‘Gehen’ Conjugations

‘Gehen’ conjugations translate to ‘I go / I went / I will go etc.’ The infinitive verb ‘gehen’ (‘to go) in English) is one of the very first German verbs you should learn.
‘Gehen’ is a common German verb that you’ll need to use in various tenses and moods in order to communicate in everyday spoken & written German.

Get Unstuck With German

Finally understand hard-to-grasp German grammar concepts.

Get Started Free
‘Gehen’ Conjugations
Written by Laura Bennett
-   Updated:
- 13 minute read
✓ Fact Checked Cite Us Ⓠ Why German with Laura

Learning ‘gehen’ is tricky because German verbs have more conjugation options compared to English verbs –so there’s more that our brains have to remember!

Key Takeaways

  • ‘Gehen’ (‘to go’) is a commonly used infinitive verb in German.
  • there are more ‘gehen’ conjugation options than what we have in English.
  • you need to learn ‘gehen’ conjugations for multiple tenses and moods.

How is ‘Gehen’ Used in German?

Knowing how to correctly use ‘gehen’ in its many diverse forms allows you to speak masterfully in German in a wide variety of contexts. 

‘Gehen’ allows you to talk about yourself and others ‘going’ (I go to the library every week/ I am going on a cruise, etc.) in all manner of situations past, present, future, and hypothetical. 

You’ll use ‘gehen’ in order to …

  • ✅ Talk about going places (I’m going home / to the office, etc.)
  • ✅ Communicate about certain activities (I’m going swimming / dancing, etc.)
  • ✅ Say that you (or someone else) goes, went, had gone, will go, etc.

What Are The 6 Conjugations of ‘Gehen’? 

The 6 conjugations of ‘gehen’ in the present tense line up with our 6 subject pronouns to give us ‘ich gehe’, ‘du gehst’, ‘er / sie / es geht’, ‘wir gehen’, ‘ihr geht’, and ‘sie gehen.’

There are, of course, even more forms of ‘gehen’ in other tenses (and moods). 

But it’s best to first focus strictly on the present tense conjugations of ‘gehen’, so let’s look at it side-by-side with the English ‘to go’:

‘Gehen’ (in English)

I go
you go
he/she/it goes
we go
they go

‘Gehen’ in German is ‘to go’ in English. And in the present tense, we have two possible conjugations: ‘go’, and ‘goes’.

In the case of ‘go’, it is recycled –that is, it’s used with multiple different pronouns (i.e. I, you, we, they). It’s only he/she/it that uses its own unique conjugation ‘goes’.

Those same conjugations in German look like this:

‘Gehen’ (Present Tense) English vs German

Gehen Conjugation English vs. German in the Present Tense

Comparing German & English

It’s important to notice the patterns of similarities and differences at this point. 

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Where does German ‘recycle’ the same conjugations?
  • Are the German & English changes to ‘gehen’ (to go) occurring with equivalent pronouns?
  • Which language includes more changes compared to the other? 

‘Gehen’ in the Present Tense

The present tense conjugations of ‘gehen’ are ich gehe, du gehst, er / sie / es geht, wir gehen, ihr geht, and sie gehen.

Put into a typical conjugation table, these options are presented like this:

Present Tense Conjugation Chart:
ich gehewir gehen
du gehstihr geht
er/sie/es gehtsie gehen

You truly haven’t even begun to learn ‘gehen’ until you know ALL the nominative case pronouns and which form of ‘gehen’ each of them takes.

To talk about the conjugations of ‘gehen’ used by the various pronouns, we have to work backward by starting with the pronouns. 

And in order to understand nominative case (i.e. subject) pronouns, we need to talk about the grammar concept of ‘persons’.

What are ‘persons’?

The ‘persons’ (I, you, they, etc.) are split into two categories that interact with each other: 

There are 3 subcategories of ‘persons’ (1st Person, 2nd Person, and 3rd Person) and each of these has a ‘singular’ and a ‘plural’ variant. 

