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Contracting a verb+”es” in german

How do you do these types of contractions (ex: macht’s, geht’s,etc.)? Can you do this for any verb and when and when is it not appropriate?

March 13, 2018



Hello, hallo :)

As far as I know (non native), it doesn't depend on the verb, but the style you want to impart. One common exemple would be "Wie geht es" and "Wie geht's": in both case, you ask "How do you do", only the former is a tad bit more formal (even better as "wie geht es dir/Ihen"), the latter more suited for close friends. Hope it helps.


correction: wie geht es dir / Ihnen actually means how are you not how do you do. since how do you do in english is usually only a greeting. Germans would never ask a person how he or she is feeling if they do not really want to know. wie geht es without the dir/ Ihnen at the end would not count as a complete sentence since the object is missing. meaning you could also attempt to ask how the mother or the dog of the person is doing. so it is like "how is who doing"?... wie gehts however is rather a slang than a correct sentence in general. it is usually directed to the person in question. so if i adress you with "wie gehts" i mean you. and if i mean someone else, i will clearify that. saying "wie gehts deiner mutter" or "wie gehts deinem hund" etc..


Danke, ich wermute, Du bist Deutsch und ich schätze Deine Hilfe.
I was taught to consider "How do you do" and "How are you" as pretty much interchangeable (I'm not native), but I now know the nuance https://ell.stackexchange.com/questions/107265/how-are-you-vs-how-do-you-do.


yes i am german and it is vermute not wermute :-)


Oops! Tippfehler… Danke :)


It's also quite common with "ich hab's" (on its own, e.g. "Ich hab's!" = "I've got it!" or "Ich hab's nicht mehr." = "I don't have it anymore", as well as for perfect tense: "Ich hab's gegessen."). It's generally common in spoken language, e.g. "ich werd's [tun]", "ich mach's", ...

It works for any verb unless it doesn't fit in with the pronunciation; e.g. "Ich fahr's ins Lager" ("I'll drive it [the car, the delivery] to the warehouse"), "Ich schick's dir rüber" ("I'll send it [the email, the package] 'over' to you"), "Er bricht's ab" ("He quits it [university]" or "He breaks it [the protruding bit] off"), but not "Ich ess's noch" ("I'll 'still' eat this [what's left on my plate]"). "Du schickst's am besten mit der Post" ("It's best if you send it by mail") or "Du holst's" ("You pick it [the package] up [at the post office]") are quite complicated to read and pronounce as well, but people might still [try to] use it in spoken language [and likely fail: "du schicksss", "du holsss"].

But don't use "...'s" in formal writing, and that includes "Wie geht's Ihnen?". Generally, I think you shouldn't overuse it in writing at all, because outside common phrases like "ich hab's ..." it soon gets harder to decipher for the reader than if you used "[ich schicke] es ...".


the two you mentioned are the ones there it is used most often. you can use it with other verbs though. it makes your speech very casual and informal. it is a form you would only use with friends or family...

ps you would write it as wie gehts not as wie geht's some people do (even some germans who took it over from the english )but it is wrong.

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