Blog » Learn German » German Vocabulary » Days of the Week in German: A Complete Guide

Days of the Week in German: A Complete Guide

Knowing the days of the week in German is essential. Whether you want to book an appointment, understand the train schedule, or invite someone over for your birthday party, you’ll need to know your days of the week.

However, it’s not as simple as that. What about the correct prepositions? And when should you capitalize these words? You might have a lot of questions, but don’t worry – I have the answers. Here’s what you need to know about days of the week in German.

What are the days of the week in German?

German is often considered to be one of the more difficult languages to learn. From complex grammar to long, complicated words, it can be a lot. But when it comes to the days of the week, it’s not actually that bad at all. The German days are very similar to their English equivalents.

Montag – Monday

Montag, just like Monday, literally means “moon day.” Mond means “moon” in German, and Tag means “day.”

Dienstag – Tuesday

Dienstag means “Týr’s day.” Týr is the Norse god of war.

Interestingly, this is also where the word Tuesday comes from. As I mentioned earlier, there is a lot of overlap between the days of the week in German and English.

Mittwoch – Wednesday

Mittwoch is an interesting one. It literally means “mid-week.”

A long time ago, the German word for Wednesday used to be Wodenstag, meaning “Wodan’s day” (or “Odin’s day”). However, this word is no longer in use. These days, you will only come across Mittwoch.

Donnerstag – Thursday

Donner means “thunder” in German. It should therefore come as no surprise that Donnerstag is the day of the god of thunder, Donar, who is better known as Thor.

So, while Donnerstag and Thursday might not seem very similar at first glance, they do have the same meaning. Donnerstag is “Donar’s day,” and Thursday is “Thor’s day.” Both words celebrate the Norse god of thunder.

Freitag – Friday

Freitag, much like Friday, is named after the Norse goddess Frigg. It literally means “Frigg’s day.” Frigg is associated with marriage and motherhood.

Samstag – Saturday

Samstag refers to the Sabbath, which is the Jewish day of rest.

However, Samstag is not the only German word for Saturday. In some parts of Germany, you might also come across the word Sonnabend, which means “sun-evening” or “Sunday’s eve.” That being said, Samstag is the more commonly used of the two words, and it is universally understood.

Sonntag – Sunday

In German, Sonne means “sun.” So, Sonntag literally means “sun-day.” For obvious reasons, this one should be easy to remember for English speakers.

How to remember days of the week in German

Now that you know what the days of the week in German are, it’s time to memorize them. Here are some tips on how to do that:

  • Repetition method: Just like when you learned the alphabet or counting, try repeating the sequence a bunch of times. Sometimes, the old way is the best way.
  • Use flashcards. You don’t want to have to go through the entire sequence every time you’re trying to remember how to say Saturday or Sunday. So, grab some flashcards, write down the days of the week in German, and shuffle the deck. You can take these anywhere with you and practice whenever you have some spare time. For example, I love to do flashcards on long train journeys.
  • Change the language settings of your phone or calendar. Immersion is one of the best ways to master a language. To learn more German, you can switch your phone’s language. If you’re not comfortable taking it that far, consider only changing the language settings of your calendar. That way, you’ll remember the days of the week in German in no time, but you won’t have to deal with German in other places on your phone where it might be inconvenient.
  • Alternatively, make your own German calendar. You can put it on the fridge or above your desk. Just place it somewhere where you’ll be forced to look at it every now and then. As I said, immersion is key.
  • Learn by listening to music. There are many fun songs out there that put the days of the week in German to song. Listening to one of those on repeat is a good way to memorize the sequence. Here’s one of my favorites by Learn German Through Music:

Important things to know about days of the week in German

Do you capitalize the days of the week in German?

In German, the days of the week are generally capitalized. So, always write “Montag” and not “montag.” This should be easy to remember. All nouns are capitalized in German, and the days of the week are no exception.

