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See also: Lieben



From Middle High German, from Old High German liubōn; related to English love.


  • IPA(key): /ˈliːbən/, [ˈliːbən], [ˈliːbm̩]
  • Hyphenation: lie‧ben
  • (file)


lieben (third-person singular simple present liebt, past tense liebte, past participle geliebt, auxiliary haben)

  1. (usually transitive, sometimes intransitive) to love, to have a strong affection for (someone or something)
    Ich liebe dich.I love you.
    Ich liebe die französische Sprache.I love the French language.
  2. (reflexive) to love one another
  3. (reflexive, poetic) to make love, to have sex

Usage notes[edit]

  • German is more reluctant in its use of lieben (“to love”) than is English, particularly in reference to things. Such phrases as “Ich liebe den Teppich in deinem Zimmer!” (“I love the carpet in your room!”) are a typical feature of “dubbing German”, i.e. literal translations from English as commonly found in dubbed films or sitcoms. A more native way of expressing the same in German would be “Der Teppich in deinem Zimmer sieht super aus!”, or “Der Teppich in deinem Zimmer gefällt mir sehr gut!”, or something along these lines.
  • Even when referring to love between people, lieben may have a slightly solemn sound. A more normal way of expressing it in spoken German is lieb haben, particulary among friends and family, but usually also between lovers. (See the latter lemma for more.)


Related terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]