PIE root
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gaan ‎(present gaan, present participle gaande, past participle gegaan)

  1. to go
  2. Used to express the future tense, often while implying nearness in time or certainty, like English going to.

Derived termsEdit



PIE roots

From Middle Dutch gaen, from Old Dutch gān, from Proto-Germanic *gāną, from Proto-Indo-European *ǵʰeh₁- ‎(to leave). Compare West Frisian gean, Low German gan, gahn, German gehen, English go, Danish .



gaan ‎(past singular ging, past participle gegaan)

  1. (intransitive) To move from one place to another; to go.
    Ik ga naar het strand. — I'm going to the beach.
    Die auto gaat nergens naartoe. — That car isn't going anywhere.
  2. (intransitive) To leave or depart, to move away.
    Morgen gaan ze weer. — They're leaving again tomorrow.
  3. (intransitive) To lead (in a direction).
    Deze weg gaat helemaal naar Limburg. — This road goes all the way to Limburg.
  4. (intransitive) To proceed (well or poorly).
    Dat ging goed. — That went well.
    Hoe gaat het? — How is it going?
    Dat gaat niet. — That won't work.
  5. (auxiliary) Used to form the future tense of a verb, together with an infinitive.
    Het gaat toch niet werken. — It will not work anyway.
    Note: zullen is also used for the future tense, instead of gaan.
  6. (auxiliary) To start to, begin to, to be going to
    De zon gaat weer schijnen. — The sun is starting to shine again.
    Ik ga slapen. — I'm going to sleep.
    Het gaat zo regenen. — It's going to start raining soon.


Inflection of gaan (strong class 7, irregular)
infinitive gaan
past singular ging
past participle gegaan
infinitive gaan
gerund gaan n
verbal noun
present tense past tense
1st person singular ga ging
2nd person sing. (jij) gaat ging
2nd person sing. (u) gaat ging
2nd person sing. (gij) gaat gingt
3rd person singular gaat ging
plural gaan gingen
subjunctive sing.1 ga ginge
subjunctive plur.1 gaan gingen
imperative sing. ga
imperative plur.1 gaat
participles gaand gegaan
1) Archaic.

Usage notesEdit

The past tense ging in the sense of “to go” can be used to indicate the present tense as well. In Dutch, one can ask “Ging je nog naar die verjaardag vanavond?” which can mean both, “Did you go to that birthday party tonight?” and “Are you going to that birthday party tonight?”. This is similar to moeten.


over X gaan

  • to have to do with X, to be about X
    De Tibetaanse film is een filmgenre waartoe films behoren die door Tibetanen zijn gemaakt, over Tibet gaan of in het Tibetaans zijn verfilmd. — Tibetan film is a genre of film to which belong films that are made by Tibetans, have to do with Tibet or are filmed in the Tibetan language.

Derived termsEdit




  • IPA(key): [kɑ̀ːn]~[kɣɑ̀ːn]


From Proto-Athabaskan *-ɢa̓·ŋ-əʔ.


  • Apachean: Western Apache -gan, Chiricahua -gan, Jicarilla -gan, Lipan -gąą’, Plains Apache -gąą
  • Others: Tsuut’ina -gànὰ’, Hupa -ɢan-, Mattole, -gaane’, Galice gaaneʔ, Chilcotin -gán, Slavey -gǫ́’, Hare -góné’, Dogrib -gǫ̀, Dene Sųłiné -gané, Sekani -gòne’, Dunneza -góné’, Central Tanana -gonaʔ, Hän -gæ̀nn’, Ahtna -ɢaane’, Dena'ina -ɢuna, Eyak -ɢəla’, Tlingit jín ("hand")


-gaan (inalienable, e.g., shigaan "my arm", bigaan "her/his/its/their arm"), compound form: gąą-, gą-, gan-

  1. arm, foreleg, limb, branch, front wheel

Derived termsEdit



From the Old English gān ‎(to go). An alternative (and arguably more phonetically neutral; see the pronunciations given) spelling of gan or gaun.


  • Phonetic transcriptions: IPA(key): [ɡɑːn], [ɡɒːn]
  • Phonemic transcription: IPA(key): /ɡan/

The latter is the more traditional form.

In some compounds it frequently becomes IPA(key): /ɡən/, e.g. gaan oot IPA(key): /ɡən ut/, gaan in IPA(key): /ɡən ɪn/.


gaan ‎(third-person singular present gaans, present participle gaan, past went or wett, past participle been)

  1. (South Scots) to go
    Where div ee hink ee'r gaan at this time o night? [1]
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