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What is the proper position of “gern”?

I find sentences with adverbs a bit confusing, as I don't know if the placement of a certain adverb is right or wrong. Consider the following questions:

  1. Welches Wetter magst du gern?

    • Ich mag der Schnee gern.
    • Ich mag gern der Schnee.
  2. Was trinkst du gern?

    • Ich trinke gern Kaffee.
    • Ich trinke Kaffee gern.
  3. Wohin willst du gern im Urlaub fahren?

    • Ich will gern im Urlaub Deutschland fahren.
    • Ich will im Urlaub Deutschland gern fahren.

Which of the above options are correct? Should the adverb come immediately after the verb or at the end?

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1  
The first example is weird. Gern implies mögen and vice versa... using both together sounds like a kid would talk –  Emanuel Dec 5 '12 at 18:06
    
also shouldn't you ask for gern-placement rather than adverb placement? Or at least change it to manner-adverbs because time or place adverbs have different default positions. –  Emanuel Dec 5 '12 at 18:07
    
Oh, I didn't know that.. Thank you for adding the existing question.. I will read it.. I thought gern was an adverb –  thandasoru Dec 6 '12 at 3:26
    
Gern is an adverb. –  Em1 Dec 6 '12 at 8:03
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marked as duplicate by Em1, Kurt, Hubert Schölnast, Baz, thandasoru Dec 17 '12 at 9:32

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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Gern(e) comes before the thing you like... what that thing is depends on you.

Ich liege im Sommer nach der Arbeit mit einer Flasche Bier im Park.

Here are your possibilities with the corresponding question you are answering.

Ich liege gern im Sommer nach der Arbeit... (what do you like doing)

Ich liege im Sommer gern nach der Arbeit... (what do you like doing in summer)

Ich liege im Sommer nach der Arbeit gern mit einer Flasche Bier im Park (what do you like doing in summer after work)

Ich liege im Sommer nach der Arbeit mit einer Flasche Bier gern im Park. (Where do you like lying in summer after work with a bottle of beer.)

Except for the last one, all sound smooth and the difference in perceived meaning is rather small. Which version people prefer is in my opinion mostly a question of rhythm and style... gern sounds very positive and it changes meaning after all... so bringing it right away results in a lengthy description after it that might eventually get boring... we already know that you like it so stop getting more and more precise. The very late gern however makes it sound as if there are other places where you don't like to lie. I think I would go with the second, but that has nothing to do with right or wrong.

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Gern teile ich Dir mit, dass, wenn das 'gern' vorne steht, alles weitere als Einschränkung der Bedingungen verstanden werden kann, und solange nicht langweilig ist, wie man nicht erfahren hat, was noch alles zum Wohlbefinden nötig ist. :) –  user unknown Dec 5 '12 at 23:52
    
I prefer the first one :-) It's easy, at least for now.. –  thandasoru Dec 6 '12 at 3:33
    
@user unknown... das ist schon richtig :) aber das Verb ist klar. Wenn das gern noch nicht gesagt wurde könnte ja auch "oft" oder "selten" oder "ungern" kommen. Da ist einfach noch mehr zu entdecken als immer nur Einschränkungen ;) –  Emanuel Dec 6 '12 at 10:58
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Correct are

Ich mag gern(e) Schnee.

(without the der, if you want to place an article there, it would be den, but it's ugly)

Ich trinke gern(e) Kaffee.

Ich will gern(e) nach Deutschland in den Urlaub fahren.

or

Ich will gern(e) in den Urluab nach Deutschland fahren.

(but the first solution is way better).

Generally, gerne is lovelier than gern.

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Thank you very much for this information. So, gerne can be used only without the article? –  thandasoru Dec 6 '12 at 3:31
    
@thandasoru No. It is just not common to place an article in front of "Schnee", "Kaffee" or "Urlaub" since we're not talking about a particular thing. But if you want to express that you prefer one brand rather than another you'd use it. –  Em1 Dec 6 '12 at 8:10
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"Schnee", "Kaffe" and "Urlaub" are mass nouns, which both in German and English generally don't need an article. Compare: "I like snow" -- "I like the snow". "I like coffee" -- "I like the coffee". "I like vacation" -- "I like the vacation". –  elena Dec 6 '12 at 9:33
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Exactly. If someone would ask you, "which coffee do you like" -> "Welchen Kaffee willst du?", then you can answer "ich möchte gerne DEN Kaffee", and like this you mean a specific coffee. –  Valentino Ru Dec 6 '12 at 13:43
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I don't fully agree with this answer. For example, I can say Ich mag Valentino Ru gern (I like him), but I can not say Ich mag gern Valentino Ru. This answer doesn't fully explain this difference. –  Thorsten Dittmar Dec 10 '12 at 9:02
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