What are the differences between gelingen and gelangen? I am confused about the usage differences between to succeed and to reach.

  • Does it help to have two examples?_Der Plan gelingt (the plan succeeds)_ and Ich gelangte an das Ziel (I reached the goal) – Iris Feb 10 '16 at 23:35
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    They are completely different words, with unrelated meanings. Any dictionary will tell you what each of them means. – chirlu Feb 11 '16 at 6:22
  • Apart from sharing the same past tense forms, they don't have anything in common. They are unrelated, as chirlu pointed out. – Chieron Feb 11 '16 at 6:31
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    @chirlu, aparently OP did check a dictionary... – Stephie Feb 11 '16 at 6:35
  • @Chieron same past tense? I don't agree at all. – Stephie Feb 11 '16 at 6:59

Gelingen focuses on the successful outcome:
a plan that works out, a cake that turns out or a sports move that went as planned can all "gelingen".

Gelangen refers to reaching some position, either in a purely spatial or figurative sense; it can indicate some effort or coincidence:
A traveler arriving at a town, a manager reaching a certain position, a message in a bottle washing up on a shore or chemicals being found in the food chain may all "gelangen".

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