There are many articles on the internet clarifying the differences between the usage of gern and mögen. However, what does it mean when they are both used in the same sentence, for example:

1) Ich mag ... gern.

Would this carry a different meaning from just saying:

2) Ich mag ...

or:

3) Ich ... gern ...

I found this sentence quite frequently in one of my German textbooks. They call sentence 1 "positive form". I am aware that mögen can be used with lieber and am liebsten to form comparative and superlative sentences, but what purpose would putting mögen and gern within the sentence create, and would it be different from just using mögen and gern alone?

The example included in the textbook is:

Er mag Obstsalat gern.

Would this carry a different meaning from just saying:

Er mag Obstsalat.

or:

Er isst gern Obsalat.

I have also seen möchten and gern used in the same sentence, I would also like to know whether that carries any different meaning from just using möchten alone.

  • 1
    Possible duplicate of Use of mögen vs gern – Hubert Schölnast Sep 1 '17 at 13:52
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    @HubertSchölnast Thanks, but I explained in the opening paragraph that I know how to use the words individually. What I don't get is how mögen + gern within the same sentence is different from mögen or gern alone. – WeavingBird1917 Sep 1 '17 at 13:55
  • Let me first say, both sentences are very similar. If you have the choice between different options, like: "Magst du Obsalat oder ein Eis oder ein Stueck Schokolade als Nachtisch?". Then you can answer "Ich mag Obstsalat."This sounds neutral. If you are asked whether you like something, like "Schmeckt dir Obstsalat?", then you say "Ich mag Obsalat gern." So this emphasizes that you really like it. Maybe this helps. – S. M. Roch Sep 1 '17 at 14:52
up vote 0 down vote accepted

So, you are basically asking about the difference between

Sie hat ihn gern.

Sie mag ihn.

Sie mag ihn gern.

Both mögen and gern transport the meaning to like. You may think the third sentence is already overemphasized, but wait:

Sie mag ihn sehr gern.

Oh, she really loves him … as a friend.

German speakers often get confused when they first contact to English speakers (read: U.S. people in trashy internet videos) and get to know how much they love stuff. Mögen instead is for the very degrees of liking, not loving something. That's why we put adverb gern and the Gradpartikel (degree particle) sehr aside it.

In contrary, lieben connected with gern has a slightly different meaning, meaning you like to love.

  • So the first and second sentences carry the same meaning, but the third would be an emphasized? And the fourth sentence would emphasize it even more than the third? Please clarify me if I'm wrong. I didn't even know mag ... sehr gern could be used. – WeavingBird1917 Sep 2 '17 at 0:24
  • Yes, the meaning of first and the second is the same. It's just a variation. The third has a double "like" and the fourth goes even on top of that with the "sehr" degree. – Janka Sep 2 '17 at 1:20

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