I like it, but how do I say that in German?

If you want to say that you like something in German, you have several choices. You can use ‘mögen’, verb + ‘gern(e)’, finden + ‘gut’ or ‘gefallen’.

Mögen gets conjugated and used like a modal verb, except you should use is without a second verb.

How do you conjugate it?

  • ich mag
  • du magst
  • er/ sie/ es mag
  • wir mögen
  • ihr mögt
  • sie/ Sie mögen

How do you use it?

  • You use it with a noun:
  • Ich mag Tennis. It means I like tennis. It doesn’t necessarily mean that I like playing tennis. I might only watch Wimbledon on TV.
  • Er mag Fußball. Again, that only means that he likes it. He might never have played it.
  • Wir mögen Pizza. Well, that probably does mean that we like to eat it. What else would you do with pizza? Look at it? ☺

If you want to say that you like doing something you just add the word gern or gerne (it doesn’t matter which one) to whatever action you like doing.

  • Ich spiele gern Tennis. This makes it clear that I like playing tennis and not necessarily watching it.
  • Er sieht gern Fußball. He likes to watch football, not necessarily play it.
  • Wir backen gerne Pizza. Apart from eating, we also like baking the pizzas and want to say so.

Additional words you can use:

  • sehr
    Ich spiele sehr gerne Tennis. I like playing tennis very much.
  • wirklich
    Ich spiele wirklich gern Tennis. I really like playing tennis.
  • unheimlich
    Ich spiele unheimlich gern Tennis. I enjoy playing tennis incredibly.

Of course, you might not like doing things. Then add these words to ‘gern’:

  • nicht
    Er spielt nicht gern Fußball. He doesn’t like playing football.
  • wirklich nicht
    Er spielt wirklich nicht gern Fußball. He really doesn’t like playing football.
  • überhaupt nicht
    Er spielt überhaupt nicht gern Fußball. He doesn’t like playing football at all.

Gefallen goes with the item you like and you only need two forms: gefällt, if it’s one item & gefallen, if it’s more.

  • Das T-Shirt gefällt mir. I like that t-shirt (lit. that t-shirt is pleasing to me)
  • Diese Bilder gefallen mir. I like these pictures.
  • Das Bild gefällt mir gut. I like that picture a lot.
  • Das BIld gefällt mir sehr gut. I like that picture very much.
  • Diese Bilder gefallen mir nicht. I don’t like these pictures.
  • Das Bild dort gefällt mir gar nicht. I don’t like that picture there at all.

To say that you like something, you can also use the verb finden plus a verb, or a noun in the accusative plus ‘gut’, ‘sehr gut’, nicht gut’, etc …

A reminder how to conjugate finden:

  • ich finde
  • du findest
  • er/ sie/ es findet
  • wir finden
  • ihr findet
  • sie/ Sie finden
  • Ich finde den Film gut. Ich like the film.
  • Ich finde die Tasche sehr gut. I like the bag very much.
  • Ich finde das Bild nicht gut. I don’t like that picture.

Instead of gut, you can also use super, toll, schlecht, … any adjective that would descrive how you like something.

So, to recap:

  • Ich mag Deutschland.
  • Ich lerne gerne Deutsch.
  • Angelika’s Blog gefällt mir.
  • Ich finde meinen Deutschunterricht unheimlich gut.

Ich mag das! I like it (I hope so ☺)

Can you now write some sentences in German about something you like? Let me read them – I would like that!

I’ll leave you with a song from the German Sesame Street: Ich mag dich, du magst mich…

Ich mag euch 😍

PS. If this post makes you want to revise German verb conjugations in the present tense, check out my online course German tenses 1 – the present tense

2 thoughts on “I like it, but how do I say that in German?”

  1. Ich mag Blümen.
    Ich häkele gern.
    Meine Katzen gefallen mir.
    Ich finde Deutsch interessant.

    Thank you for this! I haven’t seen all these put together before, and I hadn’t thought about needing the plural of gefallen when the pleasing thing is plural!


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