Belong or Own in German

by Expath Language School

How to say that something belongs to you in German.


Expressing ownership can be done in several different ways in German. The main word for “to belong (to someone)” is (jemandem) gehören. The German word for “to own” is besitzen. The words for “property”, “ownership” and “belongings” are Eigentum (n.) or Besitz (m.).

To the base word gehören can be added the prefix zu or dazu (zugehören — essentially “to be counted among” or “to be a component part of something”), an (angehören — essentially “to be a member of”), and hin (hingehören — essentially “to belong in a certain place”):


Der Stift gehört mir! The pen belongs to me.

Ich besitze zwei Autos. I own two cars.

Das Haus ist mein Eigentum. The house is my property.

Der Junge gehört zu der Gruppe da hinten. The boy is part of the group back there.

Dieser Deckel gehört zu dieser Flasche. This lid belongs to this bottle.

Ich gehöre der Familie an. I am a member of that family.

Das gehört nicht da hin. That does not belong there.

Good to Know

The word gehören is related to the German word for “to hear” (hören) — likely in the sense of listening to and following orders.

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