funktionieren

funktionieren: to be working (as intended) [as in: functioning]

gehen: to be working (as intended) [as in: functioning] [also means: to walk, of course!]

Examples and Usage Notes Mnemonics

Examples and Usage Notes:

  • "Funktionieren" is used to make statements about whether a machine or device is working as it should.
  • "Gehen" can also be used to make statements about whether a machine or device is working as it should, but is more informal.
  • To ask how a machine or device works, ask "Wie funktioniert das?"
  • To ask how something is done, ask "Wie geht das?"  To ask whether something can be done, or to state that it can, say "Geht das?" or "Das geht" respectively.
  • "Klappen" is used to say that something you tried to do worked or didn't work.
Der Kopierer funktioniert/geht nicht. The copier isn't working.
Wie funktioniert das? How does that [machine or device] work?
Wie geht das? How do you do that?

--"Geht das?"

--"Ja, das geht."

--"Can that be done?"

--"Yes, that works."

Das geht so: Erst muß man... It works like this: First, one has to...

--"Hat das Experiment geklappt?"

--"Ja!"

--"Did the experiment work?"

--"Yes!"

--"Hast du das Attachment bekommen?"

--"Ja, das hat geklappt."

--"Did you get the attachment?"

--"Yes, that worked."

[Here, "klappen" is used because it's not so much a question of whether the computer is running properly as of whether the attempt to send an attachment (something you tried to do) worked.]

Mnemonics

  • Funktionieren sounds like function.
  • Gehen means "to work" in English too in the expression "Can you make it go?"