Take the 2-minute tour ×
German Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for speakers of German wanting to discuss the finer points of the language and translation. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Gehen actually means 'to go'. The use of gehen is a semi-auxiliary in colloquial. It expresses a possibility and the infinitive has passive force.

Die Uhr geht zu reparieren.

which means 'The clock can be repaired.'

Can I replace gehen with bekommen?

share|improve this question
Where do people say it like that? In my book the sentence is wrong. - However, it's correct to say "Kann man die Uhr reparieren? - Ja, das geht." –  Em1 Oct 11 '13 at 7:11
I’ve heard that. Obviuously, it is very far from standard usage. – If you want to stick with an infinitive construction (though without zu), use läßt sich: Die Uhr läßt sich reparieren. (Also, reparieren means “repair”, not “replace”.) –  chirlu Oct 11 '13 at 7:27
add comment

1 Answer

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Usually, you would rather say "Es geht, die Uhr zu reparieren". More common would be to say "die Uhr is reparierbar" or "Man kann die Uhr reparieren".

If you want to use "bekommen", the sentence would be "Die Uhr ist repariert zu bekommen" which would be ambiguous though, since it could mean that it is possible to get it fixed (stressing the possibility) or that it is possible to get a fixed version of it (i.e. at a garage sale). Most of the times, it is the first variant, though. As a question, it would be "Bekommt man die Uhr noch repariert".

Answering your question: In your example. it is possible to construct an eqivalent sentence with "bekommen", but you cannot simply switch the words.

BTW, in regards to "geht es" as possibility, this holds always true, as you can use the construct "bekommt man es hin, dass". "Gehen" as going or walking cannot be replaced through "bekommen".

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.