I see same word 'geht' however different translations

Edit: I am using Google Translate here so please correct me if I am wrong anywhere.

'Wie geht's?' translates to 'How are you?' Here "geht's" translates to "it's" on Google Translate.

However if I translate just the word 'geht', the result is 'going'.

Following two statements are another example: "Mir geht's nicht so gut." & "Es geht mir schlecht." Both have similar translation however "geht's" & 'geht' have a different meaning on it's own.

I want to understand why is there a difference and on what grounds or anything that might explain it.

  • Could you please edit your post and add examples for the different translations? – Arsak Nov 11 '18 at 7:17
  • We are unable to aswer this question without any context. Give us concrete and tangible examples, and tell us under which circumstances you heard or read them. – Hubert Schölnast Nov 11 '18 at 8:00
  • I have added more details to the question. – hungryroark Nov 11 '18 at 9:32
  • Do you really expect us here to explain why Google Translate does the various silly things it does? Perhaps better ask the Google Department of Imitated Linguistics? – Christian Geiselmann Nov 11 '18 at 16:16

The 'difference' you assume based on Google's underperfomance doesn't exist. The only difference is structures and idiomacy in respectively German and English.

gehen is to go, not * going. The conjugation is: ich gehe, du gehst, er/sie/es geht - I go, you go, he/she/it goes.

Except 'to go', gehen can also have the meaning 'to walk' or 'to work', as in Es geht nicht! -> It doesn't work!

Wie geht's? = Wie geht es? -> makeshift translation: * How goes it?

Mir geht's nicht so gut. = Mir geht es nicht so gut. -> makeshift translation: * Me (= to me) goes it not so good (well).

Es geht mir schlecht. -> makeshift translation: * It goes me (= to me) bad.

Of course, none of these makeshift translations has anything to do with real English. The only thing we can say is: German does it the way it does, and English does so, too: How are you? - I'm not really fine - I'm feeling bad. / I feel sick. / I'm having a bad time. The latter three depend on the situation.



Geht's is just the shortening of Geht es..., it's not a form of its own. Gehen in a non-personal usage means a personal or non-personal condition, a state of well-being, or similar. Thus, the regular sentence says, Es geht... ( mir gut, dir schlecht, etc.) and as a question, it says, Wie geht(')s (dir, mir, etc.) This question has become a familiar term replacing Hallo/hello and comes close to the French Ca va? One can also use it for other conditions like, Der Laden geht gut (The store is running well ) or, as a recent development, Geht's noch? as a challenging question for any situation which is going to go bad, wrong, or weird. - Both sentences, wie geht's and also, geht's noch?, are incomplete ones as for an object (S+P+O) but complete as for a basic sentence (S+P) since the subject is always ES so they allow easy entendings which can even become the base of a good joke.

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