how manual transmissions work
Type that exact question into Youtube. There are a few great videos that explain this.
It’s not something that can be explained with words.
Here is the baby version, you have a shagt in the engine, connected to a transmission, when you hit the clutch, the transmission has disengaged with the engine shaft, you move the shifter to put the gear (which is cut to put more or less power to the driveshaft) once in the proper gear, and at the right rev count, your engine will put power to that gear and the transmission will do as stated in parentheses above. (If I’m missing something let me know, but this was as ooga Booga, simple as I could make it)
To a 5 year old I’d say the same way as an automatic but you can control it
To someone who actually wants to understand how they work do what the other comment said and watch the video I link, if you’re asking this here I’m going to assume you have little to no knowledge on how cars actually work and you’ll never be able to understand by someone typing it in a comment thread, YouTube has visuals and is able to explain in much more detail while keeping it simple
In fact donut media has a whole series with this same host that is basically explaining car parts to children or people who know nothing about cars it’s called science garage
How in depth do you want?
I drive stick. You have a clutch that connects the output shaft from the engine to the input shaft of the transmission. You disconnect the engine from the transmission when you disengage the clutch via a foot pedal, a piston presses on the diaphragm, releasing the pressure from the friction plate. From there, you’re able to select a gear via a shifting lever, or stick. This stick connects with a shifting fork that interacts with rods in the transmission to push/pull gears into a mesh (mesh is when the teeth of gears interlock).
There are of course speed differences between the gears, for this, most car transmissions have synchronizers to bring all the gears to the same relative speeds to make the shifting process easier. You *can* shift without the use of a clutch through what is called “floating”, but this requires very precise speed matching between your engine RPM, the speed you’re currently going, and the gear you wish to go into. This is a more common thing among trucker’s though, as the RPM ranges are much narrower making it easier to Rev match.