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Dutch Verb gaan ('to go') - Smartphones Page

The Conjugation
Moving to Another Place
Plans, Intentions, Future
Other Translations
Combinations and Compound Verbs
gaan to go
ik ga I go
wij gaan we go
ik ging I went
wij gingen we went
ik ben gegaan I have gone
click to hear

'Gaan' is a strong verb: it has a vowel change for the past tense, and even a consonant change: gaan / ging / gegaan click to hear 2

gaan to go
ik ga I go
jij gaat you go (singular, informal you)
hij gaat he goes
wij gaan we go
jullie gaan you go (plural, informal you)
zij gaan they go
U gaat you go (polite you)
click to hear 2

To keep the vowel 'long,' the second and third person singular need to double the A before the T.
Compare: (het) gat click to hear ('hole')

ga ik? am I going?
ga jij? are you going?
gaat hij? is he going?
gaan wij? are we going?
gaan jullie? are y'all going?
gaan zij? are they going?
gaat U? are you going?
click to hear

(gaan) to go
ik ging I went
jij ging you went
hij ging he went
wij gingen we went
jullie gingen y'all went
zij gingen they went
U ging you went
click to hear 2

ik ben gegaan click to hear 'I have gone'

Examples of Usage

'Gaan' click to hear is like English 'to go' - it can mean 'to move to another place' or by extension it can be used as an 'informal future tense' or to state an intention or a plan for the future. There are also many compound verbs with 'gaan' in Dutch.

'Gaan' - Moving to Another Place

[a road sign pointing to Amsterdam]
naar click to hear to
naar Amsterdam click to hear to Amsterdam
- Prepositions Pictorial

Ik ga naar huis click to hear
I'm going home
We gingen naar huis click to hear 2
We went home
We gingen naar huis toen het donker werd click to hear 2
We went home when it got dark
Ik ga naar Parijs click to hear 2
I'm going to Paris
Ik ga naar de stad click to hear 2 3
I'm going to town (for shopping, dining etc.)
Ik ga even naar de bakker click to hear 2
I'll make a quick run to the bakery

Ik ga naar boven click to hear 2 3
I'm going up (upstairs)
Ga je naar beneden? click to hear 2
Are you going down? (downstairs)
We gingen naar beneden met de lift click to hear
We took the elevator down
We gingen met de roltrap naar boven click to hear
We took the escalator up
De lift gaat naar beneden click to hear 2 3 4
The elevator is going down
Prijzen gaan niet vaak omlaag click to hear
Prices do not often go down

Ik ga meestal om half elf naar bed click to hear
I usually go to bed at 10:30 ->>

Hij gaat naar Rotterdam click to hear 2
He's going to Rotterdam
Morgen gaat hij naar Den Haag click to hear 2
Tomorrow he's going to The Hague

Ga jij? click to hear 2
Are you going? (to an event etc.)
Als ik jou was zou ik niet gaan click to hear
If I were you I wouldn't go

Ga je met de auto? click to hear 2
Are you going by car?
Ga je met je eigen auto? click to hear
Are you going with your own car?
Ga je op de fiets naar je werk? click to hear
Do you go to work on your bike? Do you ride your bike to work?

Waar ga je heen? click to hear 2 3
Waar ga je naar toe? click to hear 2 3
Where are you going?
Waar gaan jullie heen op vakantie? click to hear
Where are you guys going on vacation?

Ga direct naar huis click to hear 2
Go home right away

Ga linksaf click to hear
Go left
Ga rechtsaf click to hear
Go right
Ga bij 't kruispunt rechts click to hear 2
Go right on the intersection, take a right at the intersection
Ga terug click to hear 2
Go back
Aan het eind van de straat gaan we rechtsaf click to hear
At the end of the street we'll go right, make a right turn

ik ga morgen naar de kapper click to hear
[Tomorrow I'm going to the barber, stylist] - I'll get a haircut tomorrow

Op zondag gaan we naar de kerk click to hear 2
Sundays we go to church
Met kerstmis gingen we naar de nachtmis click to hear
At Christmas we went to midnight mass

Hij ging het huis in click to hear
He went into the house
Hij ging het huis binnen click to hear
He went [inside] into the house

Hij is even naar buiten gegaan click to hear
He [went] stepped out for a moment
... en toen ben ik naar Amerika gegaan click to hear
... and then I [went] moved to the US

