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Infinitive Clauses + Grammar Question(s)

Hi, I'm writing something right now and I wasn't sure about a couple things. I looked online and I think I might have it but I just wanted to know if these work and why.

I want to write: I like to study here. I was confused if I would say : "Ich mag hier studieren." or "Ich mag hier zu studieren." I read that because of the modal verb, you would not use zu, is that correct? So for example, would "ich mag lesen" "I like to read" be correct? Or ich mag zu lesen?

Then I also had a second part. I saw people writing "Ich mag es zu lesen" and when I put what I want into Google, it gives me "ich mag es hier zu studieren." Why is there an "es"? If I'm reading it it reads to me like "I like to read it" or "I like to study it here" so I'm wondering why an "es" and if that is required, or if they are both correct? Also Google used zu studieren even with the modal verb, so I'm a bit confused about that because I've looked it up and seen people using both ways.

So I guess my questions basically are, when to use the zu + infinitive, and what is the part with the "es." So like "ich mag hier studieren" "ich mag hier zu studieren" or "ich mag es hier zu studieren."

Thanks in advance!

May 8, 2018



"Ich mag es hier zu studieren" is the best of your options. "mögen" works differently than "to like".

BUT: there is a much better and easier way to convey your meaning: "Ich studiere hier gern." is more idiomatic.

ALSO: "studieren" means "to study at a university, to be enrolled", and not "to learn" or "to practice" in general. If you would like to express that you enjoy studying on Duolingo, you would say "Ich lerne hier gern". If your focus is on the drill, you would say "Ich übe hier gern."

Similarly, it is "Ich lese gern."

Instead of "gern" you could use "gerne", whatever is easier to pronounce for you.

  • "Ich mag es, hier zu studieren." needs a comma, then it is correct.

  • "Ich mag hier zu studieren." is just wrong.

  • "Ich mag hier studieren." means "I want/would like to study hier." Many Germans would rather use "Ich möchte hier studieren." or "Ich will hier studieren." But "Ich mag hier studieren." means the same.

"mögen" with an object means "(to) like". "I like this university." "Ich mag diese Universität."

"mögen" with a verb (without "zu") means "want to"/"would like to"/"shall"/"might".

  • "Magst du mir helfen?" "Would you mind helping me?"

  • "Ich mag jetzt Gitarre spielen." "I would like to play the guitar now." Contrast: "Ich mag es, Gitarre zu spielen." "I like to play the guitar."

  • "Du magst dich um den Garten kümmern." "You might care for the garden."

  • "Sie mag mit Puppen spielen." Both: "She wants to play with dolls." and "She may play with dolls (if she wants to)."

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