When we intersect this information on Y and X axes, we get these ultra-familiar English subject pronouns:

English Subject Pronouns Chart

Now, here is the German version of the same table of subject pronouns: 

German Subject Pronouns Chart

German & English Pronouns Side-by-Side

Where do English and German line up and where are there differences?

English and German have 1-to-1 equivalents for all pronouns … except that German has extra pronouns for ‘you’ (highlighted).

FULL German Subject Pronouns Chart
2nd (informal)duihr

Understanding the ‘ihr’ plural of ‘du’ is straightforward enough: Americans might relate it to the concept of y’all. We’re simply talking to multiple ‘you’s at the same time.

But what is the deal with the singular and plural ‘Sie’?

Formal vs. Informal ‘You’

If you took high school Spanish, you’ve already been exposed to the idea of ‘you’ having an informal version and a formal version (e.g. ‘tu’ [informal] and ‘Usted’ [formal]).

It’s the exact same idea in German.

We need to use the formal ‘you’ when we address …

  • someone we don’t intimately know 
  • someone to whom we want to show additional respect
  • someone in a relative position of authority 

Of course, these separate categories have some obvious potential overlaps in that many times we perceive others as authority figures whom we also genuinely respect and with whom we wouldn’t go out to a pub for a beer because we don’t know them intimately enough.

When to Use the Formal ‘Sie’

As you can see in the table, if you’re using the formal address ‘Sie’, it doesn’t matter if you’re talking to one person or multiple –the pronoun AND its conjugation of ‘gehen’ stays the same:

German Subject Pronoun & ‘Gehen’ Conjugations Chart:
1stIch gehewir gehen
2nd (informal)du gehstihr geht
(formal)Sie gehenSie gehen
3rder/sie/es gehtsie gehen

In German, you generally need to use this formal version of ‘you’ if you’re talking with…

  • professionals (e.g. clerks, police officers, doctors, plumbers, etc.) 
  • leaders (e.g. priests, politicians, choir directors, bosses, etc.)
  • elders (e.g. anyone clearly at least a generation older than you are)

Examples of ‘Gehen’

Knowing how to use ‘gehen’ in the present tense for all the 1st, 2nd (formal and informal) and 3rd persons, singular and plural, is exactly what you should know for now. 

1st Person, Singular & Plural

Ich gehe in das (ins) Büro. (I am going to the office.)
Ich gehe nach Hause. (I am going home.)

Wir gehen in das (ins) Büro. (We are going to the office.)
Wir gehen nach Hause. (We are going home.)

2nd Person (Informal), Singular & Plural

Du gehst in das (ins) Büro. (You are going to the office.)
Du gehst nach Hause. (You are going home.)

Ihr geht in das (ins) Büro. (You are going to the office.)
Ihr geht nach Hause. (You are going home.)

2nd Person (Formal), Singular & Plural

Sie gehen in das (ins) Büro. (You are going to the office.)
Sie gehen nach Hause. (You are going home.)

Sie gehen in das (ins) Büro. (You are going to the office.)
Sie gehen nach Hause. (You are going home.)

3rd Person, Singular & Plural

Die Frau geht in das (ins) Büro. (The woman is going to the office.)
Die Frau geht nach Hause. (The woman is going to the office.)

Die Frauen gehen in das (ins) Büro. (The women are going to the office.)
Die Frauen gehen nach Hause. (The women are going home.)


Learning all of this is a big task for almost every German learner.

The shortcut?
I’ll teach you step-by-step.

Get Started Now

Comparing German & English

There are several interesting points to make on the above examples so that you can further your general knowledge of German beyond specifics of ‘gehen’.

  • Notice the particular phrase ‘nach Hause’ that correlates to going ‘home’. English doesn’t use a preposition like German does. 
  • Speaking of prepositions, man, are they tricky! ‘Nach’ in certain instances translates as ‘to’ … but so do some other German prepositions. 
  • Notice also that ‘in das’ can be contracted (and most commonly would be, especially in spoken German) to ‘ins’. Furthermore, this is an example of a two-way preposition.

