The bus driver drove off after picking up passengers at the stop.

Der Busfahrer fuhr los, nachdem er Fahrgäste an der Bushaltesstelle aufgenommen hatte.

Can I also use losgehen in this context? What is the difference between losgehen and losfahren?

  • 5
    No, you cannot. Losgehen means "start walking, leave by foot". The difference between losgehen and losfahren is, quite logically, that between gehen and fahren.
    – RegDwight
    Apr 27, 2014 at 0:59
  • 2
    What did your own research show? Which of the explanations you looked up do you need help with?
    – teylyn
    Apr 29, 2014 at 1:22
  • @RegDwight LEGO-Projekt?! Bist du Däne? Coole Tierchen :)
    – c.p.
    May 28, 2014 at 23:00

2 Answers 2


Im Englischen benutzt man "to go" um irgendwohin zu gelangen ("I go to Europe", "I go to the store", "I go by train"). Das sagt nicht unbedingt etwas darüber aus, wie man dahin kommt. Im Deutschen bezieht sich gehen immer auf die eigenen Füße (to walk). Deshalb kannst Du "losgehen" hier nicht verwenden, denn das würde heißen, dass der Busfahrer den Bus verlässt und irgendwohin geht (läuft).

  • 1
    Die Fahrt geht los, sobald alle Fahrgäste eingestiegen sind. – "Losgehen" also contains the meaning of "to begin". However, it must be associated with some kind of action, activity, or event; and a bus driver is certainly not the correct sort of noun to represent such a thing.
    – Em1
    May 12, 2014 at 11:30
  • See the italics "in this context" in the original question...
    – Robert
    Nov 10, 2014 at 16:34

In standard German "gehen" almost always means "to go by foot". To make matters worse, however, there are a few exceptions:

It can mean to emigrate, or move somewhere for some time:

Ich gehe für ein Jahr nach Spanien.

It can mean "to work", as in "operate properly":

Geht dein Computer jetzt wieder?

It can mean "to be available, to have time":

Wann geht es denn bei Ihnen?

There are other fixed expressions as well:

Wie geht es dir? (How are you feeling?) Es geht schon (Mustn't grumble.) Das geht dich nichts an! (That's none of your business!)

To answer your original question, though: No, you cannot use losgehen here as you're clearly not referring to movement by foot.

Since that would be too easy, though, there are a few other cases where losgehen refers to something else, like the start of an event (Wann geht das Match los? Geht's bald los?) or an explosion (Plötzlich ging die Bombe los).

  • See the italics "in this context" in the original question... jeez, guys, you don't have to add all possible uses of a word in an answer...
    – Robert
    Nov 10, 2014 at 16:34
  • Following that logic, "no" would have sufficed. Not the most thoughtful answer, though.
    – Ingmar
    Nov 10, 2014 at 16:46
  • That would be the other extreme and equally not helpful. That's why I kept my answer to what was actually asked, not extending it to Gott und die Welt. In the days of tl;dr that makes most sense to me.
    – Robert
    Nov 10, 2014 at 17:05
  • Well, I didn't see any harm in providing a few more examples. Feel free to read as much or little as you want.
    – Ingmar
    Nov 10, 2014 at 17:14

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