How to Say “Check” in German: Formal and Informal Ways, Tips, and Examples

Learning how to say “check” in German is useful for anyone who wants to communicate effectively in German-speaking countries. Whether you’re traveling, studying, or simply curious about the German language, this guide will provide you with formal and informal ways to express this concept. While regional variations exist, we will focus on the standard German language. Let’s dive into the various expressions for “check” in German!

Formal Ways to Say “Check” in German

If you need to ask for a bill/check in a polite and formal manner, the following expressions will come in handy:

  1. Die Rechnung, bitte. – This is a straightforward way to request the bill. The phrase translates to “The bill, please.”
  2. Können wir zahlen? – Literally meaning “Can we pay?”, this question indicates your intention to settle the expenses.
  3. Entschuldigen Sie, wir möchten gerne zahlen. – A more polite approach, this phrase translates to “Excuse me, we would like to pay.”

Remember to maintain a respectful tone when using these expressions, especially in formal settings such as restaurants or hotels.

Informal Ways to Say “Check” in German

If you’re in a casual or familiar setting, such as a café or among friends, you can use these more relaxed phrases:

  • Kannst du mal bitte die Rechnung bringen? – This is an informal request for the bill, which translates to “Can you please bring the check?”
  • Ist es möglich, dass wir zahlen? – A polite yet familiar way to ask if it’s possible to pay.
  • Hey, wir möchten zahlen. Können wir den Zettel bekommen? – This expression, meaning “Hey, we want to pay. Can we get the slip?”, is suitable when talking to friends or staff you are on familiar terms with.

Informal encounters offer more flexibility in expressions, but it’s essential to consider the context and relationship you have with the person you’re speaking to.

Tips for Saying “Check” in German

1. Non-verbal Gestures: In German-speaking countries, it is common to signal the desire for a bill by making an imaginary writing motion in the air with your index finger. This action catches the attention of waitstaff without interrupting their flow of work.

2. Eye Contact: When requesting the bill in a restaurant, establish eye contact with the waiter or waitress to ensure they notice your non-verbal signal or hear your verbal request clearly.

3. Payment Methods: Familiarize yourself with the accepted payment methods in Germany. Cash is widely accepted, but credit cards are becoming increasingly common. Asking about accepted forms of payment can help avoid any inconvenience when settling the bill.

Examples in Context

Let’s take a look at a few dialogues to understand how to say “check” in German in different situations:


Waiter: Guten Abend. Haben Sie schon gewählt?

You: Ja, danke. Die Rechnung, bitte.

Waiter: Natürlich, ich bringe sie sofort.


Friend: Hast du genug gegessen?

You: Ja, danke. Kannst du mal bitte die Rechnung bringen?

Friend: Klar, ich hole sie.


As you explore the German language, knowing how to say “check” in both formal and informal settings will empower you to navigate various social situations comfortably. Remember to adapt your phrasing and level of formality based on the context and your relationship with the person you’re addressing. Practice these expressions, observe local customs, and enjoy the German-speaking world with confidence!

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