In English there is an idiom:

It works.

Or more likely:

That/It works for me.

I think that the following is wrong, as arbeiten seems rather literal, but would it be a correct translation?

Es arbeitet.

  • Welcome to German Language SE. I removed your second question, as there should indeed be only one question per question. It is a valid question though and you should ask it as a new question. However, you might want to clarify whether you are referring about the word whore when you are talking about English usuage (I doubt that the German word Hure is used in English).
    – Wrzlprmft
    May 9, 2015 at 16:42
  • Hure usually refers to someone who is literally a prostitute. It is quite derogatory in this context and simply an insult otherwise. Luder or Schlampe might be closer to what you are looking for, still derogatory and not something I would ever use but somewhat broader in meaning, a bit like the word “whore” in English.
    – Relaxed
    May 10, 2015 at 11:37
  • 1
    "Arbeiten" means "to work" in the sense of "to have or perform a job or trade". May 10, 2015 at 11:53
  • In this context, it's "Es geht" rather than "arbeitet". Jan 13, 2020 at 8:04

7 Answers 7


When you would like to express that something worked, like a suggested solution, you could say “Das hat funktioniert!” like “Hey, that worked!” so change “Es arbeitet” to “Es funktioniert”.

  • Thank you!~ :) This will help me sound way less illiterate, and will hopefully help me better learn those elusive words that hide behind more than one meaning. >:T (It added one to the list already.) I must apologize, for I moved the question about "hure" to another question altogether.
    – HalkScout
    May 9, 2015 at 16:12
  • @HalkScout yeah I saw that, at the moment I posted my answer. It is interesting to answer a question in language that is not my mother tongue, hopefully it was mostly correct. :)
    – Feirell
    May 9, 2015 at 16:19
  • Fixed it. For all those of who the dual question makes their eyes bleed, I shall not ask one doubled up in such a way again. Thanks again!
    – HalkScout
    May 9, 2015 at 16:21
  • 3
    @Feirell: There is nothing wrong with asking two little questions and it is actually the preferred way. Asking two related questions in one is never okay as it creates all sorts of trouble. I removed the second question.
    – Wrzlprmft
    May 9, 2015 at 16:44
  • 1
    @Feirell: Depends what you mean by move. But yes, ideally you remove the appropriate part here and post it as an answer to the new question, once it is posted.
    – Wrzlprmft
    May 9, 2015 at 16:47

The most commonly used expression would be

Es funktioniert!

Sometimes it is phrased colloquially as

Es geht!


Es hat geklappt!


Es läuft!

The latter is mostly used when you managed to get something running.

  • FWIW, "Es geht!" is the phrase I learned. I studied German in the early '90s, and my teacher was a native speaker in his 70s, so there may be a generational difference in the choice of phrase. May 9, 2015 at 22:31
  • 5
    @KevinKrumwiede: "Es geht!" is very much in use nowadays, as well. There is no clear-cut distinction, but "Es geht!" is a bit more fitting in situations where "simple" things are described. A device, or a complicated plan can "funktionieren", but if you're simply asking "Can we meet on Sunday?", "Ja, das geht." would sound like a more suitable answer to me than "Ja, das funktioniert." May 10, 2015 at 8:33

As others have said

Es arbeitet

does not sound right. Beyond that, “to work” can have many slightly different meanings and you need to distinguish them to find the proper German idiom.

Es (hat) funktioniert!

would be the most generic translation, as explained in the other answers. It applies equally to a machine or to something you did but still does not sound as broad as the English phrase “it works”.

Es läuft!

can be said of an engine or maybe some sort of machine or contraption but usually not of a procedure or manipulation.

Es hat geklappt!

on the other hand applies to a manipulation (e.g. “How can you print this? I pressed on this button, it worked for me”) but not to a machine.

Es geht

could also apply in some contexts but it seems more difficult to use correctly and can also express some skepticism (i.e. “it's barely OK”) so I would avoid it until you understand its nuances better.

Es hat gereicht

(literally: this is enough) could also fit, especially in the negative form.

Finally, if you are talking about an appointment or some sort of agreement (“What about Sunday? That works for me!”) then you need something like

Das passt (mir)

or, in a more reluctant tone,

Das ist in Ordnung

and, again,

Das geht

(see also O.R.Mapper's comment for another example with that one)

  • +1 for adding the "das passt"-translation which is missing in the other answers.
    – luator
    May 10, 2015 at 11:15

Im IT-Deutsch und unter Nerds ist auch

Es funzt.

als Abkürzung für

Es funktioniert.

gebräuchlich, wobei ein Maß an Unvollkommenheit und Hendsärmeligkeit zum Ausdruck gebracht wird.


Ich als Deutscher würde sagen "es funktioniert" bzw. "Das/Es funktioniert bei mir".


A native speaker would never say "Es arbeitet!". As an alternative to the already suggested es funktioniert you might also hear es klappt and es tut.


Im Gegensatz zu anderen Antworten kann ich bestätigen, dass "Es arbeitet" durchaus in Gebrauch ist, aber nicht so universal wie die anderen, guten Beispiele, etwa "es funktioniert", "es läuft", "es geht" oder "es klappt".

Was macht das Entrauchungssystem des Berliner Flughafens? 
Es arbeitet wie erwartet.

Was macht der Motor?
Er arbeitet wieder.

Bei Anlagen und Maschinen ist das keine ungewöhnliche Formulierung, sondern gängig.

Bei abstrakten Dingen kann man es aber nicht verwenden:

Funktioniert meine Formel?
Sie funktioniert!

Sie arbeitet wäre hier falsch.

Probier mal einen roten Hut dazu! Wie kommt das? 
Es klappt! Es passt! Es geht. 

Auch hier, wo es um das passive Erfüllen einer Funktion geht, erfüllt es arbeitet nicht die Bestimmung, it doesn't work.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

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