Aimer = to love, like something / someone

Depending on context and whether you use it on its own, the verb aimer can mean to love something / someone, or to like something / someone.

Aimer - to love <someone> / <something>

Used on its own, aimer generally means 'to love' <someone> and 'to love or to like' (depending on intensity) <something>:

J'aime Marie
I love Marie

J'aime Paris
I love Paris

Elle aime sa nouvelle veste.
She loves her new jacket.


NOTE
 that you can also use the verb adorer to emphasise love of something or someone:

J'adore les diamants !
I love diamonds!

J'adore ce mec ! Il est trop drôle !
I love that guy! He's so funny!


-> Here note that adorer does NOT mean "to be in love with", but expresses a strong liking of someone

 


When aimer is used in a question about something, it actually means "Do you like ...?" (for someone, it still means 'love'):

Tu aimes ma sœur ?
Do you love my sister?

Elle aime les tomates ?
Does she like tomatoes?

Est-ce que tu aimes ma nouvelle voiture ?
Do you like my new car?

 

Aimer bien / beaucoup - to like <someone> / <something> (a lot)

J'aime Marie
I love Marie

J'aime beaucoup Paris
I really like Paris

J'aime bien tes chaussures, mais je préfère les miennes.
I like your shoes, but I prefer mine.

Note that when using aimer bien, it actually lessens its meaning from 'to love' to 'to like' <someone> / <something>.

J'aime beaucoup Paris
I really like Paris

Tu aimes beaucoup tes parents.
You like your parents a lot.

When you use aimer beaucoup, it means 'to like a lot' / 'to really like'.

ATTENTION: If you wanted to say "I love you very much" in French, you would use a different expression:

Je t'aime très fort.
I love you very much.

 

Ne pas aimer - to not love / like <someone> / <something>

ATTENTION: You cannot use aimer bien in a negative sentence (ne ... pas) in French. To express dislike, you will revert to using simply aimer with the negation ne ... pas, to say both "not love / not like", as such:

Elle n'aime pas Michel.
She doesn't love Michel.
She doesn't like Michel.


In this case, the context will remove ambiguity.

Laura n'aime pas ce film.
Laura doesn't like this film.

Ils n'aiment pas les concombres.
They don't like cucumbers.

You can also use ne pas aimer beaucoup to say 'not like much'.
Note that beaucoup will come after pas:  

Je n'aime pas beaucoup ce garçon.
I don't like that boy much.

Hugo n'aime pas beaucoup le chocolat.
Hugo doesn't like chocolate much.

 

See also Using "plaire" to express liking something / someone 

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Je t'aime très fort.
I love you very much.


Tu aimes ma sœur ?
Do you love my sister?


Je n'aime pas beaucoup ce garçon.
I don't like that boy much.


Tu aimes beaucoup tes parents.
You like your parents a lot.


Elle aime sa nouvelle veste.
She loves her new jacket.


Ils n'aiment pas les concombres.
They don't like cucumbers.


J'aime bien tes chaussures, mais je préfère les miennes.
I like your shoes, but I prefer mine.


J'adore ce mec ! Il est trop drôle !
I love that guy! He's so funny!


Laura n'aime pas ce film.
Laura doesn't like this film.


Est-ce que tu aimes ma nouvelle voiture ?
Do you like my new car?


J'adore les diamants !
I love diamonds!


Elle n'aime pas Michel.
She doesn't love Michel.
She doesn't like Michel.


Elle aime les tomates ?
Does she like tomatoes?


Hugo n'aime pas beaucoup le chocolat.
Hugo doesn't like chocolate much.


aimer


J'aime bien Marie
I like Marie


J'aime Marie
I love Marie


J'aime beaucoup Paris
I really like Paris


J'aime Paris
I love Paris


Q&A

Fahad

Kwiziq community member

26 March 2019

1 reply

Does “aimer bien quelqu’un” still have a romantic connotation (albeit lesser than love)?

Is it more akin to “I think he/she is cool/fun” or does it indicate a crush on someone?

Chris

Kwiziq community member

27 March 2019

27/03/19

No, it doesn't really.

