In English, "We gladly [do something]" has a different nuance from "We like [doing something]". The former expresses a willingness, but short of the outright enthusiasm in the latter. For example, "I gladly pay for the damages" is not the same as "I like paying for the damages." (Interestingly, "I would like to pay for the damages" is an alternate way of expressing the former, not the latter.)
On the other hand, as we are learning in this skill section, a construction in German using "gerne", although word-for-word it translates to "gladly [do something]", rather means actually "like [doing something]".
There's a little difference between "I like doing something" and "I like to do something". If you use [like+ing] - it means you experience joy and satisfaction from that process. If you use [like+to...] - it means you find it useful or necessary to do. English Grammar in Use - Cambridge University
This explanation is pretty good:
Note the presenter's advice that sometimes either can be used with effectively the same meaning.
Rather than usefulness or necessity, I agree with that his description of the second meaning as referring to habit or preference, as it's also described here:
This latter reference also covers "would like/love/hate to [verb]", which is useful for English learners to review.
"Gern(e)" is an adverb. It is normally put after the verb but you can it put in the first place of the sentence and the verb in the second: "Gerne spielen wir zusammen." Then the subject "wir" is in the third position. By the way, the comparative of gerne is "lieber" and the superlative "am liebsten": "Am liebsten spielen wir zusammen. " Comparative: "Wir spielen lieber zusammen als gegeneinander." (As one against the other).
So, for your sentence with "lieber", something like "we like playing together better than against each other" or "we prefer playing together as compared to (playing) against each other".
Or, more literally, "we (would) rather play together than against one another".
There appears to be a little more to it than that, but that's a reasonable start.
By the way, the usual expressions is "vielen Dank". I see "viele danke" a lot on these discussions, but I wonder if people are just repeating others' mistakes.
In "vielen Dank", "Dank" is a masculine noun. Although it translates to "thanks", in German it is a collective noun --according to Duden, it is used only in the singular. Along with the translation of "thanks", "vielen" gets translated to "many", but it also means "much", which goes along with "Dank" as a collective noun. "Vielen Dank" is expressed in the accusative case here, since that is what is being conveyed to the intended party.
Of course, "danke" is also the first-person singular present tense of the verb "danken", but the usual expression would be "Danke schön" or "Danke sehr". (The first-person subject and the second-person dative receiver are implied.) Granted that "viel" could be understood as an adverb or a pronoun to go with "danke" as a verb, but I wouldn't know what to make of the inflection of "viele". The word order is also questionable.
I am not a native German speaker, so others may enlighten me on the correctness of "viele danke". I did a search on books.google.com for this expression. I found it used in novels in English that has some German splashed-in here and there, perhaps intentionally bad German. It is also encountered not as a phrase but by happenstance as part of a larger construction, such as "Stellvertretend für viele danke ich ..." ("Acting for many, I thank ...") Perhaps the phrase is accepted in some form of non-standard German ...
Perhaps you have in mind "möchten", which is grammatically the past subjunctive of "mögen", but is in meaning a polite version of "wollen" (to want). Still, the meaning would not be quite what this exercise is looking for. "Wir möchten (gern) zusammen spielen" would mean "We would like to play together", rather than "We like (enjoy) playing together."
When do we use gerne or gern?
TehCloudesh asked this question and got an answer from nezurec.
JoEPd3 asked this question and got an answer from PeaceJoyPancakes.
RobertoPaBobby asked this question and got an answer from me.
So there are three answers to this question on this page already. Was there something incomplete or not understandable about them that made you ask the question again? What about them did you not understand?
Perhaps if you say what is still missing, we can help you better.
For most cases in German, verb is positioned at 2nd place.
So here verb is 'spielen' which will be 2nd, and 'gern'/'gerne' is adverb, which will be after verb.
Here 'Wir spielen gerne' is correct sentence. (as verb at 2nd position.)
Writing 'Wir gerne spielen' would be odd.
but in case of "mag"(to like) which itself is a verb, so it is positioned at 2nd.
Ich mag Bücher.
[Edited for better explanation.]
Mizinamo, in the discussion on the reverse exercise, people have been wondering if it's possible to say "wir spielen zusammen gerne" instead of "wir spielen gerne zusammen". A native speaker has yet to comment. Thoughts?
My earlier comment on the matter, based solely on research on the internet:
Good question. I'm guessing it's grammatically possible, but I'll have to defer to native speakers for what sounds more natural.
Typical adverb order is time-manner-place. "Together" seems to me to have an aspect of positioning (which you'll likely appreciate if you know the E-Z notation for organic chemistry), but often both "zusammen" and "gern(e)" are listed as adverbs of manner.
Another principal is general-to-specific. Is "gladly" more general than "together"?
(Research tells me that "gern(e)" can actually move around to change the emphasis, at least in some sentences. The verb would of course have to stay in the second position.)
Edit: For those here with the same question, mizinamo's answer is that "wir spielen zusammen gern(e)" doesn't sound right:
Why isn't 'We play gladly together.' also correct?
Because it doesn't convey the meaning of the German sentence well.
Unfortunately for English speakers learning German, there are no words that act grammatically the same as gerne and convey the same meaning. Similarly with gefallen or dran or a bunch of other German expressions, where you simply have to reformulate the entire structure to come up with something that conveys the correct meaning and sounds natural.