Helpful German Expressions to Organize Your Writing

Using expressions to organize ideas

Woman Writing a Letter

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If you feel that your German writing assignments sound choppy or stilted, try incorporating some of the following expressions to make your writing flow better. These are all variations of common phrases that we often include in our native language — often without even thinking about it.

Listing and Ordering Facts and Ideas

  • First of all, first — zunächst, erstens.
  • Secondly, thirdly... zweitens, drittens...
  • besides — außerdem.
  • then — dann.
  • incidentally — übrigens.
  • further — darüber hinaus.
  • above all — vor allem.
  • lastly, finally — letztendlich, schließlich.

Introducing and Stating Examples

  • For example — zum Beispiel (abbreviated as z.B.)
  • An example, as in "I would like to give an example" — ich möchte ein Beispiel anführen.
  • Referring to point/example… — dabei sei auf Punkt/Beispiel… hingewiesen
  • namely — und zwar.


To Clarify a Point

  • In other words — Mit anderen Worten, anders ausgedrückt.
  • This signifies particularly... — Dies gilt besonders für...
  • This means — Dies bedeutet.

Writing a Summary or Conclusion

  • In a nutshell — Im Großen und Ganzen.
  • In a word — Kurz und gut.
  • In conclusion — zum Schluss.
  • To conclude, one can say that… — Zusammenfassend lässt sich sagen, dass...


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Your Citation
Bauer, Ingrid. "Helpful German Expressions to Organize Your Writing." ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, Bauer, Ingrid. (2020, August 27). Helpful German Expressions to Organize Your Writing. Retrieved from Bauer, Ingrid. "Helpful German Expressions to Organize Your Writing." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 2, 2023).