TOP
Welcome - Site Maps: Mobile - Desktop
~ Desktop/Tablet Version of This Page
Smartphone Verbs Home

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

The Conjugation
Moving to Another Place
Plans, Intentions, Future
Other Translations
Combinations and Compound Verbs

'Gaan'   click to hear 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 - but it is not as irregular as its English equivalent

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

simple present tense
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

simple past tense
(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

present perfect tense
ik ben gegaan click to hear 'I have gone'
auxiliary verb zijn

When in the perfect tense combined with other verbs, gaan is not in the form of the past participle but as an infinitive
ik ben gaan ... click to hear 2 3 "I have gone ..., I have come" De wind is gaan liggen click to hear The wind has ['gone to lay down'] died down Ik ben gaan wandelen click to hear I have gone for a stroll, I went hiking Ik ben gaan waarderen ... click to hear 2 3 I have [gone] come to appreciate ... Ik ben gaan twijfelen ... click to hear 2 I've come to doubt ... - more

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 Ik ging vroeg naar huis click to hear 2 3 4 I went home early 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 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 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 ->>

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 Where are you going? 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 more 'verhuizen'
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)

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? Hoe gaat 't op school? click to hear How are things at school? How is school? (secondary 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 Dat gaat 'n keer mis click to hear 2 3 That [goes] will go wrong sometime

't Gaat van een leien dakje click to hear (saying) ['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 (saying) 'Cost [goes out] comes before profit' - you have to invest before you can reap a revenue

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

't Ging zo snel click to hear 2 3 4 It [went so fast] 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 gaat met pensioen click to hear 2 3 He is retiring, he'll retire soon Hij is met pensioen click to hear 2 He is retired Hij is met pensioen gegaan click to hear 2 3 He has 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)

Waar is 't gebleven? click to hear 2 3 [Where has it remained?] - Where did it go? (An item seems to have disappeared)

'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 the 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 (de) zijingang click to hear 2 side entrance
Denk eraan dat de zomertijd dit weekend ingaat click to hear Keep in mind that the daylight saving time starts this weekend

(de) uitgang click to hear 2 exit
Waar is de uitgang? click to hear Where is the exit? De uitgang is daar click to hear The exit is over there (de) nooduitgang click to hear emergency exit

aan de gang click to hear 2 3 4 can mean 'going on' or 'get going' - with a slightly different stress aan de gang! click to hear can mean 'get going! to work!'

Ik ga er gelijk mee aan de gang click to hear I'm immediately starting on it, I'll start on it right away Ik moet met 't eten aan de gang click to hear 2 3 ['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, associate with'

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 Wie met pek omgaat wordt ermee besmet click to hear 2 3 4 (saying) [He who handles, deals with pitch gets contaminated by it] - He who touches pitch shall be defiled - dealing with evil will easily change you for the worse

'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
Je gaat weg click to hear 2 You are leaving We gaan weg click to hear We're leaving Ga je weg? click to hear 2 3 4 Are you leaving?
Ik ga om acht uur weg click to hear 2 3 I'm leaving at 8 You can also say: Ik ga weg om acht uur click to hear I'm leaving at 8
Ik moet om acht uur weg click to hear 2 I have to leave at 8 We gaan om zes uur weg click to hear We're leaving at 6
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, our plan is 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.)
En daarom ben ik weggegaan click to hear 2 3 And because of that I've left, and that's why I left

'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.')
- more 'weg'

Ik ga nooit meer terug click to hear 2 I'll never go back

Ga je mee? click to hear Are you coming with me/us? Ik kom er nooit meer click to hear 2 3 4 I never go there anymore - also: I'll never go there again

'Vertrekken' click to hear is a more formal verb for leaving, 'to depart'

vertrekken to depart
ik vertrek I depart
wij vertrekken we depart
ik vertrok I departed
wij vertrokken we departed
ik ben vertrokken I have departed
click to hear 2

Hij vertrekt morgen naar Afrika click to hear He's leaving for Africa tomorrow (het) vertrek click to hear 2 'departure' ‑>> - but also a formal word for 'room'

aankomen click to hear 2 - to arrive // to gain weight ‑>>
(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, or 'fade' because of age or exposure

Hier zijn veel schepen vergaan click to hear 2 Many ships were wrecked, lost here met man en muis click to hear vergaan click to hear (saying) [to perish with man and mouse] - said of ships being lost completely, no survivors, nothing recovered 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 't Lachen zal je vergaan click to hear 2 3 4 [Your lauching will stop] - you may now think it's funny but you'll be sorry later

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 We moeten doorgaan tot 't klaar is click to hear 2 We'll have to continue until it's finished 't Gaat te lang door click to hear 2 3 4 5 It goes on (for) too long 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(s) when you leave

But 'niet aangaan' click to hear 2 3 and 'niets aangaan' click to hear 2 can also mean 'none of your business, no concern of yours'
'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, stay out of it!

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 reprise,' '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'

See also: komen 'to come'

Smartphone Verbs Home

More Good Dutch Smartphone Pages

email - Copyright © Marco Schuffelen 2016.
All rights reserved. This material may not
be published, broadcast, rewritten,
redistributed, or hotlinked to.
Gij zult niet stelen click to hear 'Thou shalt not steal'