Guten Tag! there are countless ‘little’ German indigenous that frequently interest language learners, and have them asking questions. Why? since some of this ‘little words’ have various meanings, or have the right to be offered either on their very own or as part of various other words. Therefore they are often confusing at first, i m sorry is why, once I come across such a word, I shot my best to rest it down and also make it less scary. This write-up on the German native NICHT is one such example. Today we’re looking at the curious German word that is LOS.

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Los is a word on the own, and you’ll check out it as component of other words, too. The way it is provided varies a lot.

Los ~ above its own


If anyone ever says “Los” (on the own) to you, they’re speak “Go” or “Let’s go”.

“Komm schon! Los!”Come on! let’s go!

They may additionally say “Los geht’s!” which method “Off us go”, “Let’s go” or “Let’s start”. It basically shows the start/commencement that something.

What’s wrong?

Also, if she in a grump, you may obtain asked “Was ist los?” which method “What’s wrong/what’s up?”

Similarly, if there is commotion in the street somewhere, friend may gain asked “Was ist denn hier los?” which method “What’s walking on here?”

In this context, words ‘los’ is used to show that other is ‘going on’ or ‘happening’.

Das Los – Los as a noun

You could hear human being ask because that a Los in a newsagent’s or in ~ a fairground. Das Los (capitalised, as it’s a noun) is a raffle/lottery ticket! Das Los can additionally mean ‘destiny’, ‘fate’ or ‘luck’ (which ties in through the raffle ticket thing, ns guess).


das Los. Photograph by howardlake ~ above under a CC patent (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Los at the start of words

Los periodically attaches chin to the former of verbs.

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take the verbs fahren (to go/drive) and lassen (to leave). V los top top the prior of these verbs, they become:

fahren (to drive/go) – losfahren (to set off/drive off)lassen (to let/leave) – loslassen (to allow go)

These space separable verbs, for this reason they’d look choose this in use, through the ‘los’ on its own:

“Ich fahre bald los” – “I’m setting off soon”“Lass mich los” – “Let me go”

Without the ‘los’ part, these sentences would look prefer this:

“Ich fahre bald” – “I’m driving/going soon”„Lass mich“ – „Leave me (alone)“

See the difference? when you include ‘los’, it suggests movement or commencement of other (I expect this renders sense, as it’s rather tricky to explain).

Los at the end of words

Los can additionally be discovered on the end of many words. Favor this, that is the tantamount of adding the English ‘-less’ onto the finish of words. One easy way to psychic this is that words ‘los’ looks choose the English indigenous ‘loss’!

Here space some examples:

der Rat – advice, councilratlos –helpless, clueless

der Sinn – sense, logic, meaningsinnlos – pointless, senseless, meaningless

die Farbe – colourfarblos – colourless


Ein farbloses Foto – a colourless photo. Photo by danielfuss ~ above under a CC license (CC BY-SA 2.0)


All in all, it’s for sure to say that Los is a rather versatile small German word! next time friend see the word ‘los’ in a German native (or ~ above its own), watch if you can number out what it method in that context. Any kind of questions, permit me recognize in the comments.