Sherry

Kwiziq community member

3 March 2019

2 replies

Aimer bien and negation

Just a few days ago I came across Jacques Brel's song "Le moribund", which has the line: "Adieu l'Antoine, je t'aimais pas bien", which I took to mean that the speaker didn't like Antoine. Is the rule that "aimer bien" can't be used in a negative sentence something that can be overridden in some cases, such as in art to make a line scan better, or does its use in the song suggest that the speaker isn't well spoken? Maybe an exception that tests the rule?

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

6 March 2019

6/03/19

Hi Sherry, 

I love that song and Jacques Brel's work in general...

It is true to say that you would rather say,

'Je t' aimais pas beaucoup'  for 'I didn't like you much' but for the song's poetic rhythm  it works well and serves to contrast the other 'Je t'aimais bien' ...

Sherry

Kwiziq community member

6 March 2019

6/03/19

Merci, Cécile. I'm just becoming acquainted with Brel's work and like it very much. Yes, that usage does work well as a contrast—I hadn't thought of that. Hooray for artistic license!

D

Kwiziq community member

30 January 2019

9 replies

So Kwiziq says you can use aimer to "love" a thing?

So Kwiziq says you can use aimer to "love" a thing e.g. J'aime le sucre?  That's not how I learned how to use aimer.

Aimer means TO LOVE a person or other animate object.  And aimer bien means to like same.

How can j'aime le sucre mean I LOVE sugar?  Kwiziq seems to have a different opinion about how to use AIMER.

And WORKREFERENCE.COM agrees with what I am saying.

Kwiziq needs to fix this, or explain why WordReference.com is wrong.

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

31 January 2019

31/01/19

Hi Darren,

‘Aimer’ is to love OR to like in French depending on the context. 

If you read the Q&A section at the bottom of the lesson you will see interesting takes on the verb aimer....

Incidently I have some friends who have a love affair with sugar!

D

Kwiziq community member

31 January 2019

31/01/19

I agree AIMER meaning depends on context.  I have WordReference open in front of me. And Thoughtco.com. And DuoLingo.

Kwiziq sentence j’aime le sucre doesn’t mean I love sugar according to these references, it means: I like sugar. 

J’aime le sucre means I like sugar.  Aimer followed by a noun means LIKE.

 AIMER with a direct object pronoun la le and les can ONLY be used with people. Je t’aime. I love her.

Otherwise, with a noun like sugar, the sentence would be j’aime ça. I like it. 

Glad to know your friends are addicted to sugar.

Tom

Kwiziq community member

2 February 2019

2/02/19

Hi Darren,

I think your interpretation of the meaning of AIMER is much too narrow and prescriptive.

The 9th edition of the Dictionary of the Académie française provides a definition of AIMER:

    "Apprécier, estimer bon ou beau, trouver agréable"

The French (including Kwiziq's) use of AIMER entirely correlates to this use and to my use of  TO LOVE in my native English dialect.

I love wine, I love music, I love driving my car. This in no way indicates I would like to form a union with these entities.

In fact, I adore football : this does not literally mean that I lie prostrate in font of some altar dedicated to the glory of the beautiful game!

You can, of course, temper the intensity of AIMER by appending the adverb BIEN to more or less correlate with the English verb TO LIKE.

This usage exactly coincides with Cécile's reply and this, coming from a native speaker would, for me, would always, in the first instance,  eclipse that of some random website.

p.s Je t’aime means I love you not I love her

Tom

Gruff

Kwiziq language super star

9 February 2019

9/02/19

Hi Darren

Just wanted to chip in here too as it's quite common (and completely understandable) for people to check online resources when they aren't sure about one of our lessons and you may find what looks like contradictory information.

However, checking a dictionary or google isn't a reliable way to understand whether something is correct, or the full scope of the use of language.

All of Kwiziq's content is authored by expert language teachers who are native in the county of the language, grew up speaking it and have many years of experience teaching it.

So if you find anything online that appears to contradict one of our lessons, it's extremely unlikely that it's our content that's incorrect. 

Of course, that shouldn't stop you from asking questions on here or asking for further explanation or clarification, but be reassured that you are getting expert and correct explanations from us.

