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I always try to avoid the verb machen if possible. What would be the best verb for this sentence?

Brauchst du zusätzliche Information, um eine Abschätzung zu __?

  • erstellen
  • schaffen
  • kreieren
  • ???
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If you want to avoid "machen" then use the verb "abschätzen". –  starblue Oct 15 '11 at 11:49
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5 Answers

up vote 10 down vote accepted

My first idea would indeed be "zu machen", and I suspect it wouldn't upset anyone. However, there are some alternatives:

  • "vorzunehmen", this might sound a bit too formal though
  • rephrase the question to "Brauchst du zusätzliche/weitere Informationen für eine (erste) Abschätzung?" or "...um [den Aufwand, or whatever it is] abzuschätzen?"

Note that using "Informationen" (i.e. the plural form) is perfectly fine in German - and that's why lots of Germans also tend to use "informations" in English.

Edit to expand:

Maybe it makes sense to look into the more subtle connotations of the verbs you proposed:

  • erstellen can be used pretty much everywhere in a business context, if something is going to be created which can be passed on (such as a piece of software or a contract; for things that would involve more physical work, such as a box of spark plugs, there's also "herstellen"). You could use this if "Abschätzung" is something like a quotation document that you would actually be able to receive. - "Ich werde das Angebot für Sie erstellen und Ihnen schnellstmöglich zukommen lassen."
  • schaffen is for large and impressive (and mostly physical) things that need lots of work to create. - "Gott schuf den Menschen."
  • kreieren would be used if the result is particularly artful and inventive/innovative, such as a novel gourmet dish. - "Clemens Wilmenrod kreierte die gefüllte Erdbeere."
  • vornehmen is a formal way to describe an action that is to be performed, but doesn't say much about the results. - (from a doctor:) "Ich werde jetzt eine Untersuchung an Ihrem Rücken vornehmen."
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+1 for "informations" ;-) –  takrl Oct 14 '11 at 10:07
    
Please can you set abzuschätzen in bold. I think there is no reason to ask for a verb derived from a substantive derived from a verb. –  bernd_k Oct 14 '11 at 18:40
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Ich sehe irgendwie keinen rechten Sinn darin, zu einem Substantiv, welches von einem Ver abgeleitet ist, ein neues Verb zu bilden.

Was ist denn der subtile Unterschied zwischen eine Sache abschätzen und eine Abschätzung zu etwas machen?

Also mein Vorschlag:

Brauchst du zusätzliche Information, um das abzuschätzen?
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I only see 'zu machen' and not 'abzuschätzen', for me that is something very different. –  bernd_k Oct 14 '11 at 18:02
    
@Takkat Since Jan didn't highlight the abzuschätzen, I claim that my answer is not the same as his and I undelete my answer. –  bernd_k Oct 16 '11 at 20:13
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Meine Favoriten sind treffen und vornehmen.

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Depending on what the person you ask is supposed to do, you could say

...um eine Abschätzung vorzunehmen (they just judge for themselves)
...um eine Abschätzung zu geben (they will tell you about their conclusions)

However there is not a single most appropriate verb associated with "Abschätzung". You may also want to consider using "Einschätzung" in case there is not a quantitative analysis.

Avoiding a verb is also avoiding the use of an inappropriate one. Simply say:

Brauchst Du für eine Abschätzung noch weitere Informationen?

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+1 for bringing "Einschätzung" up: it is much better in most contexts ("Abschätzung" seems pretty rare to me - the verb "abschätzen" is much more common and always goes together with an implied amount, e.g. of material, time, etc.) I'll later try to add another +1 for "geben" - by far the most common verb for "Einschätzung". –  Mac Oct 14 '11 at 10:18
    
Agree with "Einschätzung" being a good alternative; however, I mostly hear the term "Abschätzung", which is very common in any development (e.g. hardware or software) company because many customers or managers require (at least) one for every project. –  OregonGhost Oct 18 '11 at 17:33
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I think erstellen is fine. I'd stay away from schaffen, since that could also mean to manage. So it wouldn't only add an implication that there's some difficulty involved (which may not be the case), but could also imply that you're questioning if the person you're talking to is able to achieve what you're asking.

If you slightly change your wording, you could say

Brauchst du zusätzliche Information, um {context needed} abzuschätzen?

This could be something like:

Brauchst du zusätzliche Information, um die Kosten abzuschätzen?

Brauchst du zusätzliche Information, um die Folgen abzuschätzen?

Brauchst du zusätzliche Information, um den Aufwand abzuschätzen?

...

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