Plaire à vs aimer

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Marnie

Kwiziq community member

20 August 2018

3 replies

Plaire à vs aimer

Don't know about other people but I would really appreciate a section in the lesson on when to use "aimer" and when to say "plaire à". Great lessons individually on how to use these two expressions but not on when or why one is used instead of the other.  Merçi!

This question relates to:
French lesson "Using "plaire" to express liking something / someone"

Marnie

Kwiziq community member

20 August 2018

20/08/18

meant to say "plaire" not "plaire à"!

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

21 August 2018

21/08/18

Hi Marnie,

This is a good point... 

Because 'aimer' signifies to 'love' someone, the French will often steer clear of it or add 'bien' to indicate just a liking for a person .

The verb 'plaire' is widely used in French to indicate a liking for a  thing or a person and some students avoid it as it is a difficult passive construction but that's probably the one you will hear most often.

Here are a few examples to indicate the differences -

Ce cinéma me plaît = I like this cinema ( in other words, you like going there)

as opposed to,

'J'aime le cinéma' which means, you like/love films

The following sentences highlight the differences between the two verbs used to convey very different meanings -

J'aime Michel = I love Michel

J'aime bien Michel I like Michel 

Michel me plaît = I really like/ fancy Michel

which could be awkward !

Hope this helps!

Marnie

Kwiziq community member

21 August 2018

21/08/18

Thank you Cécile.  It does help in more ways than one!  I've been making mistakes in the quizzes because I didn't understand why and when one says "j'aime ..." as opposed to "j'aime bien..." which in English would be "stronger" than "j'aime".  Now I know!

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