I am looking for the German equivalent of the phrase "make a difference", like in the sentence "In my job, I want to do something that really makes a difference".

Would "etwas zu bewegen" be a good choice?

  • "etwas bewegen" can definitely be a suitable choice in many contexts, although it is slightly more specific than "to make a difference". Commented Oct 30, 2019 at 18:14

3 Answers 3


Another alternative could be:

etwas bewirken

As for example in:

Ein Bereich, in dem der EU-Haushalt etwas bewirken kann und sollte, ist ganz klar Forschung und Technologie.


An obvious area where the EU budget can, and should, make a difference is research and technology.



Your proposal is indeed a good choice (»Ich will etwas bewegen«). Alternatively you could use:

Ich will die Welt [ein bisschen] besser machen / verbessern.


Another alternative translation would be

einen Wandel herbeiführen

if you want to stick with as much as possible German equivalent of the make a difference.

  • I would say that "etwas bewirken" is closer to "to make a difference" than "einen Wandel herbeiführen". "To make a difference" means that you want to change something, even if it is not much; "Einen Wandel herbeiführen" to me means to bring about a major change.
    – RHa
    Commented Jul 1, 2017 at 8:23

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