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See also: Geschehen



From Middle High German geschehen, geschēn, geschegen, from Old High German giskehan, scehan, from Proto-West Germanic *skehan (to spring, come up, emerge, happen). Cognate to Dutch geschieden.


  • IPA(key): /ɡəˈʃeːən/, /ɡəˈʃeːn/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -eːən


geschehen (class 5 strong, third-person singular present geschieht, past tense geschah, past participle geschehen, past subjunctive geschähe, auxiliary sein)

  1. (intransitive) to occur; to happen
    Synonym: passieren
    Wie konnte das nur geschehen?
    How could that have happened?
    Dein Wille geschehe, wie im Himmel so auf Erden.
    Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. (Lord's Prayer)
  2. (intransitive, with mit or with bare dative) to happen to (someone)
    Synonym: passieren
    Was ist (mit) dir geschehen?
    What happened to you?
  3. (impersonal, with dative and recht) to serve (someone) right (in this construction passieren is not possible)
    Das geschieht ihm recht.That serves him right.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Only third-person forms of this verb are common. First and second-person forms are very rare, though not impossible. For example, one could say in poetic speech: O Unglück! Wenn du geschiehst, dann geschieh bald! (“O misfortune! If thou happenest, then happen soon!”)
  • In most regions, geschehen is rather formal, with passieren being the more normal word for “to happen”.


Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]



  1. past participle of geschehen
  2. (impersonal, with um) over, lost, done for, doomed, dead
    Um den ist es geschehen.
    He's done for.

Derived terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • geschehen” in Digitales Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache
  • geschehen” in Uni Leipzig: Wortschatz-Lexikon
  • geschehen” in Duden online
  • geschehen” in