Forum Rocket German German Grammar Making a decision. Why not "Entscheidung machen?"

Making a decision. Why not "Entscheidung machen?"



In lesson 12.1, in the introductory conversation, the following sentence is presented:
Aber zuerst muss ich noch eine wichtige Entscheidung treffen.  The translation is: But first I must make an important decision.

The verb treffen, has already been introduced and defined as to meet. However, in this sentence it is defined as to make.  A check in Google Translate confirms the translation but it doesn't make sense given the definition of the word.  Can someone explain why a decision is different from other things one might make and instead of making it one apparently meets it in German?



Hi Dean,

The German word “treffen” has a number of meanings, with the translation “to meet” being only one of them. It can also mean “to make” or “to reach”, for example, "eine Entscheidung treffen" meaning “to make/reach a decision” or “eine Vereinbarung treffen”meaning “to make/reach an agreement”. 

Often times different languages use different verbs to express the same idea. In Hebrew, for example, we don't say “to make a decision” (in literal translation), but rather “to receive/get a decision”. Again being different from English.

If I may offer a tip that has helped me during the course: take the example you encountered in lesson 12.1, and commit to memory the phrase "eine Entscheidung treffen" for “reaching a decision”. It may help you later on in recalling the multiple definitions or usage of “treffen”.


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