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Which word order is correct?

Ich mag gern Katzen

or

Ich mag Katzen gern

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  • "Ich hab Katzen gern". "Mögen" and "gerne" together have the connotation of talking about food. At least where I grew up.
    – Ocean
    Oct 2 at 14:24
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Both word orders are correct, but the meaning is slightly different.

Ich mag gern Katzen.

takes the fact that you're liking something as a given, a kind of "precondition". Then, this sentence adds the information what you're liking, namely cats.

Ich mag Katzen gern.

on the other hand has the "precondition" that you're talking about cats. But what about cats? The new information in this case is that you're liking them.

As an aside, the correct form of the adverb would be "gerne". "gern" is a casual shortening that's so common that you don't even mark the shortening anymore (so it's not written as "gern'" most of the time). But technically, it would need to be "gerne".

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    Although the form with -e is older, Duden has gern as the main form and stigmatises the one with -e as southern (while DWDS refers to it as colloquial). Therefore, the last paragraph is incorrect. (Personally, I feel no difference between the two forms.)
    – David Vogt
    Oct 1 at 10:31
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    Interesting. My gut feeling would be that "gerne" is more formal, the more "fully spelled-out" form, and "gern" is the shorter, more colloquial form. Oct 1 at 12:55
  • Thank you all for your responses! Very helpful
    – TinaK
    Oct 4 at 7:48

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