German Language Blog

German Abbreviations – Abkürzungen Posted by on Nov 18, 2010 in Grammar, Language

Today I want show you some of the most important abbreviations in German language. Most of them are so common, that you don´t even realize that it´s an abbreviation while reading. At least when you´re living in a German spoken country.

So when you read letters, tutorials, stories etc. in German, I´m sure that you will find some of the following examples.

Abbreviation Full meaning Full meaning in English
Abb. Abbildung image/copy/illustration
Nr. Nummer number
S. Seite page
s.u. siehe unten see below
usw. und so weiter and so on
d.h. das heißt that means
i.A. im Auftrag by order of
i.d.R. in der Regel generally
u.a. und andere/unter anderem and other/among other
u.U. unter Umständen under (these) circumstances
s.a. siehe auch see also
z.T. zum Teil partial
z.B. zum Beispiel for example
z.Zt. zur Zeit now/these days/at … time
MwSt. Mehrwertsteuer sales tax/VAT
Kg Kilogramm kilogram
t Tonne(n) tonne(s)
g Gramm gram
m Meter meter
km Kilometer kilometer
cm Zenitmeter centimeter
mm Millimeter millimeter
MfG Mit freundlichen Grüßen with best regards
DDR Deutsche Demokratische Republik German Democratic Republic
BRD Bundesrepublik Deutschland Federal Republic of Germany
GmbH Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung limited company
AG Aktiengesellschaft corporation
RAF Rote Armee Fraktion Red Armee Fraction (?)
FKK Freikörperkultur nudism
PLZ Postleitzahl Postal code
P.S. Postskriptum postscript
PS Pferdestärken horse power
Etc. et cetera et cetera
Evtl. Eventuell eventually
Stck. Stück pieces
Std. Stunde (n) hour(s)
Min. Minuten minutes
L Liter litre
Tel. Telefon(nummer) phone (number)

As you can imagine there are hundreds of other abbreviations so I just tried to mention the most important ones.

I´m sure that I forgot some, so feel free to complete the list by using the comment field!

If you want to read some general information about abbreviations, I recommend this Site (German):

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About the Author: jan

My name is Jan and I live in the south west of Germany. My profession is being a project manager at a company that creates digital media (first of all internet related things). This is my job since over a decade so I´m quite familiar with the web and its tools. Whereat today almost every school kid does. But that´s one of the main reasons why nowadays there are quasi no more limits in the internet and so it can be used for all imaginable types of things. For example learning languages! And that´s where we are at the moment. I first got in touch with Transparent Language when my family and I used to live in France a couple of years ago. I just had a break from work and by coincidence I produced some cultural videos in French. A few months later the whole blogging thing came up and I was lucky to be a part of it. So now my (second) job is to feed you with information, exercises, vocabulary, grammar and stories about Germany and German language. For being a passionate videographer I´m trying to do this more and more by videos. If you have any wishes or needs of topics that should be treated here, please don´t hesitate to contact me via a comment field. I´m open to your suggestions (as long as they are not too individual) and will try to satisfy your needs.


  1. Dennis:

    I am studying a bit of German because of business transaction with some companies in Germany, and your blog has been great for a couple tips!

  2. not only evtl. wrong:

    the translation of “eventuell” is not “eventually” (-> letzendlich”) but something like “possibly”

  3. jan:

    thanks for the hint and sorry for the mistake!

  4. saarara:

    Bzw. seems to be a pretty common abbreviation that’s missing from the list 🙂

  5. Ageliki:

    I also study deutsch and this site has been a great help!! Keep up the good work!!Thank YouTube all…

  6. Bosun:

    I don’t really know the spelling of postalcode in Deutsch so I just use PLZ…

    • Sten:

      @Bosun Postleitzahl. PLZ is correct as an abbreviation indeed.

  7. Zach:

    “Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung” was translated as “limited company,” is that the same thing as a limited liability corporation, or llc.?

  8. Rich:

    u.A.w.g. um Antwort wird gebeten. RSVP

  9. Kazbat:

    ‘eventuell’ pretty much translates as ‘possible’ or ‘potential’.

    RAF is the ‘rote Armee Faktion’ – Red Army Faction. There’s no R in Faktion or Faction. The RAF in this instance was a terrorist group.

    RAF, meaning Royal Air Force, doesn’t have a German abbreviation, it being an English acronym of course.

  10. helen:

    another useful abbreviation is HGW herzlichen Gluckwunsch and W.LAN which means WiFi