'To move,' like pick up your stuff and go live in another place is verhuizen click to hear 2

verhuizen to move
ik verhuisde I moved
ik ben verhuisd I have moved
click to hear 2
Lang nadat we verhuisd waren click to hear 2
Long after we had moved
more Dutch 'House'

't Gaat me boven de pet click to hear 2
(expression) [It goes ...] - 'It's over my [cap] head' - I don't understand it, it's too difficult for me

Want de mens gaat naar z'n eeuwig huis en de rouwklagers gaan rond op de straat click to hear
Because man goes to his eternal home, and the (professional) mourners go about the streets

'Gaan' - Plans, Intentions, Future

Ik ga even een blokje om click to hear 2
I'm going for [a walk around the block] a little walk
Ik ga een dutje doen click to hear 2 3
I'm going to take a nap
Ik ga boodschappen doen click to hear
I'm going shopping ->>
Ga je je omkleden? click to hear 2
'Are you going to change?' (clothes) ->>
Ik ben benieuwd wie er gaat winnen click to hear
I'm curious who's going to win (elections, sports)

Ik ga er gelijk mee aan de gang click to hear
I'm immediately starting on it, I'll start on it right away

Morgen gaan we lijnen click to hear
Tomorrow we'll start dieting
Morgen ga ik witlof maken click to hear
Tomorrow I'll make Belgian endives ->>
Ik ga morgen bij m'n moeder eten click to hear
Tomorrow I'm going to have dinner (or lunch) at my mother's house

Ik ga morgen in Ede een huis verven click to hear
Tomorrow I'm going to paint a house in Ede
Ik ga overmorgen een schuur bouwen in Barneveld click to hear
Ik ga overmorgen in Barneveld een schuur bouwen click to hear
The day after tomorrow I'm going to build a (large) shed in Barneveld

Volgende week ga ik Elly in Edam bloemen geven click to hear 2
Next week I'll [give] bring flowers to Elly in Edam
Ik denk dat ik het huis wit ga verven click to hear
I think I'll paint the house white

Hij gaat het proberen click to hear
He's goin to try (it)

Ik ga zwemmen click to hear
I'm going [swimming] for a swim
Ik wil gaan zwemmen click to hear
I want to go for a swim
Ik wil gaan wandelen click to hear
I want to go for a stroll
Ze wilde gaan zwemmen click to hear 2 3
She wanted to go swimming
Zullen we gaan zwemmen? click to hear
Shall we go swimming?
Morgen wil ik gaan hardlopen click to hear 2
Tomorrow I want to go running
We gaan morgen voetballen click to hear
Tomorrow we're going to play soccer

Zullen we naar de film gaan? click to hear slow slow 2
Shall we go [to the] see a movie?
Vanavond gaan we naar de bioscoop click to hear
Tonight we're going to [the cinema] see a movie

We gaan overmorgen op reis click to hear
The day after tomorrow we'll be travelling
Dit jaar gaan we naar Frankrijk click to hear
This year we're going to France
We gaan donderdag op vakantie click to hear 2 3
Thursday we're going on vacation

Ga zitten click to hear 2
[Go sit] Sit down, Take a seat
Ga meteen je huiswerk maken click to hear
Go do your homework right away, Start on your homework immediately
Ga toch fietsen! click to hear 2 3
[Go ride a bike] - Take a hike (I don't believe what you're saying and you're wasting my time)

Ga zo voort! click to hear 2
[Go on like that] - Carry on!
Gaat heen en vermenigvuldigt U click to hear 2
Go forth and multiply
Ga je gang click to hear 2
Go ahead, do it your way (but I would do it differently) - in jest, said in English: 'go your gang'

We gaan zo eten click to hear 2 3
We're going to eat in a moment, We'll have dinner (or lunch) very soon
We gaan uit eten click to hear
We're going to eat out (in a restaurant)
Zullen we ergens gaan eten? click to hear 2
Shall we go eat somewhere? - in a restaurant

... en toen gingen we eten click to hear 2
... and then we had food
... en dan gaan we eten click to hear 2
... and then we'll eat
toen click to hear 2 3 'then' - in the past
- Disambiguation: Toen
dan click to hear 2 'then' - in the future
- Disambiguation: Dan
English may translate the 'gaan eten' in various ways, like 'have dinner,' 'sit down at the table' etc.

