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  5. "Det går ikke an å gå på vann…

"Det går ikke an å vann."

Translation:It is not possible to walk on water.

August 14, 2015



There's actually an insect that can


Kristne vil være uenige xD

  • 497

A German preposition, which we've borrowed in a few set phrasal verbs of that origin.

Whenever you come across it it's best to treat it as a part of the phrasal verb, rather than trying to translate it on its own. It seldom carries any discernible meaning of its own, but rather modifies the meaning of the "base" verb. It's also used as a verb prefix.

å gå an = to be possible

You can find more examples and information in this thread.


Interesting, in Polish you can use similar construction to say something is (im)possible with the verb "to go".


Jesus did. Peter did.


I feel like this sentence was written during Eurovision 2016. Be nice to Malta, y'all.


could I use the verb å dra instead of å gå here ?

  • 497

No, that doesn't work in this context.


Is 'det går (ikke) an' interchangeable with 'det er (u)mulig'. ie maybe in the same way we might sometimes use 'is impossible' for more emphasis than 'is not possible' which is implying that you might think it would be possible but in this instance it isn't?

  • 497

They're interchangeable when something really is impossible to do, but "det går ikke an" can also be used when something is possible, but socially unacceptable, for instance.

Without the negation, "det går an" means that it's possible to do something, while "det er mulig" can be used about possibility in a more general sense, and thus translate to both "it's possible" and "possibly", depending on the context.


How would one say "it is not possible to go on the water" in context of going on a boat? Takk!

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