Like we say in English "Mr. Brown" and the period is connected to "Mr", is there such a thing in German language?

  • The German attribute equvalent Herr is usually written out for all what I know. The only one that comes to my mind is Frl. for Fräulein, but that's no more used nowadays. Aug 29 '19 at 17:36
  • Mr. is an abbreviation no longer identified as such. IIRC, it's an error to write Mister Brown. This isn't the case for German Hr. and Herr, they are both ok.
    – Janka
    Aug 29 '19 at 21:26
  • 3
    Ja, auch im Deutschen gibt es Abkürzungen, oder was ist die Frage? Aug 30 '19 at 13:52
  • I would a Hr. (Fr.) Braun understand, but checking the comments here, it is likely not correct. I am not a native speaker.
    – peterh
    Aug 30 '19 at 15:18
  • 2
    But there is no full stop after the r in Mr Smith! ;)
    – Jan
    Aug 30 '19 at 23:25

If you are looking for words in general that are commonly abbreviated, there is lots of them:

  • usw. - und so weiter (and so forth)
  • Dr. - Doktor (person with a PhD)
  • u. a. - unter anderem (among others)
  • o. Ä. - oder Ähnliche(s) (or similar)
  • Str. - Straße (in a street name)

If you really need to abbreviate Herr or Frau, you can use Hr. and Fr., but you should not use it in a formal context or a salutation, as it might be considered disrespectful.

  • "u. a." and "o. Ä." need to be separated by space.
    – unor
    Aug 29 '19 at 20:47
  • 1
    z.B. for zum Beispiel ("for instance") Aug 29 '19 at 21:07
  • 1
    Inwiefern soll Hr. Beispielgeber in einem formalen Kontext respektlos sein? Aug 30 '19 at 13:56
  • Wenn es um eine Respektperson geht, kann die Abkürzung nicht immer angebracht sein.
    – Œlrim
    Aug 30 '19 at 16:21
  • @userunknown: Nicht die Anrede selbst ist respektlos, aber es kann respektlos wirken, wenn man sich nicht einmal bei kurzen Wörtern die Zeit nimmt, diese auszuschreiben, statt sie abzukürzen. Bei "Hr." spart man im Vergleich zu "Herr" genau einen Tastenanschlag. Sep 2 '19 at 20:55

If you write Hr. instead of Herr or Fr. instead of Frau you save only one character - but render the text more difficult to read. These abbreviations are not uncommon, but usually the words are spelt out.

The situation may be different, in situations like the following:

Sehr geehrter Hr. Prof. Dr. med. Dr. h.c. Mayer, [..]


  • Please see Abkür­zungen for information about German abbreviations (in German) and many examples (not all of them ending with a period).

  • If you want to present Doctor honoris causa and many other abbreviations typographically correct, you need a narrow no-break space (NNBSP; unicode U+202F). If the choice is between no space or a normal, full space, I consider the omission of the space as the lesser evil, notwithstanding DIN 5008. Usage is divided.

    In Abkürzungen: „z. B.“ – z. B. Hier sollte eigentlich besser ein schmales geschütztes Leerzeichen („z. B.“ – z. B.) stehen. Aus Kompatibilitätsgründen wird jedoch in der Regel darauf verzichtet, da dieses Zeichen nicht von allen Webbrowsern und Schriftarten unterstützt wird. Häufig wird der Zwischenraum stattdessen auch ganz weggelassen, was jedoch gemäß DIN 5008 nicht korrekt ist.
    Wikipedia "Geschütztes Leerzeichen"

  • Off topic: Abbreviations, which consist of several words are typeset with a small space in between. So, write o. ä. or z. B. Aug 29 '19 at 20:45
  • 1
    Den Zwischenraum wegzulassen ist zwar nicht korrekt, aber wenn man keinen Einfluss darauf hat, wie der Text im Ausgabegerät umgebrochen wird, verhindert man so einen ungewollten Umbruch dazwischen. Für mich ein Gund mich oft über diese Regel hinwezusetzen (auch bei 14 km/14km etc.). Aug 30 '19 at 13:59

It is not only certain words that have a dot in German writing. It is literally every word that is abbreviated. You can do this with every word, at least in principle. Of course, writing sentences like

H. Mayer hat gestern im städt. Freib. Schwimmunt. gegeben.

is not very common. You need a good reason and the right environment for using abbreviations on words that are not usually abbreviated (as usw., etc., u.a., z.B. and the others that have been mentioned by other contributors).

However, in dictionaries and encylopediae you will find the lemmata (topical words of an article) quite regularly abbreviated in order to save space. E.g. you may find something like.

Regensburg. Stadt in Bayern, an der Donau. R. geht auf die römische Siedlung Castra Regina aus dem 2. Jhd. zurück. Erste Besiedlung R.s ist nachgewiesen für das 3. Jtsd. v. Chr. Heute ist R. ein Mittelzentrum mit Universität, Behörden, Leichtindustrie und Tourismus.

(Don't take the information too literally, I made it up, more or less just to give an example.)

  • "every word that is abbreviated" - this is very important remark to be made here. Unlike English, German does not have a (more or less compulsory) rule or preference to put a period only after abbreviations that end on a different letter than the full word. Sep 2 '19 at 12:02

In Germany we have a long list of abbreviations for written German, e.g. for official letters.

Here is a list of the most common abbreviations in PDF format.

A academic degrees is part of the name in Germany. Spelling of professor, doctor and graduate engineer as well as professional titles:

Prof. Dr. Hans Mustermann

Dr. Claudia Mustermann

Dipl.-Ing. Marcus Mustermann

Bachelor and Master degrees (such as B. A., B. SC., M. A., M. Sc.) are behind the name:

Sebastian Schmidt B. A.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.