As I am learning German on my own there are a lot of things I do not fully understand. One of those things is the use of geht um. Which I think it means something like about (it's about).
The problem is that I have seen this structure with different words but with a similar meaning (not sure though).


An Weihnachten geht es um Liebe etc.
Beim Leben geht es nicht um das Geld etc.
An Halloween geht es um Kostümierung etc.
Worum geht es an Weihnachten?

My 2 questions are:

  1. Is there any rule to know when to use beim or an?
  2. What if I leave out beim and an and just say, for example:

    Weihnachten geht es um ...

I guess that, maybe, an is used with especial events and beim with nouns or verbs? Like in the example living is not about; but I do not know if I am correct or if I can use an and beim in any case.

  • 2
    please try to edit your question to make it more readable. you should try to visually stress your question(s) and examples. > blockquote is a good tool to do so
    – Vogel612
    Commented Oct 23, 2013 at 7:22
  • 3
    Also, which preposition to chose does not depend on the "es geht um" construct and thus the opening question is misleading.
    – divby0
    Commented Oct 23, 2013 at 13:24

1 Answer 1


alright, one after the other:


Yes there is a rule, and you almost guessed right concerning an.
"An" is used when it is about something in a temporally defined "moment"

Am (an dem) Montag geht es um [...]
An Ostern / Weihnachten / Neujahr / usw.

"Bei" on the other hand is used in all other cases, except the one at 2).

Beim (bei dem) Meeting geht es um [...]
Beim Treffen / Leben / Arbeiten / usw.


This actually happens quite often. One can see this in combination with fixed names:

Merkel geht es um die Fortführung ihrer Politik.
Microsoft geht es bei der Übernahme von Nokia darum, [...]

Random phrase:

"es geht [etwas] um" is a fixed expression. When "etwas" is some illness it can be translated as:

Recently everyone's been having [some illness]

other things to set as [etwas]

Angst, Gerüchte, ...

  • 1
    In 2), the proper names are in the dative case, as becomes apparent when they are replaced by pronouns: "Ihr geht es um die Fortführung...", "Ihm geht es um ..."
    – elena
    Commented Oct 28, 2013 at 9:49
  • Given the OP question, he clearly would like to understand more about the meaning of "es geht um". This answer would be be more complete if it explained it. AFAIK, "es geht um" can be adequately translated to English as "sth. is about..." ("in/bei/an etwas geht es um etwas) (case 1 mentioned in the answer), "the point is that" ("es geht darum, dass...") or "somebody's concern is that" ("es geht jemandem, dass..." or "es geht jemandem etwas") (case 2 mentioned in the answer). Commented May 16, 2019 at 14:47
  • Hey @AlanEvangelista this is a great answer on it's own :) I don't really feel comfortable just editing my answer to include what you added here. Would you be interested in posting your own answer? Thanks :)
    – Vogel612
    Commented May 16, 2019 at 15:14

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