I'm trying to understand the meaning of the following construct:

Die Einfachheit und sparsame Schönheit bewegten ihn, und er kam so oft es ging zurück

„Steve Jobs: Die autorisierte Biografie des Apple-Gründers“ Seite 318-319

The question is, why es ging is used and how it can be translated in this context all together? Is it gramatically corect usage?

1 Answer 1


I would want to see a pair of commas around "so oft es ging", (not absolutely wrong like it is, but optional - "so oft es ging" is a subclause and should be placed between comas, they can be considered optional here because you can argue it is a set phrase) but otherwise the sentence is perfectly O.K.

"es geht" translates to "it is possible" here.

A possible translation would be

He was moved by the simplicity and frugal beauty, and he came back whenever possible.

  • So "so of es geht" in this context is like "so oft wie möglich"?
    – tillias
    Commented Apr 24, 2018 at 6:02
  • That's what I'm saying, yes.
    – tofro
    Commented Apr 24, 2018 at 6:09
  • Wow, very nice and thank you very much for an answer!
    – tillias
    Commented Apr 24, 2018 at 6:10

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