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German 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 New York to live.