How to talk about trust and trustworthiness in German

The German word for “trustworthy”, in the sense of a person who is honest and truthful, is “vertrauenswürdig” (literally “trustworthy”). In the sense of “reliable”, the word is “zuverlässig”, and in the sense of “credible” or “believable”, the German word is “glaubwürdig” (literally “belief-worthy”). The opposites are formed either by attaching “un” to the beginning of the word, as in English, or by using the word “nicht” (“not”) just prior. The nouns are formed by adding “keit” to the words above (always feminine):

– “Ich finde diesen Mann nicht besonders vertrauenswürdig.” – “I don’t find this man (to be) particularly trustworthy.”
– “Sie macht einen vertrauenswürdigen Eindruck.” – “She makes a trustworthy impression.”
– “Diese Automarke ist nicht sehr zuverlässig.” – “This brand of car is not very reliable.”
– “Deine Ausrede ist nicht glaubwürdig.” – “Your excuse is not believable.”
– “Du machst dich unglaubwürdig.” – literally “You’re making yourself untrustworthy.”
– “Du verlierst an Glaubwürdigkeit.” – “You’re losing credibility.”
– “Zuverlässigkeit ist sehr wichtig.” – “Reliability is very important.”

Relatedly, as when applying for a loan, the word for “creditable” or “creditworthy” is “kreditwürdig”.

Listen up, lurkers!

We filmed an entire beginner German course!

More cool stuff from Expath

The best ways to remember gender in German

How's your German? Take our free online test!

How to get a handle on childcare in Berlin

Join us for small online German classes for English speakers

How to go about finding a flat in Berlin and Germany

All the different ways to say you're exhausted in German

Want to work as a freelancer in Germany but need more info?

Want to live and work in Germany but not sure how to do it?

How to obtain an artist visa for Berlin

How do English speakers find jobs in Germany?

All of Expath's German "words of the day"

How to tell time in German