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From Old High German stān, stēn, from Proto-Germanic *stāną. The H was introduced into the spelling by analogy with sehen which had lost the H in pronunciation in the Middle High German period but retained it in spelling as an archaism.

Alternative forms[edit]

  • stehn (dated in formal prose, but still common informally or poetically)


  • IPA(key): /ˈʃteːən/, /ʃteːn/
  • Hyphenation: ste‧hen
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -eːən


stehen (irregular, third-person singular simple present steht, past tense stand, past participle gestanden, past subjunctive stände or stünde, auxiliary haben or sein)

  1. (intransitive) to stand (to be upright, support oneself on the feet in an erect position)
  2. (intransitive) to be, to appear, to stand (to be placed or located somewhere)
    Das steht nicht in dem Wörterbuch.
    This does not appear in the dictionary.
    • 1931, Arthur Schnitzler, Flucht in die Finsternis, S. Fischer Verlag, page 36:
      Ein frisch gefülltes Glas Champagner stand vor ihm. Er trank es in einem Zug aus – mit Lust, fast mit Begier.
      A freshly filled glass of champaign was in front of him. He emptied it in one draught – with pleasure, almost with greed.
  3. (intransitive) to stay; to be still

Usage notes[edit]

In Southern Germany, Austria and Switzerland, the auxiliary verb sein is used instead of haben.


Derived terms[edit]

External links[edit]