to create
(Not too common and it sounds fairly epic. Ge-form is "geschaffen" and the real past form is "schuf".)
to get done, to pull off
(Extremely common in daily life for all kinds of achievements and challenges. Even if they're as small as being on time. Also common for finishing your food.)
to bring
(A variation of the theme of "successfully do". Used colloquially for bringing somewhat heavy objects somewhere.)
to work
(Rare. Does not take a direct object. Usually used in contexts where people say WHERE they work or WHAT they work.)
to tire, to wear out
(ONLY for people, not for material. )


You need to be a member to see the examples.

Read more

Word of the Day - "schaffen"

A thorough look at the meaning of "schaffen", its various important uses in everyday German and a bunch of really cool related words.


schaffen, geschafft, erschaffen, sich verschaffen, abschaffen, anschaffen, das Geschäft, die Wirtschaft, beschäftigt, die Freundschaft

Word Family

Root: *(s)kep-, *(s)kop-

The original idea of this root was:

splitting, cutting with sharp tool

On the English side, we have family members like shave, shape and scab and possibly also scoop, though the source I am using mentions two conflicting origins for scoop.

In German,the two most important relatives are schaffen and schöpfen. Schaffen probably comes from the angle of  giving shape, carving and evolved into the broader sense of creating and then also took on the idea of succeeding, completing a creation.
Schöpfen originally meant scooping liquids by using a carved out bowl, but very early on, due to sounding similar to schaffen, people started using it also in the sense of creating.

Besides those, also the verb schaben belongs to this family, which is about scraping, rasping over a surface.

0 0 votes
Article Rating

Questions and Comments

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Never miss out!

Join over 20.000 German learners and get my epic newsletter whenever I post a new article :)

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

🤞 Get some epic German every week!

I don't spam! Read my privacy policy for more info.

(function($){ $("#randomEntry").load("/random-word/"); $("#another").click(function(){ $("#randomEntry") .text("... loading ...") .load("/random-word/"); return false; }); })(jQuery);