etc. in German
If you need to make plans with friends for another day or want to talk to someone about what you did on a previous day then knowing the phrase “on Monday” or “on the weekend” in German will be useful.
The phrase “on Monday” in German would be “am Montag”.
“Am Montag” literally means “on the Monday” since “am” is a combination of the words “an” and “dem” in German which mean “in/on” and “the” in English respectively.
For example if you wanted to ask your friend “what shall we do on the weekend?” in German you would say “Was tun am Wochenende?”.
When to Capitalize Days of the Week in German
You may already know, but German nouns are always capitalized.
This means that days of the week must be capitalized since they function like nouns.
Even a word like “Mittwoch” which means “mid-week” is capitalized since it is a name for the day and so is used as a noun.
The only exception is when you are talking about something you do habitually on a day of the week, for example, “I do it on mondays” which is “Ich mache es montags”
Since you are not referring to a specific “Montag” the day is not capitalized.
How to Say “From Monday to Friday” in German
If you want to express what you do between two days you would use the German words “von” and “bis” to say “from” and “to”.
So to say “From Monday to Wednesday, I study German” in German would be “Von Montag bis Mittwoch, studiere ich Deutsch”.
Abbreviations for German Days of the Week
The days of the week are often shortened in English on calendars, shop opening hours, pill organizers and various other things to “Mon”, “Tues” or “Wed”.
In German, the same abbreviation does occur but they generally shorten the days to their first two letters rather than three or four.
So if you need to understand the opening times of a German bar then these are the abbreviations to look out for:
How To Remember the German Days of the Week
Since there are only seven days of the week, it should be too tricky to learn them in German. However, of course, it all takes practice and if you aren’t using the days of the week in German regularly you might easily forget them before you ever speak German.
One good way to expose yourself to the German days of the week and help you to memorize them is to change the setting on your phone and computer to German so you will always see the German days of the week when you look at your calendar.
Also to increase your exposure to German, it is a good idea to get a German paper calendar that you can glance up at which will also help you with learning the German months too.
Alternatively, you could try to learn the German days of the week with a song since this is a common method that German children use when learning their own language and it can be a fun way to commit the new vocabulary to memory.
You could even try using mnemonic tricks to learn the names of the German days by creating word associations between the sound of the German words and their English translations.
Now you know all the days of the week in German and all the other related phrases so you can get by day-to-day, literally, when you are in German-speaking countries.
The best way to practice is to get out there and speak with other people, make plans for different days and tell others about what you have done on those days!