Skills You’ll Need to Use ‘Gehen’ Conjugations:

‘Gehen’ makes it possible to relay information about places you’re going (or even that you’re going to do a particular activity such as ‘going swimming’) in all manner of situations past, present, future, and hypothetical. 

‘Gehen’ is such a common, everyday verb that you can’t masterfully speak German if you don’t understand how to use its various conjugations.

You’ll use ‘gehen’ in order to …

  • ✅ Talk about going places (I’m going to the grocery store, etc.)
  • ✅ Communicate about certain activities (I’m going shopping, etc.)
  • ✅ Use a lot of common idioms (e.g. ‘to go ballistic’, ‘to go to the dogs’)
  • ✅ Talk about ‘going’ in the past, present, and future (I will go…, etc.)
  • ✅ Speak hypothetically (e.g. I would have gone, if only …)
  • ✅ Give a command or make a suggestion (e.g. ‘go away!’, ‘let’s go!’)

Building Blocks You Need For ‘Gehen’

‘Gehen’ conjugations empower you to express yourself in a LOT of different ways. You need to correctly wield ‘gehen’ in a variety of contexts in order to speak German capably, comfortably, and confidently.

To correctly use ‘gehen’ in various tenses and moods, to give commands or offer suggestions, or to speak hypothetically, you need to build these foundational skills:

  1. Know the subject [i.e. nominative] pronouns for all singular & plural persons.
  2. Learn the present and simple past tense conjugations of ‘gehen’ for all persons.
  3. Learn the ‘gehen’ conjugations for the conditional, subjunctive, and imperative moods.
  4. Know when to use the infinitive form vs. past participle of ‘gehen’.

Terminology Explained

subject pronouns are the words ‘I’, ‘you’, ‘he’, ‘she’, ‘it’, ‘we’ and ‘they’ in English. German has these same options BUT also three more! These pronouns are categorized as ‘persons’ that are either singular (e.g. ‘I’) or plural (e.g. ‘we’). 

conjugations are slight changes to a verb that line up with different ‘persons’ –for example, ‘I go’ (base verb) vs. ‘he goes’ (with the added ‘es’). English generally has only these two conjugations, but German typically uses four conjugations.

tense & mood are simply variants of a verb such as present tense (‘I go’), past tense (‘I went’), future tense (‘I will go’), and subjunctive mood (‘I would go, [if]…’). German and English have all the same verb tenses and moods and they function similarly.

infinitive verbs are the base form of German verbs and typically end with an -en that is removed (producing the ‘root’ /’stem’) before then adding on conjugations. Also, some particular sentence formulations utilize a verb (or even two) in its infinitive form.

past participles are a form of a verb that is used to formulate the 3 ‘perfect’ tenses and also in the utilization of the passive voice. Every verb has just one past participle that is used by all persons in conjunction with a ‘helping verb’ (either ‘haben’ or ‘sein’).

“HELP! This Feels Overwhelming!”

This can understandably feel like a LOT, but the good news is that you DON’T have to fully master all the applications of ‘gehen’ right now as a beginner learner –which also means you don’t have to have all the relevant lingo totally down yet, either.

The ideal place to start is by learning just the German subject pronouns and the present tense conjugations of ‘gehen’. We covered this in depth above, but here is the table with both pieces of information, again, here:

gehen conjugation table

Repetitious, simple sentences (like the examples I gave you above in an earlier section) will help you drill these present tense ‘gehen’ conjugations into your memory. 

And since all the subject pronouns are exactly the same no matter what German verb conjugations we’re learning, we’ll get lots of mileage out of learning our ‘ich’ and ‘du’, etc.

If you’re beyond a beginner level already, you’ll see those ‘ich’s and ‘du’s repeated again and again in the following tables of ALL the ‘gehen’ conjugations. 


Learning all of this is a big task for almost every German learner.

The shortcut?
I’ll teach you step-by-step.

Get Started Now

‘Gehen’ Conjugations in ALL Tenses & Moods

‘Gehen’ is used in 6 tenses (of the indicative mood), and in two additional moods (the subjunctive and imperative). We use ‘gehen’ to talk about ‘going’ in the past, present, and future (e.g. I went, I go, I will go). ‘Gehen’ is also used to say ‘I wouldgo (subjunctive) or to give a command such as ‘go away!’

