♥About love – Über Liebe♥

die Liebe - love  lieben - to love  mögen - to like der Kuss - kiss das Küsschen  little kiss, peck   küssen - to kiss
die Liebe – love
lieben – to love
mögen – to like
der Kuss – kiss
das Küsschen – little kiss, peck
küssen – to kiss

 

Imagine that when you go to Germany in a year or two you meet someone you really like. You want to say, „Hey, you’re really cool. Wanna go to a movie with me? I like you.“

But when you open your mouth to speak, you turn into a gaping, lovestruck fool. You can’t find the words you need. Your mouth opens and shuts like that of an exotic fish at the aquarium. In the end, you come out with the line: „Du trägst eine Jeans und ein Hemd.“ („You are wearing jeans and a shirt.“) Well, after all, you still remember all those words for clothing and the verb „tragen“. But in this case, they’re not very useful. Having uttered this dopey sentence, you want to melt into the floor. You think to yourself: „Kill me now.“ 

Don’t worry, this is never going to happen to you, because on this page you can learn some vocabulary for saying nice things to other people and (hopefully) understanding them when they say nice things to you.

You need to know the direct object pronouns to say you like someone: „I like you, you love me, I like them, he likes her, she likes him, I like (all of) you – and so on. Here’s a little table of direct object pronouns:

English

German

me mich
you (singular) dich (singular)
him ihn
her sie
it es
us uns
you (plural) euch (plural)
them sie

The verb for „to love“, lieben, is utterly and reassuringly regular. That’s why you can use it, not just to express your true feelings, but also to revise the regular endings:

♥CONJUGATION OF lieben – to love♥

  Infinitive: lieben  

Singular

Plural

1st person

ich liebe

  wir lieben  

2nd person

du liebst

ihr liebt

3rd person

  er/sie liebt  

sie lieben

The verb for to like, mögen, also has a role as a modal verb, so it is important enough to be irregular. The first person, second person and third person singular are all unpredictable. There is no t ending on the third person singular, which is a pattern common to all modal verbs, including müssen (to have to) and können (to be able to).

♥CONJUGATION OF mögen – to like♥

  Infinitive: mögen  

Singular

Plural

1st person

ich mag

  wir mögen  

2nd person

du magst

ihr mögt

3rd person

  er/sie mag  

sie mögen

Phew, now you can start making up sentences. Here are a few examples:

• Ich mag dich. Magst du mich? – I like you. Do you like me?

• Er mag sie. Mag sie ihn? – He likes her. Does she like him?

• Sie mag ihn nicht. Er mag sie nicht. – She doesn’t like him. He doesn’t like her.

You can also express your affection with an idiomatic phrase that sounds very odd in English, but perfectly normal in German. Ich hab dich gern translates to „I have you gladly“ or „with pleasure“. See, it doesn’t work in English at all, but in German it’s a very friendly, affectionate phrase. 

Er liebt mich. Er liebt mich nicht. He loves me. He loves me not. For once, something works word for word...
Er liebt mich. Er liebt mich nicht.
He loves me. He loves me not.
For once, something works word for word…

Remember how in English there’s that old chant that you use as you pull the petals off a daisy? „He loves me, he loves me not, he loves me, he loves me not…“ It sounds kind of old-fashioned in English, like something from Shakespeare, yet in modern German, that’s exactly how you form the negative. You can simply translate the „daisy chant“ word for word:

• Er liebt mich. Er liebt mich nicht. – He loves me. He love me not.

• Sie liebt mich. Sie liebt mich nicht. – She loves me. She loves me not.

• Ich liebe dich. Liebst du mich? – I love you. Do you love me?

Oddly enough, this phrase is usually reserved for people you are in love with, that is, for romantic liaisons. When speaking to other people whom you love, it is more common to say, Ich hab dich lieb, which also means „I love you“ but without the romantic connotation. You can make this sound stronger by saying something like, Ich hab dich wirklich total lieb, which might be translated to „I really love you“ or „I adore you“.

Sometimes it's hard to accept a compliment...
Sometimes it’s hard to accept a compliment…

Of course, you may want to start with a friendly remark, rather than weighing in with the romantic declarations. After all, I’ve known some people who took many long months to admit to feeling anything stronger than mild affection. If you are the type who prefers a quiet, restrained beginning to a promising friendship, here are some nice things to say…

To a boy:

  • Du bist ein guter Freund. – You are a good friend.
  • Du bist mein bester Freund. – You are my best friend.
  • Du siehst cool aus. – You look cool.

To a girl:

  • Du bist eine gute Freundin. – You are a good friend.
  • Du bist meine beste Freundin. – You are my best friend.
  • Du siehst cool/schön/schick aus. You look cool/beautiful/elegant.

To anyone:

  • Du bist nett. – You are nice. 
  • Möchtest du mit mir ins Kino gehen?  – Would you like to go to the movies with me?
  • Hast du heute Abend frei? – Are  you free this evening?
  • Kann ich dich wieder sehen? – Can I see you again?
  • Kannst du mir deine Handynummer geben? – Can you give me your mobile number?
  • Danke für das Kompliment. – Thank you for the compliment.

The little Quizlet below will let you practise some of these friendly phrases.

The little quiz below requires you to type in the right DIRECT OBJECT PRONOUN. Click on the light globe at the top left of the quiz window in order to see the list of these pronouns and get help if you need it.

Download handout for Valentinstag here

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