Ga er maar aan staan!

that's far from easy! Iconspeaker_3
[Dutch phrase of the week]
[ga er maar aan staan]

GaErMaarAanStaan Typically you only use "aan" in conjunction with "staan" when a device is switched on, e.g. "Het koffiezetapparaat staat aan" or when something pleases you (or not), e.g. "Je houding staat mij niet aan". The related verb in that case is "aanstaan". This week's phrase however, is derived from the usage of the verb "staan" in "ergens aan gaan staan": to start on something. (Note that nobody uses the latter.)

Although literally "ga er maar aan staan" means "go and start on it" it is only used to say that someting is far from easy to do and often conveys a message of admiration. It can can be used as an alternative to "ik geef het je te doen".

You may also hear "Ga er maar eens aanstaan".

– "Door het slechte economische klimaat moet mijn manager een aantal mensen ontslaan; ga er maar aan staan!" 
("Due to the bad economical climate my manager has to fire a number of people, that's far from easy!")

– "Ga er maar aan staan, van de ene op de andere dag stoppen met roken." 
("To quit smoking from one day to the next, that's not an easy thing to do.")

– "Ga er maar aan staan, de balans bewaren tussen vrijheid van meningsuiting en respect voor anderen!" 
("Keeping the balance between freedom of speech/opinion and respect for others is far from easy!" Literally "meningsuiting" means "expression of opinion.")

Related words:
– Staan: to stand [verb] [stond, gestaan].
– Aanstaan: to be in operation, to be switched on, to please [verb] [stond aan, aangestaan].

– "O nee, de verwarming heeft de hele vakantie aangestaan! Dat is niet echt slim van ons."
("Oh no, the heating was turned on during the whole holiday! That's not particularly smart of us.")

– Bewonderen: to admire [verb] [bewonderde, bewonderd].
– Respecteren: to respect [verb] [respecteerde, gerespecteerd]. 
– Proberen: to try [verb] [probeerde, geprobeerd]. 

7 thoughts on “Ga er maar aan staan!

  1. In de subkop staat “that’s for from easy!” Surely this must be “that’s fAr from easy!”

  2. “That’s not on” is (chiefly) British English idiom for a situation that is unfair, or “not right” in the moral sense of “right.” I don’t think there’s an equivalent “that’s on” idiom with a positive connotation.

Comments are closed.