Is that a conjugation of "Ich mag" in the conditional tense (I would like)?
Can "ich möchte" also mean "I want"? Because in a previous sentence that was the correct translation proposed by Duolingo.
Yes, it is used for "I want", but it has connotations of not being able to have (compared to "Ich will einen Fisch" which implies you're about to go out and get one). "Möchten" is the subjunctive of "mogen", so it is the same grammatical structure as "would like". (The umlaut + t gets added to almost any other verb to make it subjunctive.)
I was taught that in most circumstances, it's considered rude to use "Ich will" and you should use " Ich möchte" instead.
That's useful - I didn't know about the subjunctive like that! Does "Moechten" have the same sense of being a more polite expression? In English, " I would like something" is considered a more considerate way to ask for things instead of "I want".
That's my understanding. I was told to use "ich möchte..." as a polite way of saying "I would like..."
Translations are too literal. In practice it must be 'I would like to have a fish". I think.
Theoretically, it could be either.
But in a restaurant, you would usually order not "one fish" but "some fish", i.e. some quantity of food prepared from an unspecified quantity of fish (maybe just part of one, if the fish is particularly big), so "Ich möchte gerne Fisch" would be more common there, without article.
(On the other hand, if you have been given a choice between a fish dish and another dish, you might say, "Ich nehme den Fisch" with the definite article even if the fish dish is made of only part of one. I suppose that "the fish" here is metonymy for "the dish containing fish".)
Mochte gern is what I heard and used in every restaurant in southern Germany. I don't think anyone living there would use anything else. I never got the fish eye saying it lol.
I should like a fish - was marked incorrect. Anybody know why? Thanks.
This actually was the correct phrase for both US and UK English near the turn of the century, but it's completely died out in the US, being replaced with "I would like", and from what I understand, it's dying out in the UK as well.
Been to the US, they stared at me because I sounded too British. Never been to the UK, are they gonna stare at me, too, when I go there? :-) I started learning English 30 years ago, I'm an old dog... :-)
Probably. It's pretty rare for anyone in the UK to use "I should like" as an expression anymore. You won't be stared at as much as in the US though... they'll probably just assume that you speak better English than they do.
"Fisch" is masculine - der Fisch - and so the "ein" becomes "einen" when it's the object of the sentence.
In ordinary English usage, there is a distinction between shall / will and should/would. With the first person singular or plural, one would use shall or should and switch to will / would as more emphatic. Thus, I was taught, one says "I should" but then "he would." Do others agree?