Ways To Say Excuse Me In German

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Written By Jessica Knight

Founder of Linguatics. Passionate multilinguist.

Are you planning a trip to Germany and want to make sure you can navigate polite interactions with ease? Look no further! In this article, we will guide you through the various ways to say ‘excuse me’ in German, ensuring that you can effectively communicate in different situations.

Whether you need to get someone’s attention, apologize for an interruption, ask for help, or navigate through a crowded space, we’ve got you covered. We’ll also provide you with phrases for ordering food or drinks, apologizing for a mistake, declining an offer politely, excusing yourself from a conversation, and dealing with language barriers.

By the end of this article, you will have a comprehensive understanding of the different ways to say ‘excuse me’ in German, giving you the confidence to navigate social interactions with ease. Let’s get started!

Getting Someone’s Attention

Hey, if you wanna get someone’s attention in German, just say ‘Entschuldigung’!

It’s the most common way to say excuse me or sorry.

This word is used in various situations, like when you bump into someone or need to interrupt a conversation.

It’s polite and shows respect for the other person.

So next time you need to get someone’s attention, remember to use ‘Entschuldigung’!

Apologizing for Interruption

Sorry for butting in, but could I just quickly apologize for interrupting you?

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In German, there are a few ways to say excuse me when you need to apologize for interrupting someone. One common phrase is ‘Entschuldigung für die Unterbrechung’ which translates to ‘Apologies for the interruption.’

Another option is ‘Es tut mir leid, dass ich Sie unterbrochen habe’ meaning ‘I’m sorry for interrupting you.’

These phrases can help you show respect and courtesy when you need to apologize for interrupting someone in German.

Asking for Help

Seeking assistance in German can be easily done by using phrases like ‘Könnten Sie mir bitte helfen?’ (Could you lend me a hand?) or ‘Würden Sie mir bitte helfen?’ (Would you mind helping me?).

These polite requests are commonly used when asking for help in various situations. Remember to use a polite tone and make sure to express gratitude afterwards.

Germans appreciate politeness and are often willing to assist when asked politely.

Moving Through a Crowd

Navigating through a crowded space can be overwhelming, but don’t worry, you’ll effortlessly glide through the masses like a pro.

To politely make your way through a German crowd, say ‘Entschuldigung’ (‘excuse me’) or ‘Darf ich bitte vorbei?’ (‘may I pass, please?’).

Remember to maintain a steady pace and make eye contact to signal your intention.

With these phrases and confident demeanor, you’ll effortlessly maneuver through the crowd with ease.

Ordering Food or Drinks

Satisfy your cravings by effortlessly ordering delicious food and refreshing drinks in Germany. When you’re ready to order, simply say ‘Entschuldigung’ to get the waiter’s attention.

If you’re in a hurry, you can also use ‘Bitte’ to politely ask for your order.

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Remember to say ‘Danke’ after receiving your food or drink to show your appreciation.

Enjoy your meal and drink in Germany!

Getting Off Public Transportation

When you step off the crowded train in Germany, the thrill of exploring a new city engulfs you.

As you make your way towards the exit, it’s important to know how to politely get off public transportation in German.

To say ‘excuse me’ in this context, you can use the phrase ‘Entschuldigung’ or ‘Entschuldigen Sie bitte.’

These phrases will help you navigate the bustling crowds and ensure a smooth transition from the train to your destination.

Apologizing for a Mistake

Now that you’ve learned how to navigate public transportation in Germany, let’s move on to another important aspect of communication: apologizing for a mistake.

In German, there are various ways to say ‘excuse me’ when you make an error or cause inconvenience. Understanding these phrases will help you maintain a polite and respectful interaction with native speakers.

Politely Declining an Offer

Declining an offer politely can be challenging, but it’s important to convey gratitude while respectfully declining.

Start by acknowledging the offer and expressing appreciation for the thoughtfulness.

Then, kindly explain the reason for declining, keeping it concise and respectful.

Offer an alternative if possible, to soften the decline.

Remember, it’s crucial to maintain a polite and respectful tone throughout the conversation, ensuring the other person understands your gratitude despite declining.

Excusing Yourself from a Conversation

To gracefully excuse yourself from a conversation, you may consider expressing your desire to step away momentarily, allowing for a gracious exit.

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Politely say, ‘Entschuldigung, aber ich muss mich kurz verabschieden.’ This translates to ‘Excuse me, but I have to say goodbye briefly.’

By using this phrase, you convey your respect for the conversation while also indicating your need to leave temporarily. Remember to maintain a polite and respectful tone throughout the interaction.

Dealing with Language Barriers

Navigating through language barriers can be a fun and rewarding challenge that adds excitement to your conversations. When faced with a language barrier, remember that a simple ‘Entschuldigung’ or ‘Verzeihung’ can go a long way in getting someone’s attention.

If you need help understanding or communicating, don’t hesitate to use hand gestures, facial expressions, or even a translation app. By embracing these strategies, you can overcome language barriers and make meaningful connections with people from different cultures.


In conclusion, knowing how to say ‘excuse me’ in German is essential in various situations. Whether you need to get someone’s attention, apologize for interrupting, ask for help, or navigate through a crowd, having the right phrases at your disposal can make a significant difference.

Additionally, being able to politely decline an offer, apologize for a mistake, excuse yourself from a conversation, or handle language barriers effectively showcases your respect and understanding of German culture.

So don’t hesitate to learn these useful phrases and enhance your communication skills in German.