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See also: Laufen and Läufen



From Old High German hloufan, loufan, from Proto-Germanic *hlaupaną. Akin to Gothic 𐌿𐍃𐌷𐌻𐌰𐌿𐍀𐌰𐌽 (ushláupan, jump up), Old Norse hlaupa (whence Danish løbe, Swedish löpa), Dutch lopen, Old Saxon hlōpan, English leap and lope. Non-Germanic cognates include Slovak klusať (to trot), Slovene kljusati (to amble).


  • IPA(key): /ˈlaʊ̯fən/, [ˈlaʊ̯fən], [ˈlaʊ̯fɱ̩]
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: lau‧fen


laufen (class 7 strong, third-person singular simple present läuft, past tense lief, past participle gelaufen, past subjunctive liefe, auxiliary sein)

  1. (transitive or intransitive) to walk; to jog; to run (to move on foot; either at a normal or an increased speed)
    Wir können mit dem Bus fahren oder laufen. — We could take the bus or walk.
    Lasst uns etwas schneller laufen. — Let's move a little faster.
    Joggen bedeutet entspannter aber auch bewusster zu laufen. — Jogging means to run in a less exhausting but more conscious way.
  2. (intransitive, of a fluid) to flow; to leak; to run
  3. (intransitive, of an event) to be in progress; to run
    Das Projekt läuft erfolgreich. — The project is progressing successfully.
  4. (intransitive, computing) to run, to execute (a program)
    Das Programm läuft einwandfrei. — The program runs flawlessly.
  5. (intransitive, of an event) to be in order; to work; to function
    Alles läuft wie es soll. — Everything works just fine.
  6. (intransitive, of time) to pass; to flow

Usage notes[edit]

  • Some dictionaries define laufen as specifically meaning a medium pace between gehen (to walk) and rennen (to run). This was indeed the original sense in Middle High German, and it remains common; but the restriction to it is contrary to long-established usage. Rather, laufen is neutral with regard to pace in modern German.


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