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See also: Machen



From Middle High German, from Old High German mahhōn, from Proto-West Germanic *makōn, from Proto-Indo-European *mag- (to knead, mix, make).


  • IPA(key): /ˈmaxən/, [ˈmaχ(ə)n], [ˈmäxən̩], [ˈmäxɛn], [ˈmɑχən]
  • (Germany)
  • (Austria, southern Germany)
  • Rhymes: -aχn


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

  1. (transitive) to make, produce, create (an object, arrangement, situation, etc.)
    Ich hab dir einen Kuchen gemacht!I have made you a pie!
    Du hast einen Fehler gemacht.You made a mistake.
  2. (transitive, of food, drinks, etc.) to make, prepare
    Machst du heute das Essen?Are you making dinner today?
    sich eine Pizza machento prepare a pizza for oneself
  3. (transitive, informal) to do, perform, carry out (to execute; to put into operation (an action))
    Mach es!Do it!
    Das hat er ganz allein gemacht!He has done that all by himself!(please add an English translation of this usage example)
    ein Experiment machento perform an experiment
  4. (transitive, with a noun) to do; indicates an activity associated with a noun
    Sport machendo sports
    eine Party machenhave a party
  5. (transitive) to go (to make the (specified) sound)
    Das Auto machte "Bumm" und hielt an.The car went "Boom" and stopped.
  6. (transitive) to make (to cause or compel (to do something))
  7. (transitive, of difficulties, pain, etc.) to cause (to set off an event or action or produce as a result)
  8. (transitive, with an adjective) to make (to cause to be)
    Dieser Film macht mich schläfrig.This movie makes me sleepy.
  9. (transitive, with a noun) to make (transform from one thing into another)
    Die Mühle macht Mehl aus Weizen.The mill makes flour from wheat.
  10. (transitive, usually not translated literally) to make (to have as a feature)
    Die Straße macht vor uns eine Linkskurve.The road makes a turn to the left ahead.
  11. (transitive, informal, colloquial) to come to, total, cost (to require the payment of)
    Wie viel macht das?How much does that come to?
  12. (transitive, arithmetic) to make, be (the result of a calculation)
    Sieben plus fünf macht zwölf.Seven plus five makes twelve.
  13. (transitive, informal, colloquial) to make (to earn, gain wages, profit, etc.)
    Der Herr Müller ist echt reich; der macht mehr als 5000 Euro im Monat.
    Mr Müller is quite rich; he makes more than 5000 Euros per month.
  14. (transitive) to be, play (to act as the indicated role, especially in a performance)
  15. (transitive, impersonal, colloquial) to matter (to be important)
    Das macht nichts!That doesn't matter!
  16. (intransitive, with auf) to make, make oneself out to be, act, play (to behave so as to give an appearance of being; to act as if one were (something, or a certain way))
  17. (intransitive, informal, euphemistic) to do one's business, do number two or number one, go (to defecate or urinate)
    (childish) groß machento go poop
    (childish) klein machento go pee
  18. (reflexive) to do (to fare or perform (well or poorly))
    Machen Sie sich gut?Are you doing well?
  19. (reflexive) to look (to have an appearance of being)
    Der Mantel macht sich sehr schön.The coat looks very nice.
  20. (reflexive dative, colloquial) to get cracking (an (“on,” “with”)), get a move on (it), to get down (an (“to”)) (something); (in imperative:) come on, let's go

Usage notes[edit]

  • Unlike English, the verb machen (make) is used as a synonym for tun (do) in most cases. However, tun cannot be used for the proper senses of machen.
  • The verb Machen can be combined with a number of different to create various expressions. These can often be translated into English with make or take. For many of these expressions, a more specific verb is available and is usually preferred in formal or written language.
    Angaben machento provide information
    eine Aufzeichnung machento keep a record
    Ausflüchte machento make excuses
    Bankrott/Pleite machento go bankrupt
    eine Besorgung machento run an errand
    ein Bett machento make a bed
    Feierabend machento call it a day
    Ferien machento take a vacation, to go on holiday
    ein Feuer machento light a fire
    ein Foto machento take a picture
    Fortschritte machento make headway
    Gewinn machento turn a profit
    Kasse machento cash in
    einen Krach machento make a racket
    Notizen machento take notes
    Platz machento make room
    eine Reise machento take a trip
    Schluss machento call it quits
    Überstunden machento do overtime
    Witze machento joke



Derived terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • machen in Duden online
  • machen” in Digitales Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache



  • 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.