't Gaat regenen click to hear 2
It's going to rain
Gaat 't regenen? click to hear 2
Is it going to rain?
Gaat 't hard regenen? click to hear
Is it going to rain hard?
Gaat 't morgen regenen? click to hear 2
Is it going to rain tomorrow?
Gaat 't morgen hard regenen? click to hear
Is it going to rain hard tomorrow?
Waar gaat 't regenen? click to hear
Where is it going to rain?
Volgende week gaat het regenen click to hear
Next week it's going to rain
't Lijkt of 't gaat regenen click to hear
It looks like [it's going to] rain

We zouden gaan fietsen maar 't begon te regenen click to hear
We were going to make a bike ride but it started to rain

At the railroad crossing (de) spoorwegovergang click to hear
De spoorbomen gaan open click to hear
the railway barriers are opening
De spoorbomen gaan dicht click to hear
the railway barriers are closing

Als de dagen lengen, gaan de nachten strengen click to hear
(saying) As the days become longer, the nights get more severe (i.e. colder)

Weet je al wanneer 't gaat gebeuren? click to hear 2 3
Do you already know when it's going to happen? (a 'big' event like major surgery)

'Gaan' - Translated by Other Verbs

Hoe laat gaat de volgende trein? click to hear 2
What time [does ... go] is the next train?

De volgende bus gaat over een halfuur click to hear 2 3
The next bus is in half an hour
Kunt U mij zeggen wanneer de laatste trein gaat? click to hear 2 3 4
Could you please tell me [when] what time the last train [goes] leaves?
De laatste trein gaat om tien over twaalf click to hear 2 3
The last train [goes, leaves] is at 10 past 12

Hoe gaat 't? click to hear
How is it going? How are you doing?
Gaat 't wel? click to hear 2
Are you doing OK? (It looks like you're not OK)
't Gaat wel click to hear 2 3
I'm OK (but not great)

Met mij gaat 't goed click to hear
I'm doing well, I'm fine
Het gaat goed click to hear
It's going well, I'm doing fine

Dat ging maar net goed click to hear 2 3
That only just went right (it could easily have gone terribly wrong)
Sommige dagen gaat alles mis click to hear 2
On some days everything goes wrong
Sommige dagen gaat er van alles mis click to hear
On some days all kinds of things go wrong

Hoe gaat 't op je werk? click to hear
How are things at work?
Hoe gaat 't met je werk? click to hear
How is your work coming along? How is your job?
Hoe gaat 't met je studie? click to hear
How are your studies? How are things at school?

Dat gaat niet goed! click to hear 2
That's not going well, that's going wrong, there's going to be a problem
Dat kan niet goed gaan click to hear 2
That can't [go] end well, there's going to be a problem

't Gaat van een leien dakje click to hear
(expression) ['like a slate roof'] - It's going smoothly, an easy job
Er gaat altijd zoveel mis! click to hear
There are always so many things going wrong
't Gaat steeds mis click to hear 2
It goes wrong every time, it always fails

Ga je mee? click to hear
Are you [going] coming with us?
Wie gaat er mee? click to hear 2 3
Who's coming? Who's coming with us? (Either an invitation or a question)

De kost gaat voor de baat uit click to hear
(expression) 'Cost [goes out] comes before profit' - you have to invest before you can reap a revenue

't Gaat me niet aan click to hear
't Gaat me niets aan click to hear 2
It's none of my business, I shouldn't meddle
't Gaat je niets aan click to hear
It's none of your business

De Zuiderzee gaat weer tekeer click to hear
The South Sea (Zuyder Zee) is raging again.

De wind is gaan liggen click to hear
The wind ['went to lie down'] has died down

't Ging zo snel click to hear 2 3 4
It [went] happened so quickly

Ik wil niks verloren laten gaan click to hear 2
[I want nothing to go to waste] - I don't want to waste anything

't Gaat de mist in click to hear 2
[It disappears into the fog] - It fails
Er gaat er wel eens een de mist in click to hear 2
Sometimes one fails (like in a show, some songs or segments are not so good)

Misschien gaat 't gewoon niet click to hear
Maybe it's just not possible

(het) pensioen click to hear retirement pay
met pensioen gaan click to hear 2 3
to retire, go into retirement
Hij is met pensioen click to hear 2
He is retired
(Dutch (het) pension click to hear means 'boarding house' - False Friends)

vooruit click to hear 2 forwards
(de) vooruitgang click to hear progress
achteruit click to hear 2 backwards
(de) achteruitgang click to hear 2 decline, regression
Was er enige vooruitgang? click to hear 2 3
Has there been any progress?
Hij gaat erg achteruit click to hear 2 3
['He is going backwards badly'] He's quickly getting worse (health, mental state)

