The modal verb "mögen" in German

"Ich mag keinem Club angehören, der mich als Mitglied aufnimmt"
I wouldn’t like to belong to a club that would accept me as a member
(Groucho Marx)

Meaning of "mögen" in German

The verb "mögen" means:

to like

Ich mag Fußball spielen
I like to play soccer

It is very common to use the verb "mögen" in Konjunktiv II: "möchten".

Möchten means "would like".

wir möchten ein Kind adoptieren
We would like to adopt a child

Differences between "mögen" and "möchten"

The verb "mögen" is used frequently in the Konjunktiv II: möchten, which is why some people believe mistakenly that möchten is the infinitive of another verb.

Differences between "mögen", "gefallen" and "schmecken"

mögen vs gefallen vs schmecken

The 3 verbs mean "to like". The difference is:
"schemecken": It is only used for food and drink.
"Mögen" and "gefallen" are synonyms but there is one small difference. Mögen is more emotional. In comparison, gefallen is more superficial (it takes the outside into account). There are words that one can say to awake more emotions than others even though they have the same meaning, like "I promise" or "I swear".

Grammar of "mögen"

"mögen" is a modal verb. This means that it might need another verb to complement its meaning.

Verb3rd PersonPräteritumPartizip IIMeaning
mögem(mag)mochtegemochtto like

Main article: The modal verbs

Conjugation of "mögen"

Present simple (Präsens Indikativ)

ich magI like
du magstyou like
er/sie/es maghe/she/it likes
wir mögenwe like
ihr mögtyou like
sie mögenthey like

Wir mögen Konkurrenz
We like competition

Simple past (Präteritum)

ich mochteI liked
du mochtestyou liked
er/sie/es mochtehe liked
wir mochtenwe liked
ihr mochtetyou liked
sie mochtenthey liked

Subjunctive II (Konjunktiv II)

ich möchte
du möchtest
er/sie/es möchte
wir möchten
ihr möchtet
sie möchten

ich möchte Deutsch lernen
I’d like to learn German

Participle (Partizip)

Partizip IPartizip II


"mögen" like the rest of modal verbs. It does not have an imperative.