Trying to make new friends? Looking for the love of your life? Then you'll need to know how to give compliments! Compliments are a great way to make someone feel good about themselves, to cheer them up, or to help motivate them. When you think about it, they're really quite powerful tools of communication!

Below, we'll introduce you to two different types of compliments and show you ways of how to respond to them. Let's get started improving your German!

Complimenting Abilities, Character, and Belongings

Complimenting someone's abilities, character or belongings is quite safe and a polite thing to do in everyday conversation – even with people you might not know very well. In the table below, we'll help guide you through different ways to form these everyday compliments.
   
 
   
 
Das war unglaublich!
 
That was incredible!
 
Du hast tolle Arbeit geleistet.
 
You did a great job.
 
Deine Mutter ist die beste Köchin.
 
Your mom is the best cook.
 
Du hast ein schönes Haus.
 
You have a lovely house.
 
Mir ist aufgefallen, dass du ein wirklich guter Sänger bist.
 
I noticed you are a really good singer.
 
Dein Schreiben inspiriert mich wirklich.
 
Your writing really inspires me.
 
Du hast einen guten Geschmack.
 
You have good taste.
 
Du bist so klug.
 
You're so smart.
 
Das war eine großartige Idee.
 
That was a great idea.
 
Du bist ein helles Köpfchen!
 
You're a smart cookie!
 
 
Du hast einen guten Geschmack
This compliment isn't referring to the taste of food or drinks, but instead could refer to how a person dresses, their interior design, or their music collection. Here is an example to show you how to use this compliment in one of those contexts: Du hast einen guten Musikgeschmack. There are many different ways you could respond to a phrase like this, for example: Danke, das weiß ich zu schätzen or Das ist so nett von dir zu sagen.
Du bist ein helles Köpfchen!
This German idiom can be used to describe somebody who is intelligent or does something smartly (literal translation: You are a bright head). It is very similar to the English idiom: You're a smart cookie!. A response to this compliment might look something like: Danke, das freut mich zu hören.

Complimenting Somebody's Appearance

Complimenting someone on their looks is not always easy and can often lead to awkward situations. But don't worry! With phrases like the ones in the table below, you'll be on the safe side and can be confident when giving compliments!
   
 
   
 
Du siehst fantastisch aus.
 
You look fantastic.
 
Ich mag deinen Mantel.
 
I really like your coat.
 
Ich liebe deine Schuhe!
 
I love your shoes!
 
Deine Frisur sieht heute richtig gut aus.
 
Your hair looks really nice today.
 
Das Hemd steht dir gut.
 
That shirt really suits you.
 
Das Kleid sieht fantastisch an dir aus.
 
That dress looks awesome on you.
 
Die Jacke passt gut zu deinem Hemd.
 
That jacket goes well with your shirt.
 
Mir gefällt, wie du dir heute Morgen deine Haare gemacht hast.
 
I like how you did your hair this morning.
 
Dein Modegeschmack gefällt mir sehr gut.
 
I really like your sense of style.
 
 
Du siehst fantastisch aus
By using the sentence pattern Du siehst + BESCHREIBUNG + aus you can easily compliment somebody's general appearance. Here is another example of how to use this: Du siehst glücklich aus. There are tons of ways to respond to a compliment like this. For example, somebody might simply say: Danke du auch!.
Ich mag deinen Mantel
You can use the sentence pattern Ich mag deinen + KLEIDUNGSSTÜCK to tell someone that you like something that they are wearing For example, you could say something like: Ich mag dein Outfit. Again, there are many ways someone might respond to a compliment like this, for example like this: Danke, ich habe es erst gestern gekauft.
Das Hemd steht dir gut
Use the sentence pattern KLEIDUNGSSTÜCK + steht dir gut to tell somebody that something they are wearing really suits them. Another example of this is: Die Jacke steht dir gut. Alternatively, you could use KLEIDUNGSSTÜCK + sieht gut an dir aus to say that something looks good on somebody. Here is an example using this sentence pattern: Das Hemd sieht gut an dir aus. These are simple and useful ways to compliment something that somebody is wearing. A typical response would probably just be: Danke dir!.
Die Jacke passt gut zu deinem Hemd
By using the sentence pattern Die Jacke passt gut zu deinem + KLEIDUNGSSTÜCK you can tell someone that something they're wearing goes well with or matches something else. Here is another example: Der Mantel passt gut zu deinem Outfit. Sentences like this are similar to those that use the sentence pattern KLEIDUNGSSTÜCK + steht dir gut. Both sentence patterns can be used to describe an object that fits or goes well with a person. However, sentences that use jemandem gut stehen are not normally used to describe two objects that go well with each other. Instead, zu etwas gut passen is used for that. Here is an example response to our original phrase: Das dachte ich auch.

