"I like all books."
Translation:Ich mag alle Bücher.
It's hard to explain succinctly as it changes whether there's a noun after it or not, but there is a good in-depth explanation here: http://yourdailygerman.com/2012/02/09/meaning-alle/
I think, from a wiktionary link someone else mentioned, that alles is the pronoun sense of "all" (of which "alle" is apparently a form), whereas here we want an adjective. It sounds like "alle" the adjective may only be used for plural nouns (like in English we wouldn't say "all cat" or... indeed, "all your base [are belong to us]", only "all cats" and "all your bases" ) and so lack a neuter singular declension? But I don't know.
I got a multiple choice for this, and I'm curious now whether if it had said "Alle Buecher gefallen mir" if that would have been a correct answer?
(Two of my options were ____ Buecher gefallen mir, but they didn't refer to /all/ books, but to other (Anderen) and many (viele) books. (no I am not sure whether those are declined correctly?))
Here is a good explanation: https://yourdailygerman.com/2013/08/07/moegen-gern-gefallen-difference/
The gist of that article is:
- Mag/mögen is a verb used for liking things or people. You are familiar with them, and you like them.
- Gern(e) is an adverb, and so is used for saying you like activities (other verbs).
- Gefallen/gefällt is another verb, which means "is pleasing to". Grammatically it's a bit different as it requires swapping the subject and object. It's less 'committed' than the other two - just that you like something about it but you maybe don't like it yet.
- I have read a book, and have decided that I think it's a good one: Mag
- The book itself might not have been good, but I really like sitting down in a nice chair and relaxing while turning the pages and just reading things: Gern
- I see a book in the shop with a funny picture on the front. I don't know yet if it's a good book, but the cover makes me smile: Gefällt
Some bonus notes:
- Mögen is the infinitive form of the verb, which becomes mag in the first person. Wir mögen but Ich mag.
- Gern/gerne mean exactly the same thing. It's not even an inflection. Choose whichever one you feel like.
- Gefallen is also the infinitive form of that verb. Sie gefallen mir or Das gefällt ihm, etc.
Sorry. I still don't understand the difference between "alle" and "alles." I read the link az_p posted...twice. I just got lost in all the information there. (But I've bookmarked that because it WAS helpful. So thank you!)
Am I correct in thinking "alle" is plural and "alles" is singular? Or am I over simplifying?