Macht jemand zu(m) etwas

Canis Snupus Snupus

Senior Member
English - Australian
Hi everyone

I've seen the phrase "make someone [something]" translated as follows:

Who makes Steve Guttenberg a star?
Wer macht Guttenberg zum Star?

It (love) makes fools of us all.
Sie macht uns alle zu Narren.

Why is "zu" used in one sentence and "zum" in the other? Does it have anything to do with "star" being singular and "fools" being plural?

  • bearded

    Senior Member
    In German it is:
    Jemanden zu etwas machen = to transform someone into something:
    into the star: zum Star , into fools: zu Narren.

    It's approximately the same as in the English text:
    - a star (German prefers the definite article) to the = zu dem > zum (contraction)
    - fools (without article) Narren
    Last edited:


    German (Germany)
    I am not sure it really is a definite article. Formally you are right that zum is a contraction of zu dem. But here I think it could also be understood as a contraction of zu einem with the difference between definite and indefinite article being ignored.