I'm looking for a form of the verb sich ausgehen in the past sense, close to the meaning of

We didn't make it (because of time constraints) yesterday anymore.

I was wondering if I could say something like

Es hat sich gestern nicht mehr (zeitlich) ausgegangen.

Is that correct / should one rather use sein like they write in the dictionary or is this formulation completely wrong and there is a better one?

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    "Es geht sich aus" is an Austrian colloquial expression (according to Duden: duden.de/rechtschreibung/ausgehen )
    – splattne
    Commented Jul 5, 2011 at 14:13
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    As you probably know, sein is used to construct the Perfekt of verbs of direction/movement, haben for other verbs. Of course there are cases of doubt. (As a recent non-directional metaphor based on directional (aus-)gehen, sich ausgehen is such a case of doubt.) In these, haben generally wins in the North of Germany and sein generally wins in the Southern German-speaking regions. "Es hat sich nicht ausgegangen" is wrong because it combines an Austriacism with the Northern way of forming the Perfekt.
    – user2183
    Commented Apr 2, 2015 at 9:40

4 Answers 4


The correct form is

Es ist sich gestern nicht mehr ausgegangen.

But note that this is very colloquial and probably not understood outside of Bavaria and Austria.

  • somehow that sounded strange to me, but seems the grammar book is right :) i live in austria so it's more than ok if it's understood here ;) Commented Jul 5, 2011 at 9:47
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    I lived in Austria for a few years, and I think the claim that sich ausgehen is very colloquial is wrong, at least for Vienna. I heard this all the time, including on television, from employees in shops, and from academics at Vienna University.
    – user2183
    Commented Apr 2, 2015 at 9:32
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    PS: But it is definitely true that most Germans, even from the south-west, will be puzzled at first. Not sure about Bavarians. I have never heard it in Bavaria, but they may have more exposure to Austrian German.
    – user2183
    Commented Apr 2, 2015 at 9:41
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    @HansAdler: I moved from Vienna to Stuttgart, the South of Germany, with 26 for a physics PhD and was totally confused when I accidentally discovered that people wouldn't understand me when I say "Das geht sich nicht aus." From talking to people at home later, I can confirm that the vast majority of Viennese people are unaware that this grammar isn't also German German. Another example would be the Viennese "I habe es um 5 Euro gekauft". Germans would respond "Um 5 Euro? Ja wie viel Euro jetzt genau?!"
    – Nikolaj-K
    Commented Dec 8, 2015 at 20:04

I'd translate using "ausreichen":

We didn't make it (because of time constraints) yesterday anymore.

Es hat gestern (zeitlich) leider nicht mehr gereicht

but even that's more spoken than written language.

Wir haben es leider gestern nicht mehr geschafft

is probably most correct.

  • If you were to translate it with "ausreichen", then I'd make the time explicit: "Die Zeit hat gestern leider nicht mehr gereicht." "Es hat nicht gereicht" sounds very strange to me. Commented Jul 5, 2011 at 13:52

I would agree that es hat sich ausgegangen is the correct present perfect tense of es geht sich aus. I also strongly agree that sich ausgehen is very regional and only being used by a certain group of speakers. That group does not include myself. I would understand it vaguely, but I would struggle to understand what the exact meaning is. I am from the Dortmund area. It might be correct that it's chiefly used in the southern parts of the German speaking area. I would use Es hat nicht geklappt. As far as I remember, I never heard sich ausgehen in any official TV news show or such. I agree it's mostly spoken language and limited to a certain group of speakers.

  • The original question is not at all about the meaning or the use of sich ausgehen but only about the correct auxiliary when forming the Perfekt tense.
    – Jonathan Herrera
    Commented Feb 24, 2022 at 20:53

"sich ausgehen"

this phrase doesn't exist in german.

neither the answer of Stefan Walter is correct.

lsiten to pilif he is absolutely right!

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    The phrase definitely exists, even if its now known everywhere. Commented Jul 5, 2011 at 13:53
  • according to Duden: "Es geht sich aus: österreichisch umgangssprachlich für es reicht gerade."
    – splattne
    Commented Jul 5, 2011 at 14:11

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