All the best, Gruff

D

Kwiziq community member

10 February 2019

10/02/19

I would agree that Google is never the best source for grammar or overall usage, but them seem to be good enough for startups like Lilt in San Francisco to begin building upon.  Nevertheless, I never stated that Google was my source as it is unreliable. 

But, you may care to comment upon WordReference specifically if you see any inconsistencies between what they have and what Kwiziq is saying. 

Respectfully,

Darren

D

Kwiziq community member

10 February 2019

10/02/19

Tom,

You are correct, as Je t'aime means I love her. But you failed to acknowledge that the structure of a sentence utilizing aimer can change based upon whether the direct object pronoun is appropriate when the pronoun represents a person or an object.

Nevertheless, I'm fairly sure that WordReference and Thought.co web site would generally not be considered "random" websites.

With due respect, thanks for your input.

Darren

Gruff

Kwiziq language super star

10 February 2019

10/02/19

Hi Darren, 

I didn't mean that WordReference wasn't a reliable source of information, but that a dictionary (no matter how good - and WordReference is excellent - it's my personal favourite) isn't going to tell you the full scope of how language is used in reality.

In fact, their entry on 'aimer' is fairly comprehensive and isn't contradicting this lesson. I'm not sure why you felt it was?

Third entry: 

aimer vtr (être contenté par, goûter [qch]) like⇒ vtr enjoy⇒ vtr (stronger) love⇒ vtr

D

Kwiziq community member

10 February 2019

10/02/19

Gruff, thank you for your comments and support. I appreciate your interest in my comments. 

My conclusions overall so far in my brief use of Kwiziq are that:

My age seems to be a factor in my ability to grasp the information you are presenting in a deep and meaningful way.  

The process of testing inherently seeks to expose weaknesses in the user’s knowledge.  And then hopefully provide guidance to move the user through the learning process.  So far I’m not feeling the examples are enough, or I need to focus on one area longer.  The testing process has begun to feel more like a dentist visit where my teeth are constantly being probed for painful weaknesses. (Sorry but the best analogy I could come up with). 

The Kwiziq process, while perhaps effective for most learners, lacks an enjoyment component for me.  I just feel on trial every time I open the site.  Oh no, here we go again with the minutiae of faire mal à/ faire du mal à, faire peur à, etc.. I feel like I have hit a wall.

I shall continue using DuoLingo, Memrise, a private tutor and probably Kwiziq as I purchased a year of access, but appreciate the opportunity to share my thoughts, frustrations and hopefully my respect for the work you have done here.  

Darren

Gruff

Kwiziq language super star

12 February 2019

12/02/19

Hi Darren - thanks for this honest feedback! I feel your pain!

Hopefully my link in the other post with learning tips was helpful - it really is very normal to feel this way transitioning from A1 to A2. It's a very tough stage.

I should have mentioned also that Kwiziq is designed specifically for post-beginner learners and yes, it deliberately seeks out weak areas in order to drill them to correct them. I don't know how recently you started to learn French but if you've only started (or restarted) recently started then Kwiziq might be a little too early for you. Duolingo is a fantastic resource for beginners and if you have a personal tutor then that is one of the best ways to learn for sure.

In terms of how to make the best of Kwiziq, given your stage, I would suggest you check out the notebook feature if KwizBot's recommendations are not quite right for you. You can use these to construct your own lists of topics that you want to master (even better if you get your tutor to help you decide what to focus on). Then you can kwiz against your own lists at your own pace - they won't change but KwizBot will still pick questions for you each time (and he'll also try to find exercises that match your notebook too and display them on the notebook page - this is a bit of a hidden gem of feature - we haven't really promoted it yet).

As a Premium subscriber, you can create as many notebooks as you like so lots of small, focussed lists (5 - 8 topics max) can be very helpful to master specific areas.

You can browse the library and find lessons by level or area and build up smaller lists themed around what you would like to practise.

I highly recommend the readingdictées and writing exercises - which you'll also find in the library - as a more relaxed way to practise. These are guided but self-marked so they can be easier (but they're still challenging!). I don't think you've tried these yet from what I can see so do check them out!

Here's an example A1 dictation:

A1: Une Journée Chargée (part 1)

The improvement timeline on your dashboard is there to show you that you're making progress even when you feel you're not (and yours looks fantastic!).

