stehen n

  1. genitive plural of stehno


Alternative formsEdit

  • steh'n
  • stehn (dated in formal prose, but still common informally or poetically)


From Middle High German stān, stēn, from Old High German stān, stēn, from Proto-West Germanic *stān, from Proto-Germanic *stāną. The -h- was introduced into the spelling by analogy with sehen, in which it had become mute but was retained in spelling.


  • IPA(key): /ˈʃteː.ən/ (official standard, but less common)
  • IPA(key): /ʃteːn/ (predominant)
  • Rhymes: -eːən, -eːn
  • Hyphenation: ste‧hen
  • (file)
  • (file)


stehen (irregular, third-person singular simple present steht, past tense stand, past participle gestanden, past subjunctive stände or stünde, auxiliary haben or sein)

  1. (intransitive) to stand (to be upright, support oneself on the feet in an erect position)
    auf eigenen Füßen stehen
    to stand on one's own feet
  2. (intransitive) to be, to appear, to stand (to be placed or located somewhere)
    Das steht nicht in dem Wörterbuch.
    This does not appear in the dictionary.
    • 1931, Arthur Schnitzler, chapter IV, in Flucht in die Finsternis[1], S. Fischer Verlag, page 36:
      Ein frisch gefülltes Glas Champagner stand vor ihm. Er trank es in einem Zug aus – mit Lust, fast mit Begier.
      A freshly filled glass of champagne was in front of him. He emptied it in one draught – with pleasure, almost with greed.
  3. (intransitive) to stay; to be still
    Das Leben steht.Life stands still.
  4. (transitive) to suit, to become (to look attractive on, of a garment, color etc.)
    Blau steht dir sehr gut!Blue suits you very well!
    Der Tod steht ihr gutDeath Becomes Her (film title)
  5. (Switzerland) to put, place
    Synonym: sich stellen
  6. (colloquial, transitive with auf) to fancy
    Ich glaube sie steht nicht auf dich.
    I don't think she fancies you.
    • 1980, “Wir Steh'n Auf Berlin”, performed by Ideal:
      Neben mir wohnt ein Philosoph / Fenster auf, ich hör Türkenmelodien / Ich fühl mich gut / Ich steh auf Berlin
      (please add an English translation of this quote)

Usage notesEdit

The most frequent auxiliary with stehen is haben: Ich habe gestanden. (NB: This expression also happens to be the perfect tense of gestehen: I have confessed.) In northern and central Germany, only this form is used. In southern Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, sein is common in the vernacular and also, alternatively, in standard usage: Ich bin gestanden.


Derived termsEdit

Further readingEdit