Would you like
I noticed yesterday that Duolingo translates "would you like" with "wuerdest du gerne" or something along those lines (I don't find the exact sentence anymore). This might be grammatically correct, but nobody ever uses it. A more appropriate translation is "moechtest du".
Actually, "würde gerne" is quite commonly used, and while it may be even a little more polite than "möchte", it is not at all too formal to use in everyday speech.
Keep in mind that you can only use "würde gerne" in connection with a verb (would like to do something). If you just "would like something", we use "hätte gerne". Example: I would like to drink a beer. = Ich würde gerne ein Bier trinken. -- I would like a beer. = Ich hätte gerne ein Bier.
(It is also okay to say "gern" instead of "gerne".)
"Keep in mind that you can only use "würde gerne" in connection with a verb"
I'm pretty sure I've heard it also without the verb. I mean, that it's kind of left hanging. The indication is clear, that they are asking "trinken/essen/bestellen/etc.", but they just don't say the word.
But yes, it definitely needs the verb, if you want to have a proper sentence :)
I always get confused with the 'gern' thing, and since I'm not a native speaker, it takes me quite a long time to think of such sentence.Would it be ok to use 'mögen' instead? something like: I würde es mögen
Nope. Because the konjunktiv from mögen is möchten. You never use it with würden.
EDIT: After Snowflakes spot on comment I would like to add the disclaimer: "You never use it (in this context)" :)
It is very common in spoken German to use würde + infinitive as a Konjunktiv substitution. So, "Ich würde es mögen" is a grammatically correct sentence. It also translates as "I would like it" in English, but the meaning is not at all the same as "ich möchte" or "ich würde/hätte gerne"!
While "ich möchte" and "ich würde/hätte gerne" are a polite way of saying "I want", "ich würde es mögen" means something like "I would find that pleasant", as in imagining a more theoretical possibility.
I'm not sure whether I expressed myself clearly enough here, but just now I can't think of a better way to explain.
EDIT: As I can't reply to Eero's post below, I write my answer here: I think you are right about "Das würde mir gefallen". :-)
You expressed yourself very clearly and I at least understand perfectly what you meant. Added a disclaimer to my comment :)
"Das würde mir gefallen", I think, is however a more common way to express the same "I would find that pleasant" idea? Oder? Or is there some difference that I don't see?
I agree. But I've also heard "Was würden Sie gerne?" pretty often in a restaurant. Not sure if it is only a southern German thing.
Yeah, a waiter/ess would definitely ask "Würden Sie gerne bestellen?" and similar. But for informal speech, gerne würden is too formal.
After imagining now the restaurant scenario that the two of you mentioned, I have to agree with the use in that situation in a posh restaurant. But "moechte" should not be wrong, especially in combination with "du".