Day Expressions in German

Day by Day - German 'Day' Idioms

From "Guten Tag" to "übermorgen"

One of the first expressions that every beginner in German learns is "Guten Tag!" — literally, "Good day!" But not all "day" expressions in German are as straight forward as that. Some English vocabulary that contains the word "day"—such as the "day before yesterday"—doesn't contain "Tag" in German: vorgestern.

We already have an lesson about the dangers of Taking Things Too Literally, and this "Day by Day" article also relates to the fact that you can't assume that an English expression will translate literally into or from German.

Just consider the following "day" expressions:

  • as clear as day = augenfällig, sonnenklar
  • call it a day = Feierabend machen
  • daylight saving time = die Sommerzeit
  • day after tomorrow = übermorgen
  • that'll be the day = das möchte ich einmal erleben
  • those were the days = das waren noch Zeiten
  • today = heute

Of course, many "day" expressions do contain some form of "Tag": tagaus, tagein (day in and day out), täglich (daily), bis zum heutigen Tag (to this day), etc.

See the next page for a detailed glossary of "day" expressions in German. You may be surprised, as I was, to discover just how many of these expressions there are! Then you can try our two "day" quizzes.

NEXT > Day Glossary
MORE > Day Quiz 1 | Date and Time Glossary

MORE > Guide to German Idioms

DAY EXPRESSIONS > Intro | Glossary | Day Quiz 1 | Date and Time Glossary

Noun genders are indicated by: r (der, masc.), e (die, fem.), s (das, neu.)
Abbreviations: adj. (adjective), adv. (adverb), n. (noun), pl. (plural), v. (verb)

More: English-German Glossaries on many topics

"Day" Expressions Glossary

daily (adj., adv.)  täglich, jeden Tag, Tag für Tag, tagtäglich
  daily bread (n.)  tägliches Brot, das Brot
  daily grind (n.)  r Alltagstrott
  daily paper (n.)  e Tageszeitung
  on a daily basis   tageweise

day(s) (n.)  r Tag (Tage)
  all day   den ganzen Tag
  as clear as day   augenfällig, sonnenklar
  call it a day (v.)  Feierabend machen, Schluss machen
  carry the day (v.)  den Sieg davontragen
  D-Day  der 6. Juni 1944 - Tag der Landung der Alliierten, der Tag X
  day after day  tagtäglich, Tag für Tag
  day after tomorrow  übermorgen
  day before yesterday  vorgestern
See Lektion 10: German for Beginners for more "wann" expressions.
  day by day  von Tag zu Tag
  day-to-day (adj.)  alltäglich, tagtäglich
  day-to-day life (n.)  das Alltagsleben
  during the day  tagsüber, im Laufe des Tages
  every other day  alle zwei Tage, jeden zweiten Tag
  every single day  tagtäglich
  for days on end  tagelang
  from this day on  von heute an
  a good day's work  eine gute Tagesleistung
  the good old days  die guten alten Zeiten
  in the good old days  in der guten alten Zeit
  Have a nice day!  Schönen Tag noch!
  in her/his day  in ihrer/seiner Zeit
  in this day and age  heutzutage
  in those days  damals, zu jener Zeit
  It's had its day.

 Es hat ausgedient./Es hat seine Glanzzeit überschritten.
  the next day  am nächsten Tag
  on a clear day  bei klarem Wetter
  on a day like today  an einem Tag wie heute
  once a day  einmal täglich
  one day, one of these days  eines Tages
  the other day  neulich
  That'll be the day.  Das möchte ich einmal erleben/sehen.
  these days  heutzutage
  Those were the days.

 Das waren noch Zeiten.
  to the day  auf den Tag genau
  to this day  bis zum heutigen Tag
  twice a day  zweimal täglich

daybreak, dawn (n.)  r Tagesanbruch
  at daybreak, dawn  bei Tagesanbruch

NEXT > Day Glossary - Part 2
MORE > Day Quiz 1 | Date and Time Glossary

MORE > Guide to German Idioms

Day by Day English-German Glossary - Part 2

DAY EXPRESSIONS > Intro | Glossary Part 2 | Day Quiz 1 | Date and Time Glossary

day care (n.)  e Ganztagsbetreuung
  day-care center   e Tagesstätte, e Kinderkrippe

daydream (n.)  r Tagtraum
daydreamer (n.)  r Tagträumer, e Tagträumerin

daylight (n.)  s Tageslicht
  to beat the living daylights out of s.o.   jemanden windelweich schlagen
  daylight saving time   e Sommerzeit
  in broad daylight   am helllichten Tag, am hellen Tag

days of the week (n.)   die Wochentage
  Monday thru Friday   werktags
  See Lektion 12: German for Beginners for all of the days of the week.

day shift (n.)  e Tagschicht

daytime (adj.)  Tages-, tagsüber, am Tag
daytime (n.)  r Tag
  What's your daytime phone number? Unter welcher Nummer sind Sie tagsüber erreichbar?

day trip (n.)  r Tagesausflug

dog days (n., pl.)  die Hundstage (pl.)

girl/man Friday (n.)   (das) Mädchen für alles

Good day!/G'day!/Hello!   Guten Tag!

today (adv.)  heute
today of all days (adv.)  ausgerechnet heute

weekdays, workdays (adv.)   werktags
  on weekdays, workdays (adv.)   werktags

What day is today?   Welchen Tag haben wir heute?

workaday, day-to-day (adj.)   alltäglich

workday (n.)   r Werktag
workdays (adv.)   werktags

yesterday (adv.)   gestern

Related Pages

Day Expressions Quiz 1
Test yourself with our self-scoring quiz on "day" words and phrases.

Day Expressions Quiz 2
Version two of our self-scoring quiz on "day" words and phrases.

Lesson 12: German for Beginners
This lesson of our free online German course covers the days of the week, the calendar, dates and setting appointments.

Date and Time Glossary
Our annotated English-German glossary related to dates, time and time expressions.

Exercises, Quizzes and Tests
The start page for all of the quizzes and exercises for German at this site.

Lesson 10: German for Beginners
Lesson 10 of our free online German course has a "Wann?" section with "when" expressions.

Latin in German
Includes the days of the week, the months and other Latin-based German vocabulary.

It's About (German) Time
A related lesson about time expressions.

Days: Latin-Deutsch-English
An annotated glossary comparing day names in the three languages.

More Glossaries
English-German glossaries on a variety of topics.

Daily German
What's today's German word of the day?