I recognise the usage of "gehört" in the context of the verb "gehören" (to belong to someone/something) and the context of the past participle of "hören", however I have only now come across the usage in regards to:

wenn es sich gehört (what would be the translation here?)

and also apparently theres a Wortspiel for a radio station:

Ö1 gehört gehört

On looking up various online dictionaries, I find the various options which include:

Das gehört sich nicht (that's just not done)

Es gehört sich nicht (it's bad manners to...)

So gehört sich das! (that's the spirit!)

Could someone please explain to me how the word is used in relation to the above with some common scenarios and examples and is this used widely throughout both Germany and Austria? (I've never seen such an example in my German-origin workbooks)

  • 1
    BTW: It's "Ö1 gehört gehört." It's, as already mentioned, the radio station Österreich 1.
    – schlingel
    Commented Sep 24, 2014 at 12:15

3 Answers 3


As you updated your question, I'll update my answer ;)

Es gehört sich

is used to express that something is expected or should be done a certain way.

Es gehört sich, am Sonntag in die Kirche zu gehen (One should go to church on sundays / It's expected to go to church on sundays)

Now your sentence just adds the conditional Wenn to the meaning

Wenn es sich gehört

If something should be done a certain way, ...

The second one is used as a pun.

Ö1(A radio station) gehört gehört

means something like One should listen to Ö1, the second gehört referring to the verb hören (to hear). As mentioned, gehört (In the meaning of one should) is rather colloquial and not used in formal contexts.

  • 2
    Right on. This is a commercial for the Austrian classic music radio station Ö1.
    – Ingmar
    Commented Sep 24, 2014 at 12:05
  • Interesting. German SWR1 uses the same slogan. Would be interesting to know who picked it up from whom...
    – tofro
    Commented Jun 27, 2018 at 12:35

It is another form of Passiv (gehören + Partizip II, apparently german likes those):

Er gehört bestraft! (He needs to be punished)
Das gehört verboten! (This needs to be forbidden)

It denotes that something should be done, but AFAIK it is colloquial. Merkel would not say:

Es gehört etwas für die Wirtschaft getan (something must be done for the economy)

From Southwest Germany I know the use "Zu wem gehörst' (Du)?", meaning "Whose child are you?"

About "Wenn es sich gehört." - I suppose that it is the "manners" meaning.


As others have stated, "gehören" in this sense indicates that something should be done or put in certain state, or is appropriate, often with a moral connotation. It's not very formal, but quite widely used, at least in southern Germany. Common phrases include:

Hier gehört mal gründlich aufgeräumt! - This place needs to be cleaned up thoroughly!

(It's a very convenient phrase for expressing outrage without stating who should fix the situation.)

Gehört das so? - Is that how it should be? [Or does it need to be fixed?]

Das gehört so! - That's how it should be. [Even if it looks funny to you. So don't touch it.]

Das gehört sich nicht! - You don't do that [as a morally responsible person]!

Regarding your questions, my suggestions are

wenn es sich gehört - when it's [socially] appropriate


Ö1 gehört gehört - Ö1 deserves to be listened to / Ö1 should be listened to

  • Gehört das so? erscheint mir im Gegensatz zu den anderen nicht standardsprachlich korrekt zu sein. Ich würde es ähnlich einschätzen wie: Muss das so?
    – Carsten S
    Commented Jun 28, 2018 at 19:56

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