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Du kannst dreimal so viele Kunden schaffen wie bislang.

I don't know how to put this, but I understand that there exist two different "schaffen" verbs with identical spelling, one using the past participle "geschaffen" while the other using "geschafft".

I wonder which of the two "schaffen"s this is?

... create/make three times as many customers ... [the one with "geschaffen"]

or: ... manage three times as many customers ... [the one with "geschafft"]

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You do not create customers. Customers are people who are born, not created.

But you work with customers, you handle them, you have to deal with them, i.e. you manage them.

So when you say

Du kannst dreimal so viele Kunden schaffen wie bislang.

then it is the same schaffen like in Merkels famous quote about refugees from 2015:

Wir schaffen das.

When you put both sentences into past tense, you get:

Du hast dreimal so viele Kunden geschafft wie davor.
Wir haben das geschafft.

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  • You could add the common German verb for to create is erschaffen, and schaffen is seldom used in the meaning of to create.
    – Janka
    Commented Jun 17, 2017 at 18:50
  • One could imagine that customers are created by turning non-customers into customers. But this is not the meaning of schaffen here.
    – RHa
    Commented Jun 17, 2017 at 22:45
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    @RHa: Maybe this might work in English, but not in German. »Schaffen« in the sense of »erschaffen« is not adding a property to something that already exists. »Schaffen« is to bring something into existence that didn't exist before. Commented Jun 18, 2017 at 5:34

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