'Gaan' in Combinations and Compound Verbs

The Dutch verb 'gaan' click to hear by itself means 'to go' but in combinations with other words (usually prepositions) it can take on many other meanings. Like English 'to overtake' and 'to take over,' in Dutch too the compound word usually means something else than the combination of the base verb with another word. In Dutch more often than in English, the combination becomes one word, though these compound verbs often split up again in the simple tenses, and there is another complication. Like other words, compound verbs can also have several meanings; with compound verbs the meaning sometimes depends on the stress in the word.

For instance, 'ondergaan' can have the stress in two different places:

Some compound verbs split up in the simple tenses:

(de) ondergang click to hear 2 3 4 'downfall, ruin'
zonsondergang click to hear 2 'sundown' ->>
(de) neergang click to hear 2 3 'downwards trend, decline'
opkomst en neergang click to hear 2 'rise and fall'
(de) diepgang click to hear 2 profundity, seriousness, 'depth'
(de) afgang click to hear 2 embarrassing failure
(de) toegang click to hear 2 3 entry, access

[no admittance sign, no trespassing]
verboden toegang click to hear ['entry forbidden'] - no admittance, no trespassing, stay out!
(de) ingang click to hear 2 entrance
Hier is de ingang click to hear
The entrance is here
Denk eraan dat de zomertijd dit weekend ingaat click to hear
Keep in mind that the daylight saving time starts this weekend

Ik moet met 't eten aan de gang click to hear 2
['I have to get going with the food'] I have to start cooking

Hear more Dutch '-gang' words in the 'Change' Thesaurus page

'Gaan over' click to hear 2 means 'to be about,' giving the subject of a book, movie, conversation etc.:

Waar gaat 't over? click to hear 2 3
What is it about? (What is the subject?)
Het boek gaat over dolfijnen click to hear
The book is about dolphins

Occasionally, 'Gaan over' can mean 'going, moving over' something like a surface, as in the expression:
Niet over één nacht ijs gaan click to hear 2 3
['Not walking on ice of one night'] - 'to be careful, to proceed with much caution'

But the compound verb overgaan click to hear 2 can mean either 'to end, to go away' or 'to move up a grade in school'

Als 't niet vanzelf overgaat, ga ik ermee naar de dokter click to hear
If it doesn't go away by itself, I'll go see a doctor about it
Hard werken en overgaan! click to hear 2
Work hard and pass on to the next grade!
Ben je overgegaan? click to hear 2 3
Did you pass on to the next grade?
blijven zitten click to hear 2
['remain sitting'] having to repeat a grade ->>

(De) overgang click to hear means 'transition' and also 'menopause' - and 'crossing' in words like (de) spoorwegovergang click to hear 'railroad crossing' already mentioned above

'Gaan om' click to hear 2 is also translated as 'to be about' but it means 'what is important.' See also: Disambiguation: Om

't Gaat om 't geld click to hear 2
It's about the money
't Gaat niet om 't geld click to hear
It's not about the money
't Gaat wel om 't geld click to hear 2
It really is about the money ->>

Waar gaat 't om? click to hear 2
What is it about?
Dat is niet waar 't om gaat click to hear 2
That's not what it is about

But the compound verb omgaan click to hear 2 can mean 'to circulate,' "go 'round" and omgaan met click to hear 2 can mean 'to handle, deal with' but also something like 'to meet socially, spend time together'

Er gaat veel geld om click to hear 2
There's a lot of money [going 'round] in it
Hij kan niet met geld omgaan click to hear 2 3
He cannot handle, deal with money
Ze gaan veel met elkaar om click to hear 2 3 4
They're spending much time together, they're seeing a lot of each other

'Weggaan' click to hear means 'to go away, to leave'

Ik ga weg click to hear 2 3
I'm going away, I'm leaving
We gaan weg click to hear
We're leaving
Ik ga om acht uur weg click to hear 2 3
Ik ga weg om acht uur click to hear
I'm leaving at 8
Ik ga nooit meer weg click to hear 2
I'm never going to leave
We waren van plan om weg te gaan click to hear
We were planning to leave
We zijn van plan om morgen weg te gaan click to hear
We're planning to leave tomorrow
Je hoeft niet weg te gaan click to hear 2 3
You don't have to leave (you can stay for dinner etc.)
Ik ga nooit meer terug click to hear 2
I'll never go back

'Ga weg!' is like English 'Go away!' In an angry or commanding voice: Ga weg! click to hear 2 means 'Get out! Scram! I don't want you here! - but in a friendly voice it can express incredulity, like Ga weg! click to hear 2 3 ('You're exaggerating, I don't believe you, you must be joking' - 'get outta here.')

