Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search
See also: Gehen



From Old High German gān, gēn, from Proto-Germanic *gāną, from Proto-Indo-European *ǵʰeh₁- (to leave). Cognate with Dutch gaan, Low German gan, gahn, English go, Swedish and Danish . The -h- was introduced into the spelling by analogy with sehen, in which it had become mute but was retained in spelling.

Alternative forms[edit]

  • gehn (dated in formal prose, but still common informally and poetically)


  • IPA(key): /ˈɡeːən/, [ˈɡeː.ən] (official standard, but less common)
  • IPA(key): /ɡeːn/, [ɡeːn] (predominant)
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -eːən, -eːn
  • Hyphenation: ge‧hen


gehen (class 7 strong, third-person singular simple present geht, past tense ging, past participle gegangen, past subjunctive ginge, auxiliary sein)

  1. (intransitive) to go
  2. (intransitive) to walk
  3. (transitive) to walk (some distance); to go (some distance) by foot
  4. (intransitive) to leave
    Ich gehe jetzt. ― I’m leaving now.
  5. (intransitive) to leave, to take off (airplane, train)
    Wann geht dein Zug? − When is your train leaving?
  6. (impersonal, intransitive) to be going; to be alright; indicates how the dative object fares
    Wie geht es dir? ― How are you doing?”
    Es geht mir gut. ― I’m doing well.” (Literally, “It goes well for me.”)
    Es geht. ― It’s alright.”
  7. (colloquial, intransitive) to be possible
    Das würde vielleicht gehen. ― That might be possible.
  8. (colloquial, intransitive) to work, to function (of a machine, method or the like)
    Der Kaffeeautomat geht nicht. ― The coffee dispenser doesn't work.
  9. (colloquial, intransitive) to be in progress; to last
    Die Sitzung geht bis ein Uhr. ― The session is scheduled until one o’clock.
  10. (regional or dated, impersonal, intransitive, with “auf” followed by a time) to approach; to be going (on some one)
    Es geht auf 8 Uhr. ― It’s going on 8 o’clock.”

Usage notes[edit]

Unlike English to go, German gehen does not mean "to travel somewhere" in general. A distinction must be made between gehen (walk), fahren (go by bike, car, train, or ship), and fliegen (go by plane). If used with a place one cannot or would not commonly walk to, gehen often imples that one intends to stay there permanently, e.g.: Ich gehe nach New York. – I'm going to live in New York.



Derived terms[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]