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Empfinden/mögen/gerne haben

How would you describe the difference between:

Ich empfinde was/nichts für dich.

Ich mag dich (sehr/nicht)

Ich habe dich gern/lieb

Du bist mir viel Wert/ bedeutest mir viel

December 15, 2018




Your question is not easy for me to answer but I'll try.

Ich empfinde was/nichts für dich. I feel for you. When you use that sentence you want to express that you have feelings for so. Maybe you don't want to say the 'three little words' yet but you already feel love for that person. Or you don't and you have to say 'Ich empfinde nichts für dich' /'Ich empfinde keine Liebe für dich'.

etw. oder jmd. mögen. You use this for friends. 'Ich mag Julian, aber seinen Kumpel Noah mag ich nicht besonders.'

Ich habe dich gern. It is a little bit more than just 'mögen' Hard to describe. Maybe a flirt? Or you can say that about a person who is special to you. A longterm friend f.e.

Ich hab dich lieb. I don't know an English expression for that. It is a term for not sexual love you feel. You use it for your brother, your mother or uncle. For me it would feel awkward to say 'Ich liebe dich' to my mum. I would say 'Ich habe dich sehr (wirklich, unheimlich) lieb' to express my feelings.

Du bist mir viel Wert/ bedeutest mir viel. You can say this to a person you love but it is also a sentence you can use for a special person in your live. It is not solely a sentence that expresses love (you feel for a partner). It means what the words say, a person means a lot to you.

I hope this helped a little bit.

best regards, Angel


Thank you very much for this detailed answer. I am quite confused because I am not sure whether those phrases are open for interpretations, even for native speakers.

Like empfinden, I get that expresses a feeling, but I am confused as to whether it expresses any kind of feeling, even if we consider strong feelings, one can also feel hatred. Or is it the expression “für jemanden was/nichts empfinden” always related to love/romantic feelings.

To me, mögen sounds quite neutral. I would say to my 60 year old colleague, whom I generally find nice, that I like him. But I think people use it sometimes to express mild attraction, like “I am into you”, but not really that strong; my point is, I am not sure whether this go both ways.

For gernhaben, it sounds purely friendly to me, like something that I would like to say to a person that I find very nice, but don’t know well yet. Does that really have some other conotation?

Liebhaben I don’t know, sounds non sexuall to me to, but for closer friends, so I am very confused what people mean when then express themselves like that.

You mean a lot to me is kind of obvious, yes, and doesn’t need to be meant as something romantic. I get that.

Like would you say “du bist mir viel wert” to someone, to whom you’d say “ich mag dich” or “ich hab dich gern”?


Meiner Meinung bedeutet das alles mehr oder weniger das gleiche. Der Unterschied liegt im Stil.


Hi 2XepiEPh,

I answer here, the chat gets otherwise too narrow^^.

Maybe he wasn't shocked but surprised? To say “Du bist so toll” without irony is a great complement in German. When you get such a flattering it is not easy to stay cool.

beglücken, yea, well.... lol, I'm sorry. It is an old word to say ähm gosh I can't write it here. Next try: In earlier times it was a word for marital behaviour at night? So when you hear a man saying 'Heut nacht werde ich meine Frau beglücken' he means it in a special way. But careful sometimes very ironical persons say this without this sexual stress. When he says 'so, jetzt geh ich noch zu meinem Bruder und werde ihn mit meiner Answesenheit beglücken' than it means just he's visiting his brother no matter if he likes it or not or how much he is annoyed about the pleasure of his company.

Please don't worry about these little situations. I really don't know how often this happend to me. A little preposition or a word you can use for more than one situations and not to forget the infernal anglizisms. Don't sweat it. It's ok and sometimes really fun.

liebhaben und jemanden lieben: I know English people say it to friends or say 'I like you' when they mean love. But we usually don't mix this way. (see the answer of AScam0). Interestingly you can hear teenagers (specially girls) saying to their friends 'bye, love you' sometimes 'tschüss, hab dich lieb' but 'tschüss, ich liebe dich(auch)' I didn't hear this even from the young girls.

but maybe I'm wrong. It's just my experience. Let's wait for other answers.

best regards, Angel

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