Last modified on 21 February 2015, at 21:38


Low GermanEdit


From Old Saxon gān, from Proto-Germanic *gāną, from Proto-Indo-European *ǵʰeh₁- (to leave). Cognate with Dutch gaan, German gehen, English go, West Frisian gean, Danish .


  • IPA(key): /ɡɔːn/, ɡɒːn/


gahn (past singular güng, past participle gahn or gangen, auxiliary verb wesen)

  1. (intransitive) to go
  2. (intransitive) to walk
  3. (transitive) to walk (some distance); to go (usually) by foot
  4. (intransitive) to leave
    Ik gah nu. – I'm leaving now.
  5. (intransitive) To lead (in a direction).
    Dehierste Weg geiht richt na Bassum. — This road goes all the way to Bassum.
  6. (intransitive) To proceed (well or poorly).
    Dat is goot gahn. — That went well.
  7. (impersonal, intransitive) to be going; to be alright; indicates how the oblique object fares
    Woans geiht dat di? — “How are you doing?”
    Mi geiht dat goot. — “I’m doing well.” (Literally, “It goes well for me.”)
    Dat geiht. — “It’s alright.”
  8. (auxiliary) Used to form the future tense of a verb, together with an infinitive.
    Dat geiht doch nich warken. — It will not work anyway.
    Note: schölen and wüllen are used more often for the future tense, instead of gahn.
  9. (auxiliary) To start to, begin to, to be going to
    De Sünn geiht wedder schienen. — The sun is starting to shine again.
    Ik gah slapen. — I'm going to sleep.
    Dat geiht so regen. — It's going to start raining soon.
  10. (colloquial, intransitive) to be possible
    Dat mag villicht gahn. – That might be possible.
  11. (colloquial, intransitive) to work, to function (the verb warken is also used in that context)
    De Koffeeautomaat geiht nich. – The coffee dispenser doesn't work.
  12. (colloquial, intransitive) to be in progress; to last
    De Sitten geiht bet Klock een. – The session is scheduled until one o'clock.
  13. (impersonal, intransitive, with “op” followed by a time) to approach; to be going (on some one)
    Dat geiht op Klock 8. — “It’s going on 8 o’clock.”

Usage notesEdit

Unlike English to go, Low German gahn does not mean "to travel somewhere" in general. A distinction must be made between gahn (walk), fohren (go by bike, car, train, or ship), and flegen (go by plane). If used with a place one cannot or would not commonly walk to, gahn often imples that one intends to stay there for a long time, e.g.: Ik gah na New York. – I'm going to live in New York.