1

This question also has an answer here (in German):
Wieso muss »es« in diesem Satz stehen?


Ich mag es, am Strand zu liegen

The way I see, this phrase could have the same meaning as 'Ich mag am Strand zu liegen', but this apparently isn't the case.

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    It has the same function as "it" in "I like it when you stroke my hair." – Kilian Foth Jan 12 '18 at 7:13
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It is an argument of the verb mag, which functions as a direct object and pronoun for "am Strand liegen".

Perhaps a good analogy to English would be this sentence:

I like it when I can [just] lie on the beach [and do nothing].

Sometimes this word "it" disappears into the mysterious world of consciousness :) (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellipsis_(linguistics) because it is redundant or unique such that "it" can only function in one way. In other words, it can be skipped by the mind (perhaps to save time in speech?)

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    @Zac67 Thanks for the fixeroo. Just a side note: In my mid-western dialect, (Cleveland, Ohio), “lay on the beach" is fine. Almost nobody says “lie“ in that enclave except of when meaning “to tell a lie“. That would be the form used just for school because the English teacher said so. – Jonathan Komar Jan 13 '18 at 6:38
  • just wondering, and what word they use there? – humble Jan 15 '18 at 1:28
  • @humble Direct object of the verb. The infinitive can fill that role in English english.stackexchange.com/a/214859. German requires a nominal form of the verb or another clause. I am not aware of any name for full infinitives serving as D.O.s. Perhaps the etymology of “like“ would be enlightening. – Jonathan Komar Jan 15 '18 at 6:24

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