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, 2014 at 14:23
  • 1
    Isn't möchte the subjunctive 2 form of mögen?
    – thekeyofgb
    Jan 15, 2014 at 21:26
  • @thekeyofgb: It can also be, but is rarely used as such, only in older literature. Jan 16, 2014 at 5:51
  • 3
    ...was ist "möchte" denn anderes als der Konjunktiv 2 von mögen???
    – Takkat
    Jan 16, 2014 at 7:14

4 Answers 4


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.

  • 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, 2014 at 12:39
  • Ich würde es machen, wenn ich nicht zu faul wäre.
    – Ingo
    Jan 16, 2014 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.


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.


I think the difference is as follows:

  • Ich möchte das machen = I want to do that

  • Ich würde das machen = I would like to do that

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