For those of you who are ready for it, here are the full conjugation tables for ‘gehen’:

Indicative (Indikativ)

The indicative mood is how we talk most of the time: about real facts (Are you going to the concert? Did you already go to the store? I go to the beach whenever I can. Etc.)

The indicative mood subcategories into SIX tenses in both English and German. Most of these tenses are used very similarly. 

It’s essential to learn the Present Tense first, and then the Present Perfect. After that, you’ll get the most utility out of the Simple Future, then Simple Past, then Past Perfect, and then Future Perfect.

Present (Präsens)

‘GEHEN’- Present Tense (Präsens) Table
1stich geh(e)⁵wir geh(e)⁵n
2nddu gehstihr geht
3rder gehtsie geh(e)⁵n

Simple Past (Präteritum)

‘GEHEN’- Simple Past (Präteritum) Table
1stich gingwir gingen
2nddu gingstihr gingt
3rder gingsie gingen

Present Perfect (Perfekt)

‘GEHEN’ – Present Perfect (Perfekt) Table
1stich bin gegangenwir sind gegangen
2nddu bist gegangenihr seid gegangen
3rder ist gegangensie sind gegangen

Past Perfect (Plusquamperfekt)

‘GEHEN’ – Past Perfect (Plusquamperfekt) Table
1stich war gegangenwir waren gegangen
2nddu warst gegangenihr wart gegangen
3rder war gegangensie waren gegangen

Simple Future (Futur I)

‘GEHEN’ – Simple Future (Futur I) Table
1stich werde geh(e)⁵nwir werden geh(e)⁵n
2nddu wirst geh(e)⁵nihr werdet geh(e)⁵n
3rder wird geh(e)⁵nsie werden geh(e)⁵n

Future Perfect (Futur II)

‘GEHEN’ – Future Perfect (Futur II) Table
1stich werde gegangen seinwir werden gegangen sein
2nddu wirst gegangen seinihr werdet gegangen sein
3rder wird gegangen seinsie werden gegangen sein
Important Notes on German Tenses

Although German and English HAVE all the same tenses, they aren’t necessarily all used the same way.

In German …

  • The Present Tense covers three different English options: for example, I eat, I do eat, I am eating would ALL simply be ‘Ich esse’ in German. 
  • The Present Perfect Tense (which would technically translate to, e.g. I have eaten) actually correlates with English’s simple past (i.e.  I ate) in terms of usage.
  • The Simple Future tense is frequently avoided in favor of the Present tense and a time adverbial. 

Imperative (Imperativ)

The imperative mood is used in both English and German for giving commands. Note that a ‘du’ or ‘ihr’ subject is generally omitted, but that a ‘wir’ and ‘Sie’ must be present.

‘GEHEN’- Imperative (Imperativ) Table
1stgeh(e)⁵n wir!
2nd Informalgeh(e)⁵ [du]!geht [ihr]!
2nd Formalgeh(e)⁵n Sie!geh(e)⁵n Sie!

Subjunctive (Konjunktiv)

The subjunctive mood is used in both English and German (but much more frequently in German!) to communicate hypothetical (i.e. not factual [indicative]) situations. The subjunctive can be used to communicate a present or future likelihood (but not certainty) OR a complete impossibility in the past, present, or future. The subjunctive is also used for expressing polite requests vs. the commands of the imperative mood.

