20 Mar Should I say spend or donate money to charity? What’s the difference?
In German and Swiss German, spenden is the verb used when giving something for a good cause. Although it sounds similar to the English verb spend, it doesn’t mean the same thing – another false friend to avoid. In English, the verb used to talk about giving money, clothes or food to charity is donate.
Can you spend some money to charity?
The Swisstake above should read:
Can you donate some money to charity?
Here are a couple of examples to outline the difference between the two verbs, along with their German and Swiss German equivalents:
*Why do words have to be so damn long in German?
Donations aren’t limited to money or goods – one can also donate organs or blood (ein Organ/Blut spenden). If someone decides to donate money, blood or organs, the noun used to talk about them is donor – a blood donor, an organ donor, or simply just a donor if it’s about money.
To recap, here are the word forms used:
Noun: donation (thing), donor (person)
Verb: to donate (present: donate, past simple: donated, past participle: donated)