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to be fun, (to enjoy)
("jemandem macht etwas Spaß"... this is very commonly used in a sense of you enjoying an activity. It is NOT used for "things" that are fun, though. So a movie doesn't really "machen Spaß". You'd say "ist cool" then.)
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Word of the Day - "der Spaß"

A fun look at the meaning of “der Spaß”, the various idiomatic phrasings like “Spaß machen” or “viel Spaß” and we’ll learn how to say “It was fun.” in German (#notLikeEnglish)


der Spaß, Spaß machen, Spaß haben, aus Spaß, Spaß verstehen, bespaßen

Word Family

Root: *pete-

The original sense of the root was:

spreading, expanding

The most influential branch is probably the one around “pass” which is based on the idea of extending your leg to make a step. But there are other offspring as well.

Here’s an overview over the various English members of that family:

  • pass (Originally: “taking a step”,  also to take a measure, so there’s a sense of the “expanse” in it)
  • passage, passenger, passport
  • expand, expansive (The root combined with the “ex”-prefix which here expresses “outward”)
  • patent (Originally: “lying open” for an “open letter”)
  • fathom (Originally a measure done by stretching out the arms, then shifted toward embracing, grasping)
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