Take the 2-minute tour ×
German Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for speakers of German wanting to discuss the finer points of the language and translation. It's 100% free, no registration required.

What is correct, between

(a) Ich möchte das gerne machen.

and

(b) Ich würde das gerne machen.

or both? If both are correct, is there a difference in meaning?

share|improve this question
1  
Beides ist Ok. Aber "würde" ist Konjunktiv und "möchte" nicht. –  alk Jan 15 at 14:23
    
Isn't möchte the subjunctive 2 form of mögen? –  thekeyofgb Jan 15 at 21:26
    
@thekeyofgb: It can also be, but is rarely used as such, only in older literature. –  Thorsten Dittmar Jan 16 at 5:51
2  
...was ist "möchte" denn anderes als der Konjunktiv 2 von mögen??? –  Takkat Jan 16 at 7:14

3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Both are correct but there indeed may be a difference in meaning.

Who wants to answer the question?

Ich möchte das gerne machen. Wenn ich darf.

vs

Ich würde das gerne machen. Ich habe aber keine Zeit.
Ich würde das gerne machen. Wenn ich darf.

The point is, when using möchte you say you're really willing to do something but you're waiting for permission.

Using würde can mean the same thing but it can also indicate that you would do it but you simply can't.

It's usually clear from context, however in case of "I can't" you tell why.

share|improve this answer
    
Also, "würde" will be used if you are not exactly keen to do it. "Ich würde es schon machen, ehe wir den Auftrag verlieren, obwohl es eigentlich nicht meine Aufgabe ist." –  Ingo Jan 16 at 12:39
    
@Ingo Make this an answer! –  Em1 Jan 16 at 12:47
    
Ich würde es machen, wenn ich nicht zu faul wäre. –  Ingo Jan 16 at 12:51

Adding to EM1's answer:

Ich möchte das gerne machen

can also mean that you just didn't get to do it yet, but are definitely willing to.

For example:

Eines Tages möchte ich noch an den Nordpol.

It is your wish to go there, but so far you didn't get to do it.

share|improve this answer

In addition to EM1's answer, which is 100% correct, I think if you take the standalone sentence

Ich würde das gerne machen.

this will be a little bit more polite – but this is a very small difference.
Also, this does not mean the other statement is impolite in any way.

share|improve this answer
    
Good catch. And definitely less polite: Ich will das machen. –  Em1 Jan 15 at 15:53

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.