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Difference between "aime" and "aime bien"

Elle aime bien le vin.

Elle aime le vin.

What is the difference?

Also, Duolingo translated "She likes the wine." as "Elle aime bien le vin". Why?

June 29, 2012



This is an interesting one. My French teacher (native) taught us that 'aime' by itself is usually used for 'love', while 'aime bien' is used for 'like'. So 'J'aime le chocolat' = "I love chocolate", 'J'aime bien le chocolat" = "I like chocolate". Not sure if this applies to people: "Je t'aime" is definitely "I love you", but I'm not sure if "Je t'aime bien" means "I like you".


The context plays a role to differentiate elle aime from elle aime bien. Typically, if you stress 'bien' it would be an understatement : she drinks too much.


'aimer' =' to love / to like', 'aimer bien' ='to love / to like a lot'. But I agree: duolinguo's usage isn't very consistent. I'd rather translate 'elle aime bien le vin' to 'She likes the wine a lot'.


@milneyj: That's interesting, indeed. After you posted your comment, I looked it up again: http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/aimer.htm You're right: 'aimer' without a qualifier usually means 'to love' while an adverbial qualifier seems to shift the meaning to 'to like', so 'aimer bien' would be 'to like a lot' (rather than 'to love a lot')


@milneyj : you are right, it applies to people that way. If you tell s.o 'je t'aime bien' it means 'Je ne suis pas amoureux (se) de toi'


@Sitesurf: Yes, but I think that would be some sort of ironical usage and doesn't really belong to the semantic content of 'aimer bien'. If you put enough emphasis on the 'a lot', it works the same way in English.

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