Present Subjunctive (Konjunktiv I) 

‘GEHEN’- Present Subjunctive (Konjunktiv I) Table
1stich gehewir geh(e)⁵n
2nddu gehestihr gehet
3rder gehesie geh(e)⁵n

Past Subjunctive (Konjunktiv II) 

‘GEHEN’- Past Subjunctive (Konjunktiv II)  Table
1stich gingewir gingen
2nddu gingestihr ginget
3rder gingesie gingen

Perfect Subjunctive (Konjunktiv Perfekt) 

‘GEHEN’ – Perfect Subjunctive (Konjunktiv Perfekt) Table
1stich sei gegangenwir seien gegangen
2nddu seiest gegangenihr seiet gegangen
3rder sei gegangensie seien gegangen

Past Perfect Subjunctive (Konjunktiv Plusquamperfekt) 

‘GEHEN’ – Past Perfect Subjunctive (Konjunktiv Plusquamperfekt) Table
1stich wäre gegangenwir wären gegangen
2nddu wärest gegangenihr wäret gegangen
3rder wäre gegangensie wären gegangen

Future Subjunctive (Konjunktiv Futur I) 

‘GEHEN’ – Future Subjunctive (Konjunktiv Futur I) Table
1stich werde geh(e)⁵nwir werden geh(e)⁵n
2nddu werdest geh(e)⁵nihr werdet geh(e)⁵n
3rder werde geh(e)⁵nsie werden geh(e)⁵n

Future Perfect Subjunctive (Konjunktiv Futur II)

‘GEHEN’ – Future Perfect Subjunctive (Konjunktiv Futur II) Table
1stich werde gegangen seinwir werden gegangen sein
2nddu werdest gegangen seinihr werdet gegangen sein
3rder werde gegangen seinsie werden gegangen sein

Common Confusion

‘Ist gegangen’ or ‘hat gegangen’?

‘Ist gegangen’ is correct because ‘gehen’ is an intransitive verb that implies the subject’s change of location from point A to point B (otherwise, the helping verb we’d need would be ‘haben’ vs. ‘sein’).

‘Ist gegangen’ is how you’d say ‘has gone / went’ for the 3rd person singular (er / sie /es). The same past participle ‘gegangen’ would pair with ‘sein’ as its helping verb in order to form the present perfect tense for all other persons, too.

‘Ist gegangen’ or ‘ging’?

‘Ist gegangen’ and ‘ging’ are two different past tense forms of the infinitive verb ‘gehen’ (to go). In spoken German, you are most likely to hear / use ‘ist gegangen’ vs. ‘ging’.

‘Ist gegangen’ is a form of the present perfect tense –this tense always involves a past participle (‘gegangen’ for the infinitive verb ‘gehen’ [to go]) and a helping verb (in this case, ‘ist’: the 3rd person singular form of the infinitive verb ‘sein’ [to be] in the present tense).

 ‘Ging’ is the form of the simple past tense used for the 1st and 3rd persons singular. See above for the full conjugation tables for both of these tenses for all persons. 

Does ‘gehen’ use the accusative or dative?

‘Gehen’ (to go) doesn’t require either the accusative case (i.e. a direct object) or the dative case (i.e. an indirect object). 

‘Gehen’ is an intransitive verb, which means it can be used with simply a subject (e.g. ‘Ich gehe’ [I’m going]). Any additional information added is optional: for example, ‘Ich gehe jetzt’ (I’m going now) or ‘Ich gehe nach Hause’ (I’m going home). 

There are also certain phrases using ‘gehen’ and an accusative prepositional phrase and/or even a dative recipient/ beneficiary such as in the phrase ‘Du gehst mir auf die Nerven’ (You’re getting on my nerves). 

Rapid Q&A

What form is ‘geh’?

‘Geh’ is the imperative mood of the infinitive verb ‘gehen’ (to go) and thus used in commands such ‘Geh weg!’ (go away!). See above for more information on the imperative mood.

What is the simple past form of ‘wir gehen’?

The simple past form of ‘wir gehen’ is ‘wir gingen.’ See above for full conjugation tables.

Is gehen an irregular verb?

Yes, ‘gehen’ is an irregular, i.e. strong, German verb, though not one that requires a stem-vowel change in the present tense. 

Its 3 forms that indicate the vowel changes needed in other tenses, though, are ‘geht / ging / ist gegangen.’ Learn about the 3 forms of German verb here.

What are the 3 forms of ‘gehen’?

gehen conjugation 3 verb forms

Ready to Get Unstuck Learning German?

If you've been trying to learn German but still don’t quite ‘get it’, get ready for a major breakthrough.

Get Started Free