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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
    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. (with dative or with "mit ...", impersonal) to happen (to someone); to serve (someone)
    Es geschieht ihm recht.It serves him right.



  1. past participle of geschehen

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]

Further reading[edit]

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