What is correct, between

(a) Ich möchte das gerne machen.


(b) Ich würde das gerne machen.

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

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

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.


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.

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  • 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 '14 at 12:39
  • Ich würde es machen, wenn ich nicht zu faul wäre. – Ingo Jan 16 '14 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.

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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.

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