Und was werden wir machen?

English Translation

And what are we going to do?

Would using “tun” instead of “machen” change the meaning? That is, would each be more appropriate in slightly different contexts?

1 Like

I can only think of one example, where you cannot exchange one by the other.

Let’s imagine you have groups of students and each group has to select one machine it has to construct.
In this case the discussion in a group might start with “Und was werden wir machen?” with “machen” in the sense of “construct, build” etc.

But as long as you mean “do”, it is the same.

1 Like

Interesting. I wonder if anyone here can confirm or deny a memory I have. When I first learned German in the early 1990s the teachers discouraged us from using “tun” except for very rare cases (I don’t remember which; I just rarely used it). Probably because as English speakers we tended toward “tun”. But now on TV I hear “tun” all the time. Has usage changed? Was there ever a greater distinction between the two?

You are absolutely right.

I commented on that here: Ich habe Geld in einen Safe getan.

However, here you are substituting “machen” with “tun” and that sounds okay even to an old pedant like me.