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From Middle High German sitzen, from Old High German sizzen, originally *sitten, from Proto-Germanic *sitjan?, from Proto-Indo-European *sed-. Cognate with Low German sitten, Dutch zitten, English sit, Danish sidde.


  • IPA(key): /'z?tsn?/, /'z?ts?n/
  • (file)


sitzen (class 5 strong, third-person singular simple present sitzt, past tense saß, past participle gesessen, past subjunctive säße, auxiliary haben or sein)

  1. (intransitive) to sit; to perch
  2. (intransitive) to stay (in one place); to remain; to be (in a particular place or state)
    Wir saßen fest! - We were stuck!
  3. (intransitive, of clothing) to fit
  4. (intransitive, in certain constructions, e.g. with voller) to be
    Der Schrank sitzt voller Motten. - The cupboard is full of moths.
  5. (intransitive, colloquial) to do time; to spend time in jail
  6. (intransitive, colloquial, of a strike, a comment, etc.) to hit home; to have a significant effect
  7. (intransitive, Switzerland) to sit down

Usage notes

The most frequent auxiliary with sitzen is haben: Ich habe gesessen. In northern and central Germany, only this form is used. In southern Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, sein is common in the vernacular and also, alternatively, in standard usage: Ich bin gesessen.


Derived terms

Related terms

Further reading

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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