Meanings

1.
to (go) open, to come open
(For doors, shoes, zippers and a few metaphorical contexts.)
Value:
Opposite: zugehen
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2.
to rise, to go up
(For the sun, the moon and dough. And a figurative "light".)
Value:
Opposite: untergehen
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3.
to work out, to pan out
(For plans and tactics or theories.)
Value:
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4.
to find (complete) fulfillment, to get lost in
("aufgehen in+Dat" - in a positive sense for jobs, activities and hobbies where you really lose yourself in a good way. Also for something being integrated into something else, like a company for instance, but that's hard to use idiomatically)
Value:
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5.
to go up on stage
(It's the proper term for going on stage in the context of a show, especially theater and other classical stuff.)
Value:
Opposite: abgehen
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6.
to suddenly "be understood" by someone
("jemandem+Dat aufgehen" - Used for facts or connections that become clear to someone, a bit like an epiphany. You can think of it as a light rising, or as a "flower of knowledge" opening.)
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My Articles

Prefix Verbs Explained - "aufgehen"

We'll look at the various meaning(s) of "aufgehen" and see if and how they all connect. And then we'll talk about prices and how they always go up.


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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