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What is the meaning of "Mach, dass..."? Is it a way to urge people to do something? is it always rude? For instance, taken from dict.cc,

  • Mach, dass du aus meinem Haus kommst! (get the hell out of my house!)

This is of course rude, but can mach, dass... be used, for instance as in the following sentence?

  • Mach, dass du Platz nimmst! (~setz dich!)
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nearly all cases I can think of would be rude, some exceptions would be e.g. "mach, dass du wegkommst" could be could jokingly or friendly, talking to god "mach, dass es mir besser geht" would be a request. –  bummi Mar 22 '13 at 17:35
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2 Answers

up vote 12 down vote accepted

"Mach, dass (etwas passiert)" is a strong request for someone else to make something happen as soon as possible. It carries a sense of urgency and possibly authority that forbids objection or even further discussion. Therefore, in most cases, it is indeed considered rude.

However, it depends on the context. For example, it could also be a somewhat desperate plea, for example when someone is in great discomfort or pain, even if the addressed may not objectively be capable of obliging:

Mach, dass die Schmerzen aufhören!

Or, as bummi pointed out, it can be meant jokingly, to signal pretend annoyance among friends.

As so often, it's not so much what you say, but how you say it and in what context.

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shame I can upvote only once! –  c.p. Mar 22 '13 at 18:05
    
+1 When used in a desperate plea it is often directed at (a) God. It's an expression that you hear when people utter a quick prayer, next to 'gib, dass …', e.g. Herr, mach (or: gib), dass … –  TehMacDawg Mar 22 '13 at 22:19
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Not only the pleading meaning isn't rude, but also the commanding meaning need not be rude, depending on context: "Mach, dass du nach Hause kommst!"="Get home!" directed at the husband in the pub or the child in the disco isn't necessarily rude, only strong. –  Toscho Mar 24 '13 at 16:16
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This phrase has two usages:

(1) to implore God for help, e.g. "[Lieber Gott, bitte] mach, dass es aufhört zu Regnen!"

(2) to (a) express your righteous anger and at the same time (b) request someone you believe you (should) have authority over but who acts contrary to your (implicit) wishes (that nevertheless he should know and comply with) to finally follow your orders, e.g. insubordinate children: "Mach, dass du ins Bett kommst!", or people lower in social status (like sending beggars off your land).

Usage (2) is considered rude only insofar as it implies a disdainful and autocratic attitude that is no longer tolerated in fathers, land owners etc. by our society. A hundred years ago it was the normal way to speak with your inferiors.

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