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Aimer: Is it ‘Love’ or ‘Like’ in French?

French, one of the amazing languages has fortunately or unfortunately the same word aimer that translates to love and to like.
Views: 1.356 Created 08/31/2008

French, one of the amazing languages has fortunately or unfortunately the same word aimer that translates to love and to like. So, if you are learning French, make sure that you fully understand how the meaning of the same word gets changed with reference to context. If thoroughly understood this word of like or love can do wonder to you when you speak French and even a slight inadvertent mistake might land you in trouble.

The French word aimer is derived from the Latin term amor that refers to love and passion. Wondering how to pronounce this, well there is a catch in it. You might be tempted to pronounce it resembling to the English expression ‘aim’. Actually the word aimer is split into two, put the first half as ‘m’ and then the second syllable as something like ‘ay’. To make it simple aimer when correctly pronounced sounds like English word ‘gem’. Now, if you want to say ‘I love you’ or ‘I like you’, then go ahead and tell 'j'aime'. Similarly, in French ami derived from aimer strangely refers to ‘friend’ and not lover and lover is ‘amant’. When ‘love’ is used as a noun, it becomes ‘amour’ and ‘amicale’ is friendly.

The ‘aimer’ has different connotations and you are new to French you have to use it with caution. ‘Aimer’ can be casually used in daily conversation to express your liking towards things like chocolate (j'aime le chocolat), cinema (j'aime le cinema) and monuments (j'aime visiter les monuments). If the liking goes to next level and you feel passionate or crazy then you can put it as j'adore. As the expression je t'aime can confuse the intentions of the speaker or twist the interpretation by the listner, to be on safe side it is better to use je t'aime bien to friends to say I like you much and je t'aime très fort to your lover to say that you love your partner strongly.

Now, you know how to differentiate between like and love clearly. To say I don’t like you, tell it as je n'aime pas. Usage of mind maps, dictionary and some basic knowledge in grammar will be highly useful to master French.

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