auf jugendlich?

Can someone explain why the adjective/adverb jugendlich comes right after the preposition auf in "Ich malte und frisierte mich ein bisschen mehr auf jugendlich,"? Shouldn't it be a noun instead?

LG Jason

April 1, 2018

  • 25
  • 24
  • 22
  • 20
  • 8
  • 7
  • 3
  • 2
  • 429

There is an idiomatic expression "auf [XY (adjective or adverb)] machen". It means "do something in the style of [XY] (without success)", "pose as something".

It is very colloquial style. A few examples for illustration:

Er zog sich Lederklamotten an und wollte einen auf harter Rocker machen.
Sie wollte mit ihrer Brille auf intellektuell machen.

Or Karl Lagerfeld: "Ich hasse nichts mehr als Designer, die auf intellektuell machen." Source:

In your sentence, this general structure is applied to the verbs "malen" and "frisieren": Do something to give a certain impression.

April 1, 2018

no it has to be an adjective. "ich mache auf" ... in this context means i pretend to be or i am trying to look/ appear like... so "er/sie macht auf jugendlich" would mean the person in question is trying to appear younger than he/ she actually is. how does he want to appear? youthful. therefore it needs to be an adjetive

April 1, 2018
Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.