How To Say Grandpa in German? And What Is The Name For Grandfather?

How To Say Grandpa in German? And What Is The Name For Grandfather?

There are a few different ways how to say grandpa in German. In short, you would say Opa. (Der) Opa, the grandpa, is a masculine singular noun. The plural would be (die) Opas.

This is the informal German term for grandfather, and you would translate it as grandpa or grampa. 


The word is ordinarily used with a definite article in most parts of central Germany, southern Germany, and Austria.


  •  Wo ist der Opa? – "Where is Grandpa?


In the north of Germany, and commonly in writing, no article tends to be used.


  •  Wo ist Opa? - "Where is Grandpa?"


Keep in mind that there are several forms of Standard German. The German language also has a few different dialects; spelling and pronunciation may be different depending on area and dialect. 


Common regional differences in pronuncation of grandpa in German

We use the IPA to write down phonetically the different ways to pronounce the name for grandpa. 


  1. /ˈoːpa/ - Standard German
  2.  /ˈɔpa/ mainly in western Germany
  3. /ˈoːpʰɐ/ some speakers from the area in and around Kiel
  4.  /ˈɔ.pas/ for the plural, Opas



In the rest of this article, we will dive further into synonyms for grandpa in the German language. 


If you would like to know more practical German vocabulary, take a look at our German frequency dictionary series. These books list the 10.000 most common words in German with IPA phonetic spelling and bilingual example sentences. 


How To Say Grandfather


The formal name for grandfather is (der) Grossvater / Großvater or Grossvader Großvader. You would pronounce this word as /ˈɡʁoːsfatɐ/. This term is slightly archaic and less in use in modern-day German than Opa. The plural would be (die) Grossväter Großväter or Grossväder / Großväder


More synonyms for grandpa would be:


  • Großpapa
  • Opapa
  • Opi (affectionate)
  • Ätti (Switzerland)
  • Altvater


How Do You Say Great-Grandpa in German?


You can simply add the prefix "ur" to Opa or Grossvater.


    • Uropa, Uropas  - Great-grandpa('s)
    • Urgrossvater, Ugrossväter  - Great-grandfather('s)




If you want to designate which grandpa you, you can use the following terms:

  • Großvater mütterlicherseits (on the mother's side, maternal grandfather)
  • Großvater väterlicherseits (on the father's side, paternal grandpa)




We hope to have informed you sufficiently on the various translations of how to say Grandpa in the German language. We gave you several IPA pronunciations, a few different synonyms and some hyponyms. 


German Frequency Dictionary 1 - Essential Vocabulary - 2500 most common words by frequency listThe German Frequency Dictionary Book 1 - Essential Vocabulary is a great starting point if you're beginning to learn German. It contains the 2500 most common words, that account for 90% of all spoken language, and 85% of all written language.


If you would like to know more about family and the different ways of addressing them, in the next few articles, we are going to look at how to say:


  • Grandma and grandmother
  • Grandparents 


Do you have any questions or comments? We would love to hear about them. Please let us know in the comment section below!





1 comment

  • Sylvia

    My mother is a German WWII bride married my Dad 1)4 German but American soldier. My Mom has lived in USA since marrying and rushing to get out of Germany for marrying American. I was raised in Houston Texas, close to ocean due to mom being from NW ship channel. Beet there

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published