German Letter and E-Mail Basics

Every week I receive e-mails from students and readers asking me to clarify grammatical points and every week I receive the following e-mails with the following salutation: “Liebe Christian”. Now if you’re looking at that and think there is nothing wrong, this post is for you.

Let’s look at some key basics for written communication in German.

First we need to ask ourselves if we are writing a letter or an e-mail. Just like in English, there is a difference in these two forms. Let’s start with letters; after all if you can write a letter, you can write an e-mail. Just a note here, in Switzerland, Germany, and Austria letters to resign or cancel a subscription or service must be sent registered post. At the post office (die Post / das Postamt) you’ll need to say: “Ich möchte den Brief per Einschreiben senden, bitte.” Similarly, any letter that is meant to carry legal obligations addressed to you must also come eingeschrieben. This means that the letter needs to be signed for by the recipient.

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  1. Now THIS is helpful to a lot of people I racon :)… good job

  2. laurelin168 · · Reply

    I never thought that I’d have to study ‘nominative, accusative, dative, genitive .. .-articles’ until I started my German course recently. Growing up learning English as a second language made everything SO easy. Now in my third German lesson, I’m nearly drowning!! So thank you, for lending people like me a hand. :) I shall be visiting often.

  3. […] week we looked at ways to correctly address letters and write your salutations and conclusions. What we learned was that adjective endings are particularly important for these […]

  4. Usually I do not read post on blogs, however I wish to say that this write-up very compelled me to take a look at and do so! Your writing taste has been amazed me. Thank you, very nice post.

  5. Ankit Khandelwal · · Reply

    Danke für einen gut post.

    1. @Ankit: Danke für den guten Artikel :-) (Adjektiv Endungen)

  6. Lieber Christian, vielen Dank für diesen ausgezeichneten Artikel, wie immer.

    Ich habe noch eine Frage: Warum ist es “Liebes Tagebuch”, mit einem “s”?

    1. Macht nichts, jetzt erst fällt mir ein, da es ist “das Tagebuch”, man benutze “Liebes Tagebuch”.

  7. Ahmed Magdy · · Reply

    Very helpfull indeed… Danke Schoen :-)

  8. Ado Novales · · Reply

    your posts are wunderbar! big big help! vielen Dank!

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