I like… The use of “gern(e)”, “mögen” and “schmecken”. In this article we will deal with the rules of use and the main meanings of these verbs, as well as learn useful info.

German is one of the most expressive languages ​​in Europe. The spotlight is not even in intonation, because for too many it may seem boring or too logical, but in the ways of expressing actions.

German is the language of pictures. When a German says a word, he sees the action or image that is born of this action. That is why there are so many logical and semantic prefixes that complement verbs in the German language. But today we will talk about the expression of feelings, namely about how to say that you like something. There are a lot of options! And we should choose a specific option based on what (or maybe who) we like. If you’ve been learning a language for a long time, then it’s easier for you to express your favor, and for beginners it is helpful to learn a few common ones. 

We all love to do something!

In order to emphasize your passion for action, you must use the construction: verb + gern(e). In this case, the verb is conjugated, and gern(e) is placed at the end of the sentence. Gern(e) is translated into English as “gladly”, “with pleasure”.

  • Ich schwimme gern – I like to swim/I swim gladly. 
  • Er reist gerne – He likes to travel/He travels gladly.
  • Lesen Sie gerne? – Do you like to read/Do you read with pleasure? 
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We all like to eat something! 

If we say that we love some kind of food, then in most cases the verb mögen is used. Actually, this is a modal verb and it has a lot of different meanings, but all we need to remember for today: we use it with food and drink! 
Here are its present tense forms:

  • Ich mag Pizza – I like pizza
  • Magst du Kaffee? – Do you like coffee?
  • Sie mögen diese Speise nicht – They don’t like this dish. 

As you can see from the examples, when we use the verb mögen, we are talking about something general, a habit, something “in general”.

  • I love pizza! (generally)
  • Do you like coffee? (generally)

Now let’s talk about established facts!            

If we want to express the disposition to a certain dish that you eat, then – it is necessary to indicate to define the kind of dish (in Accusative), that is, add a definite article or, for example, a demonstrative pronoun (this, that) 

  • Ich mag die / diese Pizza – I like this pizza 
  • Magst du den / diesen Kaffee? –   Do you like this coffee?  

However, it is better to use the verb schmecken (“to taste”), also don’t forget to use the article for food and drinks.

  • Das schmeckt gut – It’s delicious
  • Wie schmeckt Ihnen der Wein? – How do you like wine? / Do you like the wine? (specific wine)
  • Die Suppe schmeckt mir – I like the soup (certain soup) / The soup is delicious.

For the lazy and beginners:  If you still find it difficult to understand the variety of ways to express your culinary preferences, then you can simplify the task by using the construction: I eat … with pleasure. 

  • Ich mag Pizza – Ich esse Pizza gern.
  • Magst du Kaffe? – Trinkst du Kaffee gerne?
  • Sie mögen diese Speise nicht – Sie essen diese Speise nicht  

This does not contradict grammar, but it rather impoverishes the expression, and also has a simpler connotation, so over time it is still worth mastering all the options given. In the second part of the article, we will talk with you about the use of the verbs gefallen, lieben and the bundle of gern + haben. Stay tuned!

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