How To Express 'To Prefer' in German

Ich mag Deutsch besser. (I like German more.)
What's wrong with the above statement? Actually nothing. But if you would say that to a German speaker, they would immediately know that you are a novice.
There are more refined ways to state your preferences that will make your speech more polished. Here's how:

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: Depends upon you.

Here's How:

  1. At its simplest, to state you prefer something, you use the expression lieber tun.
    Ich spreche lieber Deutsch. (I prefer to speak German.)
  2. If however you compare two terms or items, you must insert the conjunction als as well.
    Ich spreche lieber Deutsch als English. ( I prefer to speak German over English.)
  3. If the comparison is between three or more terms or items, then you use the expression am liebsten.
    Ich kann Deutsch, Englisch und Spanisch, aber am liebsten spreche ich Deutsch. ( I know German, English and Spanish, but I prefer to speak German the most.)
    Am liebsten trinke ich Saft. I prefer to drink juice.
    If you want to state that something is your favourite item above all, then you can say....
    Mein liebstes Buch ist... (My favorite book is...)
    Meine Lieblingsfarbe ist... (My favorite color is...)
  4. As an alternative, you can use the verbs vorziehen and bevorzugen to state your preferences:
    Ich ziehe meinen roten Mantel (den* anderen Mäntel) vor. I prefer my red coat over the other coats.
    *Note: The term compared will be declined in the dative case.
    Sie bevorzugt deutsche Musik. (She prefers German music.)
    Sie bevorzugt deutsche Musik vor* all anderer Musik. (She prefers German music above all other music.)
    *Note: When using bevorzugen the term compared to must be introduced by the preposition vor plus the dative case.
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Your Citation
Bauer, Ingrid. "How To Express 'To Prefer' in German." ThoughtCo, Jan. 29, 2020, Bauer, Ingrid. (2020, January 29). How To Express 'To Prefer' in German. Retrieved from Bauer, Ingrid. "How To Express 'To Prefer' in German." ThoughtCo. (accessed April 1, 2023).