1

I was translating the English phrase:

It will be fun.

And I translated it as:

Es wird Spaß sein.

But the answer booklet had it translated as:

Es wird Spaß machen.

Would the use of sein not be appropriate here and why would machen be used over sein?

Thanks.

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  • 1
    I hope your book had Spaß, not spaß.
    – Carsten S
    Dec 31, 2020 at 18:03
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    The German word »Spaß« is a noun, not an adverb. All German nouns must always be written with an uppercase first letter, so it must be »Spaß« (not »spaß«, this word doesn't exist in German). I edited your question and corrected this error. Dec 31, 2020 at 18:31

1 Answer 1

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You can say

Es wird lustig sein.
It will be funny.

Here lustig is an adjective in an adverbial usage. It modifies the verb sein (to be).

You can use sein (to be) also together with a noun:

Hans wird bald Pensionist sein.
Hans will soon be a pensioner.
Mein Auto wird bald ein Wrack sein.
My car will soon be a wreck.

You use this construction to say, that two things are equal (or will become equal if you use future tense) or that one thing is a member of a certain category. But (at least in German) you don't say, that a given action is equal to a fun or belongs to a category named "fun".

Instead, in German you say, that a given action causes (makes) a certain feeling or emotion, and the name of this emotion is "fun" (Spaß).

So, Spaß is not the action, but its emotional result. And so, an action, that is fun in English (i.e. the action belongs to a certain class) causes Spaß (a feeling/emotion) in German.

So, the correct usage is:

Es wird Spaß machen.
It will cause a feeling that we call »Spaß«.

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  • Oder "Es wird ein Spaß!" oder "Es wird spaßig." Dec 31, 2020 at 23:16
  • Note that machen is an example of what is called a "light verb" in English (Funktionsverb in German). It combines with several nouns to form fixed phrases which are functionally new verbs. In general these phrases don't translate directly from one language to another, for example "to make fun" means something very different than Spaß machen. Also note that Spaß haben, ein Spaß sein (see the other comment), and zum Spaß are possible, but only the first one translates directly to English.
    – RDBury
    Jan 1, 2021 at 7:56

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