gönnen

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See also: gonnen and Gönnen

German[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old High German giunnan, from unnan, from Proto-Germanic *unnaną. Compare Dutch gunnen, Yiddish פֿאַרגינען(farginen).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): [ˈɡœnən]
  • (file)

Verb[edit]

gönnen (weak, third-person singular present gönnt, past tense gönnte, past participle gegönnt, auxiliary haben)

  1. (ditransitive) to bestow, to indulge (someone's wishes), to treat to
    Ich würde meinen Kindern gerne einen speziellen Leckerbissen gönnen.
    I'd like to give my children a special treat.
  2. (ditransitive) to be happy for someone because of their good fortune
    Sie hatten so viel Pech im Leben; ich gönne ihnen den Lottogewinn.
    They've had so much bad luck in life; I don't begrudge them the lottery win.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Often used ironically, meaning that what is given has little value considering the reluctance with which it is given.
    Er liebte sie von ganzem Herzen, wofür sie ihm gelegentlich ein Nicken gönnte.
    He loved her dearly, for which she bestowed upon him an occasional nod.
This leads to a number of colloquial expressions which are, allowing for hyperbole, self-explanatory. For example:
jemandem das Schwarze unter den Nägeln nicht gönnento not grant the dirt under someone's fingernails.


Conjugation[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • gönnen” in Duden online
  • gönnen” in Digitales Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache