‘Mögen’ Conjugations

‘Mögen’ conjugations translate to ‘I like/ liked / will like etc.’ The infinitive verb ‘mögen’ (‘to like’ in English) is one of the very first German verbs you should learn.

‘Mögen’ is a common German verb that you’ll need to use in various tenses and moods in order to communicate in everyday spoken & written German.

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‘Mögen’ Conjugations
Written by Laura Bennett
-   Updated:
- 13 minute read
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Learning ‘mögen’ is tricky because German verbs have more conjugation options compared to English verbs –so there’s more that our brains have to remember!

Key Takeaways

  • ‘mögen’ (‘to like’) is a commonly used infinitive verb in German.
  • there are more ‘mögen’ conjugation options than what we have in English.
  • you need to learn ‘mögen’ conjugations for multiple tenses and moods.

How is ‘Mögen’ Used in German?

Knowing how to correctly use ‘mögen’ in its many diverse forms allows you to speak masterfully in German in a wide variety of contexts.

‘Mögen’ allows you to talk about yourself and others ‘liking’ (I like to read, I like roller coaster rides, etc.) in all manner of situations past, present, future, and hypothetical. 

You’ll use ‘mögen’ in order to …

  • ✅ Talk about what / how / when / etc. someone is liking.
  • ✅ Utilize certain idioms and other common figures of speech.
  • ✅ Say that someone likes, liked, will have liked, will like, etc.

What Are The 6 Conjugations of ‘Mögen’? 

The 6 conjugations of ‘mögen’ in the present tense line up with our 6 subject pronouns to give us ‘ich mag’, ‘du magst’, ‘er / sie / es mag’, ‘wir mögen’, ‘ihr mögt’, and ‘sie mögen.’

There are, of course, even more forms of ‘mögen’ in other tenses (and moods). 

But it’s best to first focus strictly on the present tense conjugations of ‘mögen’, so let’s look at it side-by-side with the English ‘to like’:

‘Mögen’ (in English)

I like
you like
he/she/it likes
we like
they like

‘Mögen’ in German is ‘to like’ in English. And in the present tense, we have two possible conjugations: ‘like’, and ‘likes’.

In the case of ‘like’, it is recycled –that is, it’s used with multiple different pronouns (i.e. I, you, we, they). It’s only he/she/it that uses its own unique conjugation ‘likes’.

Those same conjugations in German look like this:  

‘Mögen’ (Present Tense) English vs German

Comparing German & English

It’s important to notice the patterns of similarities and differences at this point. 

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Where does German ‘recycle’ the same conjugations?
  • Are the German & English changes to ‘mögen’ (to like) occurring with equivalent pronouns?
  • Which language includes more changes compared to the other? 

‘Mögen’ in the Present Tense

The present tense conjugations of ‘mögen’ are ich mag, du magst, er / sie / es mag, wir ,mögen, ihr mögt, and sie mögen.

Put into a typical conjugation table, these options are presented like this:

Present Tense Conjugation Chart:
ich  magwir mögen
du magstihr mögt
er/sie/es magsie mögen

You truly haven’t even begun to learn ‘mögen’ until you know ALL the nominative case pronouns and which form of ‘mögen’ each of them takes.

To talk about the conjugations of ‘mögen’ used by the various pronouns, we have to work backward by starting with the pronouns

And in order to understand nominative case (i.e. subject) pronouns, we need to talk about the grammar concept of ‘persons’.

What are ‘persons’?

The ‘persons’ (I, you, they, etc.) are split into two categories that interact with each other: 

There are 3 subcategories of ‘persons’ (1st Person, 2nd Person, and 3rd Person) and each of these has a ‘singular’ and a ‘plural’ variant. 

When we intersect this information on Y and X axes, we get these ultra-familiar English subject pronouns:

English Subject Pronouns Chart

Now, here is the German version of the same table of subject pronouns: 

German Subject Pronouns Chart

German & English Pronouns Side-by-Side

Where do English and German line up and where are there differences?

English and German have 1-to-1 equivalents for all pronouns … except that German has extra pronouns for ‘you’ (highlighted).

FULL German Subject Pronouns Chart
2nd (informal)duihr

Understanding the ‘ihr’ plural of ‘du’ is straightforward enough: Americans might relate it to the concept of y’all. We’re simply talking to multiple ‘you’s at the same time.

But what is the deal with the singular and plural ‘Sie’?

Formal vs. Informal ‘You’

If you took high school Spanish, you’ve already been exposed to the idea of ‘you’ having an informal version and a formal version (e.g. ‘tu’ [informal] and ‘Usted’ [formal]).

It’s the exact same idea in German.

We need to use the formal ‘you’ when we address …

  • someone we don’t intimately know 
  • someone to whom we want to show additional respect
  • someone in a relative position of authority 

Of course, these separate categories have some obvious potential overlaps in that many times we perceive others as authority figures whom we also genuinely respect and with whom we wouldn’t go out to a pub for a beer because we don’t know them intimately enough.

