German Language Stack Exchange is a bilingual question and answer site for speakers of all levels who want to share and increase their knowledge of the German language. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

This comes from another one of my poems. Both the English and German texts are mine:

Yes she was a girl who could make men sigh,
For she was the girl (called) the Lorelei.
And she was someone for whom men would gladly die.
She was the Lorelei.

Ja das Mädchen konnt' Männer seufzen machen.
Denn war die Lorelei solches ein Mädchen.
Und sie war eine dafür Manner sterben gern.
Sie war die Lorelei so schön.

Is it "das Mädchen konnt' Männer seufzen machen" or "machen seufzen?"
Also, is it "sterben gern," or "gern sterben?"

share|improve this question
"Seufzen lassen" is standard in my opinion. "Seufzen machen" sounds awkward and old-fashioned, but that might fit your purpose. – Stefan Aug 8 '11 at 17:47
up vote 6 down vote accepted

seufzen machen

is the correct one.

Here's the German version of your poem with some minor grammar corrections:

Ja, das Mädchen konnt' Männer seufzen machen.
Denn die Lorelei war ein solches Mädchen.
Und sie war eine, für die Männer gerne sterben.
Sie war die schöne Lorelei.

share|improve this answer
I guess I finally "carried coals to Newcastle," (or Euler nach Athena) by using a German heroine. – Tom Au Aug 8 '11 at 20:17
It would be interesting to know why anyone would downvote this. "jdn. seufzen machen" is correct, if slightly archaic (which might actually be a good thing in poetry). Downvotes ohne Kommentar machen mich seufzen. – OregonGhost Aug 9 '11 at 8:14
-1, because "seufzen machen" just sounds wrong and you wouldn't use it in the German language. Even in a poetry you should use "seufzen lassen". – Feroc Jan 30 '12 at 11:50
@Feroc Maybe it sounds wrong to you, but it's not wrong. I found it in literature, e. g. and it's used in the Grimms Wörterbuch. I admit that it may sound better in Southern regions, but I'm not sure. – splattne Jan 30 '12 at 14:40
@splattne: That book is almost 200 years old. IF you want to use such an antiquated way, then the whole poem should be written that way. But as the rest of the poem is more or less "normal", you wouldn't use "seufzen machen" here. – Feroc Feb 2 '12 at 8:16

I would use and recommend 'zum Seufzen bringen', or 'seufzen lassen', not 'seufzen machen' and surely not 'machen seufzen'.

share|improve this answer
I would say, that this is the correct answer. You "MAKE MEN sigh", so the make should belong to the men and not to the sigh. – Feroc Jan 30 '12 at 11:48

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.