Dictionary verb an verb *ghē- gehen angehen


to be someones business, to concern
("etwas+Acc geht jemanden (Acc) etwas/nichts an" - super common.)
to come on, to turn on
(A device turning on itself or coming on when you do it. It's not used for YOU turning on something. Also works for fire. The opposite is "ausgehen")
Opposite (closest): ausgehen
to approach, to start solving, dealing with
(For projects or problems. Fairly common in the office world.)
to snap at someone
(Rare, slightly formal sounding.)
to fight against
("angehen gegen" - not for actual battles, but fighting unfair treatment, crime or something like that. Has a vibe of "taking measures".)


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Word of the Day- "angehen"

A fun look at "angehen" how (or if) its various meanings connect. Also: how to say "That's none of your business." and the super useful phrasing "was... angeht"

Word Family

Root: *ghē-

The core idea of this root was:

going away, disappearing

This is also commonly considered the origin of to go but other relations are not certain.

The English to go is defective in the sense that it doesn’t have its own past tense form. And it hasn’t had one for more than a thousand years. Instead, it uses the form went, which is taken from the verb to wend. It’s unclear, why to go is defective.

German gehen does have its own past form, but according to German etymologist, the cluster of gehen is actually a combination of two families – one being the one of to go and the other being that of the word of English gang, which ironically was originally about making steps.

Yeah… I know… this was already a bit too nerdy. We’re here to learn German, not do science :)

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