Oh one more useful tip: you can always choose to test at a different level so if you need a break from A2, try testing at A1 again and maybe go for your A1 gold shield (and your A0 silver, gold and diamond!). You don't have to follow KwizBot's level recommendations - he'll adapt to your choices. We build the foundation trophy system to reward students who go back and work on their foundations - it pays off!

Hope this is helpful! 

And Courage! 

Gruff

Uber

Kwiziq community member

13 October 2018

2 replies

ne pas aimer vs ne aimer pas?

In the notes above, it says:

"You can also use ne pas aimer beaucoup to say 'not like much'. 
Note that beaucoup will come after pas:  "

Is this supposed to say ""You can also use "ne aimer pas beaucoup"?

Chris

Kwiziq community member

13 October 2018

13/10/18

Je n'aime pas beaucoup sortir ce soir. -- I don't like very much to go out tonight. 

Chris

Kwiziq community member

15 October 2018

15/10/18

Ne pas + <infinitive> is the most common instance where ne pas does not bracket the verb. For example:

C'est mieux avoir aimé une fois que ne jamais avoir aimé du tout. -- It is better to have loved once than never to have loved at all.

Note that ne jamais are together and stand before the past infinitive (avoir aimé).

David

Kwiziq community member

21 September 2018

7 replies

Hi,

In the examples above, 'j'aime Paris' means 'I lové Paris'. If 'j'aime beaucoup Paris' means 'I like Paris a lot', them how do you say plain old 'I like Paris'?

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

21 September 2018

21/09/18

Hi David ,

'Aimer' quelque chose is, 'to like' and 'to love' something .

Your intonation would clarify the intensity of meaning I think.

You could always use the verb 'plaire' and its unusual construction to indicate plain old 'liking  something' -

Paris me plaît.

Have a look at the following lesson if you are not familiar with the verb 'plaire'

Using "plaire" to express liking something / someone

Hope this helps!

David

Kwiziq community member

21 September 2018

21/09/18

Thank you Cécile.I was a little puzzled, as I answered the multi-choice question as to what 'j'aime beacoup Paris' means with 'I like Paris' (which was marked incorrect, should have been 'I like Paris a lot). Seems I can user 'aimer' to express love or strong liking of Paris, but not a straightforward 'like'.

Regards

David

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

22 September 2018

22/09/18

With 'things' you need to add an adverb to 'aimer' to convey a higher intensity of feeling:

"J'aime beaucoup Paris" is stronger than for example, 

"j'aime Paris au printemps" ( I like Paris in the Spring)...

David

Kwiziq community member

22 September 2018

22/09/18

Thank you Cécile, that makes sense.

David

Kwiziq community member

10 November 2018

10/11/18

However today in a quiz I was asked to select multiple possibilitires for "How could you say 'I love sugar'?". I selected both "J'aime le sucre" and "J'adore le sucre". I was marked down because "J'aime le sucre" was only "Nearly" right. Why is that?

This lesson says:

Aimer - to love <someone> / <something>

Used on its own, aimer generally means 'to love' <someone> and 'to love or to like' (depending on intensity) <something>:

J'aime Marie
I love Marie

J'aime Paris
I love Paris

Elle aime sa nouvelle veste.
She loves her new jacket.

In the third example here "sa nouvelle veste" is a thing and in the quiz "le sucre" is a thing so why is "love"  appropriate in the first case but not the second?

David

Kwiziq community member

10 November 2018

10/11/18

Sorry. Please disregard the above. I was tired last night and confused the two columns. I had only offered one choice and Kwiziq was correctly suggesting that there were two valid choices.

Don

Kwiziq community member

16 February 2019

16/02/19

Hi David. As I recall, I believe to say "I like Paris" in french, you could say "J'aime bien Paris" which turns 'love' into 'like'.

Mary

Kwiziq community member

18 September 2018

3 replies

Is j'aime for romantic love or is it appropriate for me to say it to my daughter?

Chris

Kwiziq community member

19 September 2018

19/09/18

Hi Mary,

"Je t'aime" is much more a fixed idiomatic formula to express romantic love than it is in English. Particularly in American English you the phrase "I love you" is almost in inflationary use in many different situation. Not so in French.

