I have just started learning the basic German language. In an exercise, I had to fill in the blank in the following question with a question word:

W___ macht Tina?

I saw that macht means power/make and it does not make any sense to write a question which ends with make/power Tina?

  • 1
    Why doesn't it make sense a sentence ending in make Tina?
    – c.p.
    Feb 15 '17 at 17:41
  • 3
    I voted to reopen this question. It is clearly not a translation request, but an honest effort to understand what the sentence can mean and why it can mean that, starting from a hypothesis (that "macht" is a noun) that is reasonable for a beginner. I can see other people making the same mistake, in which case tihs question will be of use to them.
    – sgf
    Jun 29 '17 at 18:57

You are confusing a noun with a verb.

The verb machen means ‘to make’, ‘to do’, while the noun die Macht means ‘power’.

ich mache

du machst

er/sie/es macht

wir machen

ihr macht

sie/Sie machen

In your example, Tina is referring to she (sie) and because of this reason, the question is in the sense of “What does Tina do/make?”. In the question, you wrote in your question, the conjugated verb macht ‘[she] does’ is used instead of the noun Macht ‘power’.

  • 3
    Might be worthwhile to add, that it cannot be a noun, as it is not capitalised.
    – Gerhard
    Feb 15 '17 at 7:19

machen also means "do". There's only one possibility of meaning since there's no objective:

Was macht Tina? - What is Tina doing?

  • 15
    Wie macht Tina? - "oink"
    – Takkat
    Feb 14 '17 at 13:48
  • 9
    Wann macht Tina? Morgens, gleich nach dem Aufstehen...
    – tofro
    Feb 14 '17 at 14:20
  • 10
    Wer macht Tina? Die Redaktion und einige freie Mitarbeiter. illuservice.de/zeitschriften/?id_item=26&illustrierte=tina
    – tofro
    Feb 14 '17 at 14:22
  • 16
    Wohin macht Tina? Ins Katzenklo.
    – Carsten S
    Feb 14 '17 at 15:58
  • 8
    Wieviel macht Tina? Die macht so Dreitausend im Monat.
    – tofro
    Feb 14 '17 at 21:18

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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