I have heard the following line in the German TV series "How to Sell Drugs Online (Fast)":

Wisst ihr was? Da gehen wir auch nicht ran beim Essen.

Context: the landline telephone starts ringing when a family is having dinner and the father says the line above. It happens just after he has told his son not to use his cellphone while the family is having dinner.

Is this the verb "rangehen" or gehen + ran? Either way, I don't understand the meaning of it after reading https://www.wordreference.com/deen/rangehen and https://www.wordreference.com/deen/ran.

My first translation attempt is "You know what? Let's not pick up that phone either while we're eating", but I have just ignored "ran" and assumed that "go there" means "pick up the phone" in this context.

  • related regarding topic "telephone calls and how to deal with them": german.stackexchange.com/q/61056/36160 . Your first translation attempt is very good. Nov 22, 2020 at 20:46
  • 2
    why did someone downvote?
    – choXer
    Nov 22, 2020 at 22:31
  • I'm wondering how much of the dialog in this series is slang and how much (if any) is regional. It would good to know for future reference if people are planning to learn German from the show. If a lot of the vocabulary is not Standard German then maybe that should be a factor in deciding whether or not to worry about a given word that's used.
    – RDBury
    Nov 23, 2020 at 18:56

2 Answers 2


You're right. "rangehen" (ich gehe ran) also means "to pick up an incoming call".

Other synonyms:

drangehen (ich gehe dran)
ans Telefon gehen

A newer way to put it is

(den Anruf) annehmen

(It's spooky how this stays unanswered for an hour and when I finally take the time to answer it, there's someone else answering it in the same minute. Happens way too often.)

  • 1
    Dreh dich mal um ;) Ich stehe hinter dir :O
    – choXer
    Nov 22, 2020 at 19:41
  • 1
    @choXer: Only proper way to answer that in German is: Huch!
    – HalvarF
    Nov 22, 2020 at 19:49
  • 2
    i constructed a really cool ASCII ghost, but then i realised that the comment section does not allow that.
    – choXer
    Nov 22, 2020 at 20:09

I think "(he)rangehen" is used because you literally had to walk to the phone to answer it.

An das Telefon gehen. / An das Telefon herangehen. / An's Telefon ('ran)gehen.

other explanation: (da)rangehen or (d)rangehen
But I think the explanation of the "spatial approach" is also logical here.


I prefer

"We don't answer the phone either while we're eating."


"We don't answer that either when we eat."

instead of

"Let's not pick up that phone either while we're eating"

because I think it is more than a statement than a request.


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