When to Use the Formal ‘Sie’

As you can see in the table, if you’re using the formal address ‘Sie’, it doesn’t matter if you’re talking to one person or multiple –the pronoun AND its conjugation of ‘mögen’ stays the same:

German Subject Pronoun & ‘Mögen’ Conjugations Chart:
1stIch magwir mögen
2nd (informal)du magstihr mögt
(formal)Sie mögenSie mögen
3rder/sie/es magsie mögen

In German, you generally need to use this formal version of ‘you’ if you’re talking with…

  • professionals (e.g. clerks, police officers, doctors, plumbers, etc.) 
  • leaders (e.g. priests, politicians, choir directors, bosses, etc.)
  • elders (e.g. anyone clearly at least a generation older than you are)

Examples of ‘Mögen’

Knowing how to use ‘mögen’ in the present tense for all the 1st, 2nd (formal and informal) and 3rd persons, singular and plural, is exactly what you should know for now. 

1st Person, Singular & Plural

Ich mag das Geschenk. (I like the present.)
Ich mag schönes Wetter. (I like nice weather.)

Wir mögen das Geschenk. (We like the present.)
Wir mögen schönes Wetter. (We like nice weather.)

2nd Person (Informal), Singular & Plural

Du magst das Geschenk. (You like the present.)
Du magst schönes Wetter. (You like nice weather.)

Ihr mögt das Geschenk. (You like the present.)
Ihr mögt schönes Wetter. (You like nice weather.)

2nd Person (Formal), Singular & Plural

Sie mögen das Geschenk. (You like the present.)
Sie mögen schönes Wetter. (You like nice weather.)

Sie mögen das Geschenk. (You like the present.)
Sie mögen schönes Wetter. (You like nice weather.)

3rd Person, Singular & Plural

Die Familie mag das Geschenk. (The family likes the present.)
Die Familie mag schönes Wetter. (The family likes nice weather.)

Die Familien mögen das Geschenk. (The families like the present.)
Die Familien mögen schönes Wetter. (The families like nice weather.)


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Comparing German & English

There are several interesting points to make on the above examples so that you can further your general knowledge of German beyond specifics of ‘mögen’.

  • There are multiple ways to say ‘the’ in German. We saw DAS Geschenk, but DIE Familie in the examples. Learn more about German noun gender here.
  • Almost every English noun pluralizes simply with ‘s’ (e.g. doctor -> doctors), but German has SEVEN different options that we have to know how to choose between! You may have noticed specifically the -en plural at play in ‘Familie’ (family) -> ‘Familien’ (families). Learn more about German noun plurals here.
  • The adjective ‘schön’ means lovely / beautiful / nice /etc. But it presents in German sentences slightly differently: schönes, schöner, schöne, schönen, schönem … Yikes! These little differences are called declensions and you can’t speak German unless you know how to use them. Learn more here

Skills You’ll Need to Use ‘Mögen’ Conjugations:

‘Mögen’ makes it possible to relay information about what you (or someone else) like or don’t like in all manner of situations past, present, future, and hypothetical. 

‘Mögen’ is such a common, everyday verb that you can’t masterfully speak German if you don’t understand how to use its various conjugations.

You’ll use ‘mögen’ in order to …

  • ✅ Talk about ‘liking’ / not ‘liking’ [NOUN] (I like him, I like chocolate, etc.)
  • ✅ Communicate general ‘likes’ vs. in-the-moment ‘would likes’ (möchten)
  • ✅ Convey a stronger sense of probability vs. ‘möchten’
  • ✅ Speak hypothetically (e.g. I should/would like to do XY, if only …)
  • ✅ Speak more formally than the usage of ‘würden + infinitive’ allows.

Building Blocks You Need For ‘Mögen’

‘Mögen’ conjugations empower you to express yourself in a LOT of different ways. You need to correctly wield ‘mögen’ in a variety of contexts in order to speak German capably, comfortably, and confidently.

To correctly use ‘mögen’ in various tenses and moods, to give commands or offer suggestions, or to speak hypothetically, you need to build these foundational skills:

  1. Know the subject [i.e. nominative] pronouns for all singular & plural persons.
  2. Learn the present and simple past tense conjugations of ‘mögen’ for all persons.
  3. Learn the ‘mögen’ conjugations for the conditional/ subjunctive moods.
  4. Know how to use the ‘double infinitive’ formulation with ‘mögen’.