That being said, there are some cases when capital letters are not necessary. For example, if you’re describing something that you tend to do every single week on one specific day, you should not use a capital letter. Instead, just add an “s” to the end of the word. Here’s what this looks like:

  • Ich arbeite sonntags. (I work on Sundays.)

The above sentence means that the speaker regularly works on Sundays. In this case, it would not be correct to use a capital letter.

Are the days of the week in German masculine, feminine, or neuter?

All days of the week in German are masculine. This makes sense. Most of the words end with “-tag.” “Tag” is the German word for day, and it’s also masculine.

The only exception to this is Mittwoch. This one ends with “woch,” which is a reference to the German word “Woche,” meaning “week.” “Woche” is a feminine noun. Nevertheless, Mittwoch is still a masculine noun.

This may seem a little confusing but don’t overcomplicate it. Just remember that all days of the week in German are masculine.

Which prepositions should you use with the days of the week in German?

When you want to say that something happened on Monday, you should say “am Montag.” The same goes for any other day. “Am” is the preposition to use when you want to say that something happened on a specific day.

Another useful thing to remember is the prepositions “von” and “bis.” These mean “from” and “to.” For example:

  • Ich arbeite von Montag bis Freitag. (I work from Monday to Friday.)

How to ask what day it is in German?

If, for some reason, you’re unsure what day it is, the simplest thing to do is ask someone. But how do you do this? Well, you have a couple of options:

  • Welchen Tag haben wir heute? (Which day do we have today?)
  • Was ist denn heute für ein Tag? (What is today for a day?)
  • Welcher Tag ist heute? (Which day is it today?)

Either of the three options above is acceptable to use, however, the first one (Welchen Tag haben wir heute?) is perhaps the most common in German.

How to abbreviate the days of the week in German?

When you look at a German calendar or any kind of official schedule, you will likely be confronted with abbreviations rather than the full words for the days of the week in German.

It’s important to know these abbreviations and understand what they are. So, here is how to abbreviate the days of the week in German:

  • Montag – Mo
  • Dienstag – Di
  • Mittwoch – Mi
  • Donnerstag – Do
  • Freitag – Fr
  • Samstag – Sa
  • Sonntag – So

Notice how in German, you use the first two letters of each word. This is different from English, where we use the first three letters.

Other German words related to days and dates

There are other words related to days and dates that you should know. These might come in handy when you’re trying to set up that dentist appointment you’ve been postponing or when you’re trying to explain to your friend when you’re free to go to the cinema.

Here is a useful table of all the commonly used day- and date-related words you might need:

German word English translation
heute today
gestern yesterday
vorgestern the day before yesterday
morgen tomorrow
übermorgen the day after tomorrow
(der) Tag (the) day
(die) Woche (the) week
(das) Wochenende (the) weekend
(der) Monat (the) month
(das) Jahr (the) year

Days of the week in German: Final thoughts

Days of the week in German are something that every learner should memorize. Luckily, this shouldn’t be too difficult. There is a lot of overlap between English and German when it comes to the days of the week. Not only do many of the words sound the same, but they also largely share etymology. As far as learning German goes, this is definitely one of the easier skills to master.

Learn more

If you’ve gotten this far and still feel like learning more about the German language, check out some of our other helpful guides. Here are some that I would recommend:

Challenge yourself with Clozemaster

Learning the German days of the week might seem daunting at first, but don’t worry, it comes naturally with practice.

Test your skills and see what you’ve learned from this article by playing a selection of sentences with German days of the week.

Sign up here to save your progress and start getting fluent with thousands of German sentences at Clozemaster.

Clozemaster has been designed to help you learn the language in context by filling in the gaps in authentic sentences. With features such as Grammar Challenges, Cloze-Listening, and Cloze-Reading, the app will let you emphasize all the competencies necessary to become fluent in German.

Take your German to the next level. Click here to start practicing with real German sentences!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *