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Like vs. Love

I'm curious. Supposedly the word любить is supposed to mean "Like" for people and "love" for things. I've seen this in other languages as well.

Obviously, you don't love with the same sort of love that you have for people. In English, however, we use the word "love" to express our feelings for objects at times, like "I love pizza" or "I love going to Disneyland."

Does Russian have a word for "love" for objects? If they wanted to say "I love pizza" (and not "I like pizza") would they say Я любю пицца, or is there a different word that they would use to express their "love" for an object?

November 5, 2015



Любить means a lasting feeling first and foremost, which in practice boils down to the following:

  • SPECIFIC living being → to love: Она любит Тима = She loves Tim

"to like" for everything else:

  • CLASSES of creatures → to like: Я люблю художников = I like artists
  • ACTIVITIES → to like, to enjoy: Он любит футбол = He likes football
  • CLASSES of things → to like: Я люблю кофе = I like coffee
  • SPECIFIC things → not used, you've got «нравиться» for that

If you want to say you feel more than mild admiration for green tea, swimming, or Germans, you'd have to explicitly use "очень люблю" or any other expression meaning "adore". These are not uncommon in world's languages, Russian included. "Обожать" is one of the obvious choices.


I'm not positive, but I believe любють is just love in general- people and objects. There isn't a word for "like," instead you have to say something is pleasing to you; like in Spanish you don't say "Yo gusto" but "me gusta," and in German, "etwas gefällt mir."

You have to use the dative case and a conjugation of the reflexive verb нравиться. If it's a singular object, you say «Мне нравится...» and if it is plural you must say «Мне нравятся...» which is literally (something is pleasing to me).

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