While teaching German online, I often see that students have problems when it comes to understanding the real difference between “mögen” und “möchten”. After reading this article and solving its free worksheet, you will be prepared for your next conversation!
“Mögen” vs “möchten”
In German, there are two very similar words: “mögen” and “möchten”. And as much as they sound similar, their meaning is very different. Therefore, mixing these two German verbs up might cause tricky situations: The fact that the meaning of “mögen” is “to like” and the meaning of “möchten” is “would like to”. Besides, an accusative object follows both words, which are irregular verbs.
If you want to improve your skills, you should also check out the self-studying book A-Grammar: German grammar exercises for levels A1 & A2, which includes all grammar aspects for these levels, English descriptions, explanations, and an answer book. Also, you can take a look at this playful German modal verbs wheel.
Verb conjugation in the present tense
|mögen (to like)||möchten (would like to)|
|ich mag||ich möchte|
|du magst||du möchtest|
|er/sie/es mag||er/sie/es möchte|
|wir mögen||wir möchten|
|ihr mögt||ihr möchtet|
|sie / Sie mögen||sie möchten|
How to use “mögen” and “möchten” in past tense
Now, when we would like to use both verbs in the past tense, a little problem shows up! When “mögen” becomes “mochte” in Präteritum, so one asks oneself, what should happen with “möchten”? Well, that’s quite easy! This verb does not have a real past tense since, in German logic, it would share the same verb with “mögen”. Therefore, we can fall back to the past tense of “wollen” (to want) as “möchten” is its “light” version.
|ich||mochte||habe gemocht||wollte||habe gewollt|
|du||mochtest||hast gemocht||wolltest||hast gewollt|
|er/sie/es||mochte||hat gemocht||wollte||hat gewollt|
|wir||mochten||haben gemocht||wollten||haben gewollt|
|ihr||mochtet||habt gemocht||wolltet||habt gewollt|
|sie / Sie||mochten||haben gemocht||wollten||haben gewollt|
After reading this article, you can practice your knowledge with the free worksheet – The Difference between “mögen” und “möchten”. Finally, you will not be confused anymore while using these similar-sounding verbs.
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