"I like you."
Translation:Je t'aime bien.
The answer given as correct for the translation exercise was Je t'aime bien which was completely new to me. I guess if you are saying you like someone that is a situation for using a familiar phrasing. This answer given here is different from the exercise and is closer to the one I gave. I was wrong anyway because of positioning vous after aime rather than before as it should be. Also I left out bien.
I wonder why the absolute requirement for bien. Isn't that more like "I really like you"?
I saw this explained by an experienced member in another comment. It's because "je t'aime" usually means "I love you," so when talking about people, the distinction between "like" and "love" is made by adding something like "bien", which I suppose makes it more polite/general and therefore weaker.
T_P, a while ago Sitesurf had posted this in the discussion which I found very useful indeed.
HOME WORDS DISCUSSION LABS STORIES ASHOKKANET
TOPIC: FRENCH FOLLOWING DISCUSSION https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf TNs, Extra: Aimer, aimer bien, adorer, and other appreciation verbs.
It is essential for beginners to learn about the grammar and, even more importantly, the meanings and uses of appreciation verbs. When it comes to feelings, nobody wants to goof-up, be misunderstood, nor hurt feelings or offend sensibilities.
There is one important rule to know about the direct object of such appreciation verbs as aimer, aimer bien, adorer, apprécier, préférer, détester, haïr, respecter, admirer: Whenever the object is a count noun, a mass noun, a concept or a plural noun, the definite articles (le, la, l’, les) are most often used, not to specify the object but to generalize it.
J’aime le chocolat. — I like chocolate.
Je préfère l’histoire à la fiction. — I prefer history to fiction.
Je ne déteste pas les ordinateurs. — I don’t hate computers.
Je respecte les personnes âgées. — I respect older people.
Je n’aime pas la violence. — I don’t like violence.
These cover statements may also be understood as one-time opinions about specific things, so if the context allows, the definite article “the” can be suitable before the object.
Also remember that only indefinite (un, une, des) and partitive (du, de la, de l') articles disappear and are replaced with de in front of the direct object of a negated verb, as in Je n’ai pas d’ordinateur or Je ne mange pas de chocolat.
Another rule is that appreciation verbs can be followed by an infinitive without a preposition or a subordinate clause with a verb in the subjunctive mood.
J’adore regarder les oiseaux. — I love watching birds.
J’admire que tu sois si patiente. — I admire that you are so patient.
”I love you” is Je t’aime.
To properly express our feelings in French, we have two main verbs: aimer and adorer, which translate to “like” and “love”, depending on the object and other elements of the language, especially adverbs.
When you love someone, you say je t'aime.
When you like someone, you say je t’aime bien.
When you like something, you say j’aime ça or j’aime bien ça. When you like doing something, you say j'aime faire ça or j'aime bien faire ça.
When you love something, you say j’adore ça.
When you love doing something, you say j'adore faire ça.
Among human beings, l’amour is love and the verb is aimer. This applies to romantic relationships and family bonds, and extends to pets.
Cette femme aime sa fille, je le sais. — This woman loves her daughter, I know it.
Si tu aimes ton petit chien, nourris-le bien. — If you love your little dog, feed it well.
To clear any doubt, you can also use être amoureux/amoureuse to mean “to be in love”.
Je suis amoureux/amoureuse d’elle/de lui. — I am in love with her/him.
If the feeling is not love, the verb aimer needs an adverb like bien or beaucoup to weaken aimer and thereby state that the feeling is not “love” in the romantic sense. However, this does not preclude sincere commitment and affection.
J’aime bien notre comptable. — I like our accountant: as coworkers, we get along well.
J’aime beaucoup mon ami Fred. — I very much/really like my friend Fred: we are good friends.
J’aime énormément mes tantes et mes oncles. — I very much/really like my aunts and uncles.
Je t’aime beaucoup. — I like you very much (Not “I love you very much”).
To evidence the difference between aimer and aimer bien when the object is a person, we can quote the song from Zazie, « Chanson d’ami »:
Je ne t’aime pas : je t’aime bien.— I am not in love with you: I like you.
When it comes to animals and things or concepts, aimer and aimer bien are not significantly different and several adverbs can be added to better qualify our feeling.
J’aime (bien) ton blog. — I like your blog.
J’aime vraiment/beaucoup/énormément cette émission. — I really like/like this show a lot/very much.
Adorer for exaggeration
In ancient times, adorer was the verb of choice for gods or idols. Nowadays, using adorer mostly denotes enhancement, magnification or embellishment of an otherwise milder feeling.
Ma femme, je l’adore. — I adore my wife.
J’adore ta nouvelle cravate ! — I love your new tie!
J’ai toujours adoré les fourmis. — I have always loved ants.
J’adorais Michael Jackson. — I loved Michael Jackson.
Je t’adore quand tu me fais rire. — I love you when you make me laugh.
Other appreciation verbs
Préférer is synonymous with aimer mieux but their constructions are different.
Je préfère le vin à la bière. — I prefer wine to beer.
J’aime mieux le vin que la bière. — I like wine better than beer.
Détester and hair are synonymous, but due to its somewhat difficult conjugation, haïr has become uncommon. Another synonym of détester is avoir horreur de, which does not imply any fear, unlike the faux-ami “to have a horror of”.
Je déteste / Je hais / J’ai horreur des épinards. — I hate spinach.
Important: If you find any errors in the Tips and Notes, have questions related to the grammar points above, or would like to discuss the topic in depth, please feel free to comment below. We ask that you keep your comments on topic so that this post stays educational and everyone can benefit from them. Any spam or unrelated comments will be deleted
Je t'aime means "I love you," although on a literal level, it reads as "I like you." In French, the verb aimer means "to like" unless the object is a person or an animal, in which case the intent becomes "to love."
In the context of aimer meaning "love," using bien with aimer acts as a softener, turning "love" into "like."
In French, I know that "Je t'aime" means I love you.
But in English, we have "I like you" which is kind of romantic but not as serious as "I love you." We also have "I like you" in a non-romantic sense.
Is there a difference between "I like you" (romantic) and "I like you" (as a friend or person)?
Read the comments above. If you answered, "J'aimez vous." then you got it wrong because "aimer" needs to conjugate with "je" and not "vous". The correct translation would be, "Je vous aime.".
In the particular usage you are suggesting, the meaning is I love you. There are various ways of saying I like you. that make it clear you are not saying I love you. This Duo example is one of them.
But a French speaker will take je t'aime to mean I love you every time. If that is what you really meant to say, no problem. But if it isn't you may be surprised at the result, pleasantly or not.
If you listen to French music, you will hear je t'aime mentioned quite often. They are not singing about how they think their boss is a great guy, a particular bus driver always makes them feel welcome when they get on the bus, some one they just met at a party or any such.
Duo is correct. Je t'aime = I love you. Je t'aime bien =I like you. Also the French can add another word which mean I like you a lot, but still not love. Je t'aime beaucoup = I like you a lot! The added word "dilutes" the love to like. Remember "tu" is the French form for "you" for personal friends and family where "vous" is formal.
Adding bien softens j'taime from I love you to I like you.
F.W.I.W. ... You might want to try reading the comments before saying Duo is wrong about some point. Duo does have some annoying translations sometimes but most often it is the student who is wrong when challenging Duo's accuracy. That is especially true in the early stages of the tree.