Accepting Compliments

When somebody compliments something about you it's often polite to show your appreciation. Take a look at the examples below to find out how to do this!
   
 
   
 
Es ist so nett von dir, das zu sagen.
 
That's so nice of you to say.
 
Ich danke dir. Ich weiß das zu schätzen.
 
Thank you, I appreciate that.
 
Ich weiß dein Kompliment zu schätzen.
 
I appreciate your compliment.
 
Ich freu mich, dass es dir gefällt.
 
I'm glad you like it.
 
Vielen Dank! Ich liebe schreiben.
 
Thank you! I love writing.
 
Danke, das finde ich auch.
 
Thanks, I think so too.
 
Wirklich? Da wäre ich nie darauf gekommen.
 
Really? I never would have thought that.
 
Ich freue mich, das zu hören!
 
I'm glad to hear that!
 
Es ist schön zu sehen, dass du es zu schätzen weißt.
 
It's nice to see that you appreciate it.
 
 
Es ist so nett von dir, das zu sagen
Here is an example of an easy way to show your appreciation for a compliment. Ich weiß das zu schätzen is another sentence, which has a similar meaning. After saying either of these phrases, you could then respond by complimenting something about the other person. For example like this: Ich liebe deine Schuhe auch!.
Vielen Dank! Ich liebe schreiben
Thanking someone and telling them how much you enjoy whatever it is they complimented is another way to show your appreciation for a compliment. Maybe they complimented your new hairdo, or something you've been working very hard to improve, like your guitar playing skills. Here is another example of this: Danke, ich arbeite hart daran, mein Schreiben zu verbessern. Weiter so! is something someone could say in response.

Answers to the Most Common Questions

What are the most important German phrases that I should know when giving compliments to others?
  • Ich mag deinen Mantel.
    I really like your coat.
  • Ich liebe deine Schuhe!
    I love your shoes!
  • Es ist so nett von dir, das zu sagen.
    That's so nice of you to say.
  • Ich danke dir. Ich weiß das zu schätzen.
    Thank you, I appreciate that.
  • Du bist so klug.
    You're so smart.
  • Du siehst fantastisch aus.
    You look fantastic.
  • Das Hemd steht dir gut.
    That shirt really suits you.
  • Dein Modegeschmack gefällt mir sehr gut.
    I really like your sense of style.
How do I compliment somebody's appearance?
By using the sentence pattern Du siehst + BESCHREIBUNG + aus you can easily compliment somebody's general appearance.
  • Du siehst fantastisch aus. (You look fantastic.)
  • Du siehst wunderschön aus. (You look beautiful.)
  • Du siehst sehr glücklich aus. (You look very happy.)
How do I compliment something that somebody is wearing?
You can use the sentence pattern Ich mag deinen + KLEIDUNGSSTÜCK to tell someone that you like something that they are wearing.
  • Ich mag deinen Mantel. (I really like your coat.)
  • Ich mag dein Hemd. (I really like your shirt.)
  • Ich mag deinen Schal. (I really like your scarf.)
What is the easiest way to compliment somebody?
Probably the most common way to compliment somebody is to simply tell them what you like about them. This can be done in several different ways, but here are a couple examples: Dein Hut gefällt mir sehr gut., Du hast eine schöne Gesangsstimme., and Der Pullover passt gut zu deinem Outfit..
When should I compliment somebody's appearance?
Complimenting somebody's appearance is not always the best thing to do right when you meet somebody for the first time, and could lead to awkward moments. It's relatively normal to compliment other people's clothing even if you don't know them, but it's better to save compliments about a person's body until you know them more.
How do I compliment something that somebody is wearing?
You can complement somebody's clothing by using any of the following sentence patterns:

KLEIDUNGSSTÜCK + steht dir gut.
  • Das Hemd steht dir gut. (That shirt really suits you.)
  • Dein Hut steht dir gut. (Your hat really suits you.)
  • Der Mantel steht dir gut. (The coat really suits you.)

KLEIDUNGSSTÜCK + sieht gut an dir aus.
  • Das Hemd sieht gut an dir aus. (That shirt looks good on you.)
  • Die Jacke sieht gut an dir aus. (That jacket looks good on you.)
  • Das Kleid sieht gut an dir aus. (That dress looks good on you.)

Die Jacke passt gut zu deinem + KLEIDUNGSSTÜCK.
  • Die Jacke passt gut zu deinem Hemd. (That jacket goes well with your shirt.)
  • Die Jacke passt gut zu deinem Outfit. (That jacket goes well with your outfit.)
  • Die Jacke passt gut zu deiner Hose. (That jacket goes well with your pants.)