'Vertrekken' click to hear is a more formal verb for leaving, 'to depart'
Hij vertrekt morgen naar Afrika click to hear
He's leaving for Africa tomorrow
(het) vertrek click to hear 2 'departure' - also a formal word for 'room'
(de) aankomst click to hear 2 arrival ->>

'Vergaan' click to hear usually means 'to perish,' often 'ships being wrecked, lost' but it can also mean to fall apart, disappear, 'fade' because of age or exposure
Hier zijn veel schepen vergaan click to hear 2
Many ships were wrecked, lost here
Ik dacht dat de wereld verging click to hear 2
I thought [that the world was perishing] it was the end of the world
Vergane glorie click to hear Faded glory
Onkruid vergaat niet click to hear (saying) ['Weeds can't be killed'] - the permanence of serious evil and profiteering

But the 'ver' in 'vergaan' can also be 'ver' click to hear (with 'short E' and taking the stress) meaning 'far:' 'far-going.' This 'ver gaan' is usually two words.
Gaat 't te ver? click to hear 2
Does it go too far?
't Gaat te ver click to hear 2
It goes too far
Vergaande maatregelen click to hear 2
[far-reaching] extensive, drastic measures

'Doorgaan' click to hear 2 means 'to go on, to continue, to beat on' - occasionally translated as 'through.'

doorgaand verkeer click to hear 2 3 4 through traffic
't Gaat door! click to hear It is on! (An event like a sports match or a concert that was uncertain to happen will take place)
't Leven gaat door click to hear 2
Life goes on
We kunnen niet zo doorgaan click to hear 2 3 4
We can't go on like this
We moeten doorgaan click to hear 2
We have to push on
Also: ... maar gaat U verder click to hear 2 3
... but please [go further] continue (with what you were saying)
But 'gaan door' means 'to go, pass through:'
Elk pondje gaat door 't mondje click to hear
'Every pound [goes] passes through the mouth' - dieting slogan

Het licht ging aan click to hear
The light came on
Toen de bliksem insloeg ging het licht uit click to hear 2
When lightning hit the light went out
Toen het licht uitging zag ik de sterren click to hear 2
When the light went out I saw the stars
Doe je het licht uit als je weggaat? click to hear
{Will you ...?] Please turn off the light when you leave

Je moet met je tijd meegaan click to hear 2 3 slow
You should [go along with] adapt to the (changing) times

(de) voorbijganger click to hear 2 passer-by
een toevallige voorbijganger click to hear 2
a random passer-by
Van Oude Mensen en Dingen Die Voorbijgaan click to hear 2
'Of Old People and Things That Pass' - a Louis Couperus book title - the correct title is 'Van Oude Mensen, De Dingen Die Voorbijgaan'

'(De) dood' click to hear is 'death' and 'dead' - dood/dode click to hear 2 - 'Doodgaan' click to hear is 'to die.'
De hond van de buren is doodgegaan click to hear 2 3 4
The neighbors' dog died
The more formal word is overlijden click to hear 2 3 ('to pass away') - a strong verb from the root lijden click to hear 2 ('to suffer') - lijden/leed/geleden click to hear 2
M'n vader is veertig jaar geleden overleden click to hear 2
My Dad passed away 40 years ago

Somewhat jocularly, you could say:
'Ik ga liever gewoon dood' click to hear 2 3 4
'I'd rather die in the regular way' - when mock-protesting or trying to refuse something slightly risky, but more commonly commenting on an unpleasant task or given food you really don't like

zonder weerga click to hear 'without equal,' 'never coming back,' 'something you won't see again' - said about a unique event or effort

Wat is er gaande? click to hear 2
What's going on? (a bit old-fashioned)

... dat ik zei 'nou moet ik gaan' click to hear 2
... that I said 'now I [have to go] must leave'

Coming soon: komen 'to come'

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