Accordding to Langenscheidt, Oxford, Duden the verb has two past participles, but those have not mentioned when we shall use each one! because the meanings are also the same.

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    Depends on context. Sep 13, 2019 at 15:23
  • you mean depends on meaning in each context? just like what he has answered here?
    – Armin
    Sep 13, 2019 at 15:28
  • Yes exactly. I voted to undelete the answer. Sep 13, 2019 at 15:32
  • For some reason @TheAwfulLanguage deletes a lot of their own answers. Since they deleted it themself, I wouldn't vote on undeleting. Sep 13, 2019 at 17:04
  • Another example is "schleifen", which means 1. "to drag sth. along" and 2. "to cut (a gemstone)". The past participle would be "geschleift" and "geschliffen" respsectively.
    – QBrute
    Sep 14, 2019 at 11:34

1 Answer 1


"schaffen" has three meanings:

  1. to get something managed,
  2. to create, to produce something
  3. to work (in some regions colloquial or dialect)

"geschafft" is the past participle ("schaffte" is simple past) of the 1st and 3rd

"geschaffen" is the past participle ("schuf" is simple past) of the 2nd

(Side note: "schöpfen" means to create in sense of God or artists. But note this word also has the completely different meaning to laddle!)

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    Amazing text/vote ratio :) Couldn't have put it better.
    – Dan
    Sep 14, 2019 at 11:33
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    In Switzerland, AFAIK, schaffen is also used in the sense of "to work" (i.e., to have a job); though I wouldn't know what participle they use for that... Sep 14, 2019 at 16:35
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    That's meaning is not limited to Switzerland. We use it in Northern Germany, too. Ich muss schaffen gehen.Ich muss zur Arbeit gehen.
    – Janka
    Sep 15, 2019 at 12:26
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    Consider also the different simple past forms: (1) schaffte (2) schuf
    – Bergi
    Sep 15, 2019 at 14:51
  • Good points! I'll add it as a 3rd meaning in my answer above.
    – Nick
    Jun 5, 2023 at 16:56

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