That said, it is apparently OK to say "Je t'aime" to one's child, too. I have this on the authority of a Belgian mother. Though that might be different in some other French speaking parts of the world.

-- Chris (not a native speaker).

Mary

Kwiziq community member

19 September 2018

19/09/18

Thanks very much 

Mary

Kwiziq community member

19 September 2018

19/09/18

Thanks very much 

David

Kwiziq community member

13 July 2018

2 replies

Aime vraiment

In the quiz "aime vraiment" was marked wrong and "aime beaucoup" was required. 

As far as I can tell both are equally valid and in common use, even though this lesson does not mention "aime vraiment". And from a literal point of view, since the English said "really like" and not "like a lot" "aime vraiment" seems more appropriate.

Roberta

Kwiziq community member

12 September 2018

12/09/18

I agree, I keep getting marked wrong for "aime vraiment" but doesn't that mean "really like"? 

Chuck

Kwiziq community member

20 December 2018

20/12/18

Google translate says "I really like" is "j'aime vraiment". Why isn't it accepted?

Jay

Kwiziq community member

4 July 2018

1 reply

So, if 'Tu aimes ma soeur?' is 'Do you love my sister?' how do you say 'Do you like my sister?' Is it 'Tu aimes bien ma soeur?'

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

5 July 2018

5/07/18

Hi Jay,

'Tu aimes bien ma sœur?' is safer in this case!

'Tu aimes ma sœur? 'could be construed as love.

Hope this helps!

fiona

Kwiziq community member

28 June 2018

4 replies

Bonjour Aurélie, So "j'adore' is lesser than much love or like, right? because I am stressed. And can I say "je ne l'aime pas beaucoup?

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

28 June 2018

28/06/18

Bonjour Fiona !

J'adore is equivalent to J'aime beaucoup = I love / I like very much

The nuance is that you wouldn't use it to express love for someone, as in in love with.

J'adore Pierre !  = I love Pierre, in the sense of "I love that guy!" (not in love)

J'aime Pierre. = I'm in love with Pierre.

You can say Je n'aime pas beaucoup [ça] I don't like [that] very much

I hope that's helpful!
Bonne journée !

Chris

Kwiziq community member

29 June 2018

29/06/18

Yes, but with the proper timbre, "Je t'adore" can make a heart melt.

-- Chris.

fiona

Kwiziq community member

2 July 2018

2/07/18

Bonjour,

Yes it was helpful. Merci!

Don

Kwiziq community member

16 February 2019

16/02/19

Salut Aurelie. That's a big difference between the two languages. In English, adore is a deeper emotion than love when speaking of someone. -to love and respect, -to love deeply, -to worship, etc.

Bella

Kwiziq community member

15 October 2017

4 replies

I wrote "j'adore Sarah..." and it was wrong! When I see "with all my heart",

I believe it is correct to use the strongest alternative.

Ron

Kwiziq community member

16 October 2017

16/10/17

-> Here note that adorer does NOT mean "to be in love with", but expresses a strong liking of someone. When you use aimer beaucoup, it means 'to like a lot' / 'to really like'. Bonsoir Bella, These two examples are from the lesson and provide a phrase that is synonymous with the phrase presented and probably would have been marked correct. ATTENTION: If you wanted to say "I love you very much" in French, you would use a different expression: Je t'aime très fort. I love you very much. I hope this helps.

Chris

Kwiziq community member

16 October 2017

16/10/17

Hi Bella,

The phrase "Je t'aime" has acquired ideomatic status in French and is probably the least adulterated statement if you really want to express being in love with someone. Adding "bien" or "beaucoup" will only serve to lessen the power of this simple statement with respect to another person. Talking to several French native speakers about this, they told me unanimously that "je t'adore" can have different connotations depending on the situation and the context you are using it in. It can be a stronger, more committed version of "je t'aime" but it can also be a slightly watered down version. It just depends.

-- Chris (who is not a native speaker).

Ron

Kwiziq community member

16 October 2017

16/10/17

Bonjour Chris, J'apprecie votre réponse.

Bella

Kwiziq community member

16 October 2017

16/10/17

Merci beaucoup. Mais... La dévaluation de mot, non?
Getting that for you now.