The difference between „machen" und „tun"

Maybe you have asked yourself: When should I use „machen" and „tun"?

Generally, the verbs are used interchangeably. But we use „machen“ to express a process, something we create or something we accomplish.
Here are some examples:

  • Ich mache Sport.
  • Ich mache einen Besuch.
  • Ich mache einen Kuchen.

And we use „tun" to express that we do something in general.
Here are some examples:

  • Heute tue ich nichts.
  • Ich habe etwas Gutes getan.
  • Was sollen wir heute tun?

Both verbs are also used in certain sayings or proverbs. Do you know some of them?


I think I know one :grimacing:. “Macht nichts” That’s when you want to say like no worries o no problem.


Thank you for explaining the difference! As a native speaker I never thought about this before, but this can be very helpful to choose wich one to use in a sentence.
“Er kann keiner Fliege was zuleide tun” wich means, that someone (he) is very friendly, good-natured and benevolent (and therefore can’t even kill a fly :smiley: ).


Danke für die Erklärung. Habe bis jetzt nie darüber nachgedacht. :rofl: