Mögen vrs Gefallen

Kann jemand hier erklären, wann man mögen und Gefällen verwendet.



Hi @PatPatton,
before I start to make a long speech about the differences of Mögen and Gefallen, I would like to recommend this blog post :point_right:t3: Blog: German ist easy!
Here is exactly your question explained in detail with many great examples.
I am sure that you will find your answer here :bulb: If not, please feel free to reach out again.

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Hey @Mona_O! It would be great if you could summarize this for us! :smiley:

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If I had the time, I would love to do it :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:
Unfortunately, I’m currently too busy :weary:. If another tutor finds the time somewhere, a summary is a good idea @Megan because the blog post is pretty long :hot_face:

This is a huuuge topic but I’ll try to keep it short. The main difference for me is how it’s used, both grammatically and semantically.

Mögen is a modal verb, so it is used like wollen, können, müssen,… Super easy:

  • Ich mag Kaffee und Kuchen. = I like coffee and cake.
  • Ich mag dich. = I like you.
  • Meine Kinder mögen Schokolade. = My children like chocolate.

If you speak Spanish, gefallen will seem familiar. It’s like me gusta:

  • Mir gefällt diese Musik. = I like this music. (lit. this music pleases me, me gusta la musica)
  • Gefällt dir Berlin? = Do you like Berlin?
  • Meiner Mutter gefallen die Blumen. = My mother likes the flowers.

:warning: The difficult part of gefallen is the use of the dative. :warning:

Before this gets too technical and scary, I’ll just say this: learn gefallen in phrases. At some point you’ll just use it naturally without thinking about it too much. That’s how I do it :wink:

As for semantics, mögen sounds really childish to me. Imagine a little kid not wanting to go to Kita: Aber Mamaaaa ich maaaag niiiicht :weary: The only time I might use it is in the question: Magst du mitkommen? (Do you want to join?) or when talking about things you don’t like, like certain foods: Ich mag kein Fleisch. (I don’t like meat.)

Gefallen on the other hand is used all the time. You can really use it for anything you like or dislike. Usually it is used for particular things though, not general:

  • Wie war das Event gestern? (How was the event yesterday?)
  • Ach, ganz okay. Mir hat aber die Musik nicht gefallen, die Getränke auch nicht, das Essen hat mir nicht gefallen… (It was okay. I didn’t like the music, drinks or food though…)
  • Oh nein!
  • Ich mag solche Events sowieso nicht. (I generally don’t like events like that anyway.)

The blog goes into crazy detail, which perhaps isn’t so helpful for beginners. As said, learn phrases and you’ll be golden :slight_smile:

Ich hoffe, die Erklärung gefällt euch! :wink:


:raised_hands: :pray: Such a great explanation! Thanks @antomorr! I guess I’ll stop using “Ich mag…” all the time now, haha


That blogpost is hilarious, @Mona_O :rofl:

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@antomorr Deine Antwort hat mir gefallen. Thank you for summarising it! :heart_eyes: