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See also: mogen



From Old High German mugan, from Proto-Germanic *maganą, from Proto-Indo-European *magʰ-, *megʰ-. Compare Dutch mogen, English may, Icelandic mega, Gothic 𐌼𐌰𐌲𐌰𐌽 ‎(magan).


  • IPA(key): /ˈmøːɡən/, [ˈmøːɡən], [ˈmøːɡŋ̩]
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mögen ‎(irregular, third-person singular simple present mag, past tense mochte, past participle gemocht, past subjunctive möchte, auxiliary haben)

  1. (transitive) to like (something or someone)
    Ich mag keinen Käse. – “I don't like cheese.”
  2. (auxiliary, with an infinitive) may (expresses a possibility, never a permission)
    Das mag ja alles stimmen. – “That may all be true.”
  3. (auxiliary, in negation, with an infinitive) to be hesitant to (do something)
    Ich mag sie nicht fragen. – “I'm hesitant to ask her.”
  4. (auxiliary, in the present subjunctive, with an infinitive) may (paraphrases the optative).
    Möge die Macht mit dir sein. — “May the Force be with you.”
  5. (transitive, in the past subjunctive) to want
    Ich möchte keinen Käse. – “I don't want cheese.”
  6. (auxiliary, in the past subjunctive, with an infinitive) to want to; would like to; to wish to (do something)
    Ich möchte sie nicht fragen. — “I don't want to ask her.”

Usage notes[edit]

  • As with all modal verbs, the past participle gemocht is used in the perfect tenses only when the verb is not followed by another infinitive: Käse habe ich noch nie gemocht. – “I've never liked cheese.” When an infinitive follows, mögen itself also stands in the infinitive (double infinitive construction): Ich habe sie nicht fragen mögen. – “I was hesitant to ask her.”
  • Möchte and its forms are grammatically past subjunctive of mögen, but are never used as such in contemporary German. The conditional of mögen needs to be paraphrased with würde: Wenn ich Käse mögen würde, könnte ich viel mehr Gerichte essen. – “If I liked cheese, I could eat many more dishes.”
  • Möchte is in fact used as a somewhat politer synonym of wollen ‎(to want) in the present indicative: Wenn ich Käse möchte, sage ich dir bescheid. – “If I want cheese, I'll let you know.” (Synonym to: Wenn ich Käse will,...) In colloquial German, the split between mögen and möchte is so clear-cut that the latter may be interpreted as an independent verb and hence used in the infinitive: Du hast hier gar nix zu möchten! – “You're not in the position to express wishes!” This is, however, nonstandard.
  • In dated or regional speech, the present indicative of mögen may be used interchangeably with möchte, particularly in questions: Magst du was trinken? – “Would you like to drink something?” This is normal in Austro-Bavarian areas. In most other regions it is less common and likely to sound affected.


Related terms[edit]

External links[edit]

Low German[edit]


From Middle Low German mögen, mogen, from Old Saxon mugan, from Proto-Germanic *maganą, from Proto-Indo-European *magʰ-, *megʰ-. Compare German mögen, Dutch mogen, English may, Icelandic mega, Gothic 𐌼𐌰𐌲𐌰𐌽 ‎(magan).


  • IPA(key): /ˈmøːɡŋ̩/, /ˈmøːɡən/
  • (file)


mögen ‎(third-person singular simple present mag, past tense much, past participle mucht, auxiliary verb hebben)

  1. (auxiliary) may, can, be allowed to.
    Er mag düt Johr nich in de Ferien föhren.
    He isn't allowed to drive during the vacation this year.
  2. (auxiliary) used to express presumption, often used as the English should
    Dat mag al Klock söven wesen!
    It should already be 7 o'clock!
  3. (auxiliary) to wish to, to would like to
    Er mag geern fröh opwaken
    He has the intention to wake up early
  4. (auxiliary) often used with glöven or seggen, emphasizes their meaning
    Dat magst du woll seggen!
    It is well said!
  5. (transitive) to be allowed to have/take, to may have (used as a polite way to request something)
    Möögt wi en Glas Melk?
    May we have a glass of milk?
  6. (transitive) To like.
    Ik mag em nich so geern.
    I don't like him that much.


Usage note[edit]

The old subjunctive II form müch is used to express a wish. It can also be used along with an infinitive with the meaning "to want, would like, wish".