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From Middle High German, from Old High German mahhōn, from Proto-Germanic *makōną; akin to Low German maken, Dutch maken, English make, West Frisian meitsje. Ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *mag- (to knead, mix, make).


  • IPA(key): /ˈmaχn/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -aχn


machen (third-person singular simple present macht, past tense machte, past participle gemacht, auxiliary haben)

  1. (transitive) to do, to make (to perform an action)
    Mach es!Do it!
    Er hat eine große Schweinerei gemacht. — He has made a big mess.
    Das hat er ganz allein gemacht! — He has done that all by himself!
  2. (transitive) to make; to produce
    Ich hab dir einen Kuchen gemacht! — I have made you a pie!
  3. (transitive) to take (a photo)
  4. (transitive) to prepare (e.g. food, drinks)
    Machst du heute das Essen?Will you prepare dinner, today?
    sich eine Pizza machen — to prepare a pizza by oneself
  5. (transitive, vernacular) to matter
    Das macht nichts! — That doesn't matter!
  6. (transitive, informal, colloquial) to come to; to total; to cost (prizes)
    Wie viel macht das? — How much does that come to?
  7. (transitive, informal, colloquial) to earn; to profit (wages)
    Der Herr Müller ist echt reich; der macht mehr als 5000 im Monat. — Mr Müller is quite rich; he earns more than 5000 bucks per month.

Usage notes[edit]

Unlike English, the verbs machen and tun (cognates of English make and do, respectively) can be used synonymously in certain cases.

If the verb implies an action, both machen and tun may be used interchangeably. Tun often implies an action with more serious consequences than machen.
Ich bin mir nicht sicher, ob ich das tun/machen kann. — I am not sure if I can do that.
Wer hat sie umgebracht? Wer hat es getan? — Who has put her to death? Who has done it?
But if there is something to be produced or made, machen ( like its cognate to make in English ) is preferred, instead.
Hast du den Kuchen gemacht? Er ist sehr lecker!. — Did you make the cake? It's delicious!.



Derived terms[edit]



  • IPA(key): /ˈmatʃen/, [ˈmätʃe̞n]



  1. Second-person plural (ustedes) imperative form of machar.
  2. Second-person plural (ustedes) present subjunctive form of machar.
  3. Third-person plural (ellos, ellas, also used with ustedes?) present subjunctive form of machar.