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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): /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) to take (a photo)
  3. (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
  4. (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!
    ein Experiment machento perform an experiment
  5. (transitive, with a noun) to do; indicates an activity associated with a noun
    Sport machendo sports
    eine Party machenhave a party
  6. (transitive) to go (to make the (specified) sound)
  7. (transitive) to make (to cause or compel (to do something))
  8. (transitive, of difficulties, pain, etc.) to cause (to set off an event or action or produce as a result)
  9. (transitive, with an adjective) to make (to cause to be)
  10. (transitive, with a noun) to make (aus (“into”)) (to cause to become)
  11. (transitive, usually not translated literally) to make (to have as a feature)
  12. (transitive, informal, colloquial) to come to, total, cost (to require the payment of)
    Wie viel macht das?How much does that come to?
  13. (transitive, arithmetic) to make, be (to have a sum of)
  14. (transitive, informal, colloquial) to make (to earn, gain wages, profit, etc.)
    Der Herr Müller ist echt reich; der macht mehr als 5000 im Monat.
    Mr Müller is quite rich; he makes more than 5000 bucks per month.
  15. (transitive) to be, play (to act as the indicated role, especially in a performance)
  16. (transitive, of a bed) to make (to cover neatly with bedclothes)
  17. (transitive, impersonal, colloquial) to matter (to be important)
    Das macht nichts!That doesn't matter!
  18. (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))
  19. (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
  20. (reflexive) to do (to fare or perform (well or poorly))
  21. (reflexive) to look (to have an appearance of being)
    Der Mantel macht sich sehr schön.The coat looks very nice.
  22. (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 notesEdit

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.



Derived termsEdit

Further readingEdit



  • 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.