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The German verb MACHEN and its prefixes + conjugation

German verb machen and its prefixes

Today you will not only learn how to conjugate the verb ‘machen’, but also the individual meanings of the verb with these prefixes:


  • aufmachen
  • zumachen
  • anmachen
  • ausmachen
  • mitmachen
  • nachmachen
  • abmachen

How do you conjugate the German verb machen?

On the picture you can see how to conjugate the German verb “machen”.

German verb MACHEN and conjugation

Now to the meanings of the verb “machen” with different prefixes

auf|machen  > <  zu|machen

The German verb machen with the prefix “auf” means to open and adding the prefix “zu” means to close.



Kannst du bitte das Fenster aufmachen? Es stinkt hier drin.

Can you please open the window? It stinks in here.

Du musst die Tür zumachen, sonst läuft der Kater nach draußen.

You have to close the door, otherwise the cat will run outside.


The word abmachen can mean to take something off (to remove), but also to make (an appointment).



Du hast eine Spinne auf deiner Schulter. Soll ich sie abmachen?

You have a spider on your shoulder. Shall I take it off?

Lass uns einen neuen Termin abmachen (in this case also: ausmachen). Heute habe ich keine Zeit. 

Let’s make another appointment. Today I don’t have time.

an|machen  > <  aus|machen

With the prefix “an” the word means: switch on / turn on and if you add the prefix “aus” the word means: switch off / turn off.



Kannst du bitte das Licht anmachen? Es ist schon dunkel.

Can you please turn on the light? It’s already dark.

Du musst jetzt den Fernseher ausmachen. Wir müssen jetzt ins Bett und schlafen.

You have to turn off the TV now. We have to go to bed and sleep now.


The word nachmachen means to imitate or copy.



Musst du mir immer alles nachmachen? Hast du keine eigenen Ideen?

Do you always have to copy me? Don’t you have any ideas of your own?

Es ist nicht schwer. Ich zeige es dir und du kannst es dann nachmachen.

It is not difficult. I’ll show you and then you can copy it.


The word mitmachen means to participate, to join or take part in something.



Was spielt ihr? Darf ich mitmachen?

What are you playing? Can I join in?

Wenn du mitmachen willst, dann beeil dich.

If you want to join, hurry up.

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