Gern vs. GerneWhat's the difference?

What's the difference between "gern" and "gerne" in German? Or can the two words be used interchangeably?

blogGerman grammargern vs. gerne
01.12.2023

As a German learner, you may have encountered the words gern and gerne and wondered what the difference is between them.

While there often are slight differences between words like these in German, the short answer here is that gern & gerne actually can be swapped out for one another.

Examples with Gern

Ich spiele gern Fußball.

I like playing soccer.
Wir sehen gern Filme.

We like watching movies.
Er isst gern Pizza.

He likes eating pizza.

Examples with Gerne

Ich spiele gerne Fußball.

I like playing soccer.
Möchtest du gerne Eis essen?

Would you like to eat ice cream?
Ich nehme das Angebot gerne an.

I gladly accept the offer.

Dialogue

Let's take a look at a dialogue between two friends, Sarah and Layla, to illustrate how gern and gerne can be used:

Ich würde heute gerne ins Kino gehen. Hast du Lust?
I would like to go to the cinema today. Are you interested?
Ja, gerne! Welchen Film möchtest du sehen?
Yes, sure! Which film would you like to watch?
Ich würde gerne den neuen Actionfilm sehen. Um 20 Uhr läuft er im Kino.
I would like to watch the new action movie. It's playing at 8 PM in the cinema.
Das hört sich gut an. Wir sollten früh genug da sein, um gute Plätze zu bekommen.
That sounds good. We should arrive early to get good seats.

In the dialogue, Sarah uses gerne to express her liking for going to the movies, while she uses gerne to indicate that she would like to see the new action movie. Layla uses gerne to accept Sarah's invitation to the movies.

...and in all three cases, the word gern would work just the same:

Ich würde heute gern ins Kino gehen. Hast du Lust?
I would like to go to the cinema today. Are you interested?
Ja, gern! Welchen Film möchtest du sehen?
Yes, sure! Which film would you like to watch?
Ich würde gern den neuen Actionfilm sehen. Um 20 Uhr läuft er im Kino.
I would like to watch the new action movie. It's playing at 8 PM in the cinema.
Das hört sich gut an. Wir sollten früh genug da sein, um gute Plätze zu bekommen.
That sounds good. We should arrive early to get good seats.

Conclusion

In summary, both gern and gerne mean "like" or "enjoy" in English. Gern & gerne are often used in conjunction with verbs to express that you like doing something.

The two words can be swapped out for one another, so just go ahead and don't worry whether you've picked the wrong one - there is not right choice here.


About

Sloeful German is a language learning platform focused on immersive learning. We help intermediate German learners achieve fluency through content that is interesting but at the right level.
Downloads

Follow

Join Us

Tags

German grammargern vs. gerne