Dictionary verb be verb *(s)kep-, *(s)kop- schaffen beschäftigen



to employ, to keep busy
to deal with, to look into
("sich+Acc beschäftigen mit")


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The meaning of "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

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.

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2 months ago

Wondering when this is reflexive and when not.
Are the following correct?

If its about being employeed somewhere (at a particular company for example) its without

If you mention what you are busy with something in particular (i am busy with my bike, with my course etc)

If you are generally busy and don’t mentioning what you are busy with its without (ich bin beschäftigt)

If a supervisor keeps people busy it needs some kind of object ( er /sie beschäftigt mich / die mitarbeiterin )

2 months ago
Reply to  Emanuel

yes thanks!

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