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What is the difference between ausgeben and aufwenden?

What is the difference between ausgeben and aufwenden?

March 11, 2018



Ausgeben: I spend money. Bsp: Ich gebe 30 Euro für Bücher aus.

Aufwenden: I had to work hard to achieve something, i spend lots of time to reach it. Bsp: Ich wende 30 Minuten täglich für Sport auf.


Aufwenden can also refer to money:

Daimler-Geschäftsfeld will hohen dreistelligen Millionen-Betrag aufwenden.

from logistik-heute.de

I'd say apart from the different usage areas (ausgeben sounds more colloquial), the main difference is that ausgeben is often used intransitive (Ich gebe viel aus) or just without a "scope" (Ich gebe viel Geld aus), while aufwenden usually has a purpose (aufwenden für/um ....)


I'll add that "der Aufwand" = "the effort"; so "aufwenden" has this connotation of "input", e.g. to "put in" money to achieve a purpose / to invest in/for a purpose, or to "put in" too few soldiers/tanks to fight a battle, or to "put in" thousands of candles to light an 18th-century ballroom, or, as tanne101 said, to "put in" 30 minutes of your time per day to do sports.


As a side note, I think translating "effort" as "Aufwand" emphasizes the effort and its scope by itself, somewhat divorced from the one putting it in; to talk about the effort related to its actors ("ḧe put in a lot of effort"), I'd use Anstrengung / Einsatz / Bemühen or similar.

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