How to Say Big Sister in German: A Comprehensive Guide

Are you looking to learn how to say “big sister” in German? Whether you want to communicate with your older sibling, impress your German-speaking friends, or simply expand your language skills, we’ve got you covered! In this guide, we’ll explore the formal and informal ways of addressing a big sister in German, with relevant tips, examples, and even some regional variations. So, let’s get started!

Formal Ways of Saying Big Sister in German

If you wish to address your big sister in a formal manner, there are a few options you can consider:

  1. Schwester – This is the most basic formal word for “sister” in German. While it can be used for both younger and older sisters, it is commonly used to address older siblings in a respectful manner.
  2. Große Schwester – This phrase directly translates to “big sister.” It is a formal way to specifically refer to your older sibling and emphasize the age or seniority in the relationship.
  3. Ältere Schwester – Here, “ältere” means “older” and “Schwester” means “sister.” This is another formal expression to denote your big sister in German.

Now that you are familiar with the formal ways, let’s move on to the informal variations.

Informal Ways of Saying Big Sister in German

When it comes to informal ways of addressing a big sister, German offers several options that reflect closeness and familiarity:

  1. Sis – Borrowed from English, this is a commonly used informal term among siblings in Germany. It is pronounced the same way as in English, but with a German accent.
  2. Schwesterchen – This endearing term is a diminutive form of “Schwester” and can be translated as “little sister” or “sis.” It adds a touch of affection and playfulness when addressing your big sister.
  3. Schwesterherz – Literally meaning “sister heart” in English, this is a popular term used to address a beloved big sister. It conveys endearment and emphasizes the strong bond between siblings.

While these are the more common informal ways, you can also come up with personal nicknames that are unique to your relationship with your big sister. Ultimately, it’s the thought and affection behind it that counts!

Regional Variations

German is spoken in various regions, and as with any language, there might be regional variations in how people address their big sisters. However, it’s important to note that the concepts of formal and informal ways described earlier remain consistent throughout Germany. So, even if there are minor dialectal variations, the expressions will be understood regardless of the region.

Tips and Examples

Tips for Using the Right Expression:

  • Consider the context: Choose the appropriate form of address based on the situation and your relationship with your big sister.
  • Pay attention to age difference: If there’s a significant age gap between you and your sister, using “große Schwester” or “ältere Schwester” can help convey respect.
  • Adapt based on your sister’s preference: If your big sister prefers a certain term, it’s always best to respect her choice and use it accordingly.


Example 1: “Guten Morgen, große Schwester! Wie hast du geschlafen?” (Good morning, big sister! How did you sleep?)

Example 2: “Hey, Schwester! Hast du Lust, heute Abend ins Kino zu gehen?” (Hey, sis! Do you feel like going to the movies tonight?)

Example 3: “Sis, kannst du mir bitte helfen? Ich habe meine Hausaufgaben vergessen!” (Sis, can you please help me? I forgot my homework!)

Remember, using the right expression while addressing your big sister in German not only demonstrates your language proficiency but also showcases your appreciation and love for her.

With these formal and informal expressions, tips, and examples in mind, you are well-equipped to address your big sister in German. Whether you choose a respectful form or an endearing nickname, the warmth in your words will undoubtedly shine through. Viel Spaß beim Sprechen! (Have fun speaking!)

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