Terminology Explained

subject pronouns are the words ‘I’, ‘you’, ‘he’, ‘she’, ‘it’, ‘we’ and ‘they’ in English. German has these same options BUT also three more! These pronouns are categorized as ‘persons’ that are either singular (e.g. ‘I’) or plural (e.g. ‘we’). 

conjugations are slight changes to a verb that line up with different ‘persons’. The same base verb ‘should’  is used in English for all persons, but typically there are two conjugation options (e.g. sing vs. sings). German, however, typically uses four different conjugations, even for modal verbs such as ‘mögen’ (see above tables).

tense & mood are simply variants of a verb such as ‘I should’ (present / future tense –it could still happen) vs. ‘I should have’ (past tense –it definitely didn’t happen and still won’t). German and English generally have all the same verb tenses and moods (sometimes German has more) and they function similarly.

double infinitives generally involve a modal verb, a main verb, and a helping / auxiliary verb (‘sein’, ‘haben’, or ‘werden’) to talk about –in the instance of ‘mögen’– feeling/ being obligated to do XY [main verb] in the future (which you may or may not do) or having felt / been obligated to do XY [main verb] in the past (which you didn’t do, although you ‘should have’). Learn more here.

“HELP! This Feels Overwhelming!”

This can understandably feel like a LOT, but the good news is that you DON’T have to fully master all the applications of ‘mögen’ right now as a beginner learner –which also means you don’t have to have all the relevant lingo totally down yet, either.

The ideal place to start is by learning just the German subject pronouns and the present tense conjugations of ‘mögen’. We covered this in depth above, but here is the table with both pieces of information, again, here:

mögen conjugation table

Repetitious, simple sentences (like the examples I gave you above in an earlier section) will help you drill these present tense ‘mögen’ conjugations into your memory. 

And since all the subject pronouns are exactly the same no matter what German verb conjugations we’re learning, we’ll get lots of mileage out of learning our ‘ich’ and ‘du’, etc.

If you’re beyond a beginner level already, you’ll see those ‘ich’s and ‘du’s repeated again and again in the following tables of ALL the ‘mögen’ conjugations. 


Learning all of this is a big task for almost every German learner.

I’ll teach you step-by-step.

Get Started Now

‘Mögen’ Conjugations in ALL Tenses & Moods

‘Mögen’ is used in 6 tenses (of the indicative mood), and in an additional mood (the subjunctive). We use ‘mögen’ to talk about ‘liking’ in the past, present, and future (e.g. I liked, I liked, I will like). ‘Mögen’ is also used to say ‘I would like’ (subjunctive).

For those of you who are ready for it, here are the full conjugation tables for ‘mögen’:

Indicative (Indikativ)

The indicative mood is how we talk most of the time: about real facts (I like to eat apples and bananas. He likes to hike in the morning. They liked the modern art museum.) 

The indicative mood subcategories into SIX tenses in both English and German. Most of these tenses are used very similarly. 

With modal verbs explicitly, it’s essential to learn the present tense first, and then the simple past and subjunctive II mood. 

The future indicative and the subjunctive pluperfect mood (a.k.a subjunctive past perfect) are also used, but most commonly with a ‘double infinitive.’ 

The other tenses / moods are rarely –if ever– used for ‘mögen’ (and sometimes don’t even apply, such as the imperative mood.)

Present (Präsens)

‘MÖGEN’- Present Tense (Präsens) Table
1stich magwir mögen
2nddu magstihr mögt
3rder magsie mögen

Simple Past (Präteritum)

‘MÖGEN’- Simple Past (Präteritum) Table
1stich mochtewir mochten
2nddu mochtestihr mochtet
3rder mochtesie mochten

Present Perfect (Perfekt)

‘MÖGEN’ – Present Perfect (Perfekt) Table
1stich habe gemochtwir haben gemocht
2nddu hast gemochtihr habt gemocht
3rder hat gemochtsie haben gemocht

Past Perfect (Plusquamperfekt)

‘MÖGEN’ – Past Perfect (Plusquamperfekt) Table
1stich hatte gemochtwir hatten gemocht
2nddu hattest gemochtihr hattet gemocht
3rder hatte gemochtsie hatten gemocht

Simple Future (Futur I)

‘MÖGEN’ – Simple Future (Futur I) Table
1stich werde mögenwir werden mögen
2nddu wirst mögenihr werdet mögen
3rder wird mögensie werden mögen

Future Perfect (Futur II)

‘MÖGEN’ – Future Perfect (Futur II) Table
1stich werde gemocht habenwir werden gemocht haben
2nddu wirst gemocht habenihr werdet gemocht haben
3rder wird gemocht habensie werden gemocht haben
Important Notes on German Tenses

Although German and English HAVE all the same tenses, they aren’t necessarily all used the same way.

In German …

  • The Present Tense covers three different English options: for example, I eat, I do eat, I am eating would ALL simply be ‘Ich esse’ in German. 
  • The Present Perfect Tense (which would technically translate to, e.g. I have eaten) actually correlates with English’s simple past (i.e.  I ate) in terms of usage.
  • The Simple Future tense is frequently avoided in favor of the Present tense and a time adverbial. 

Imperative (Imperativ)

The imperative mood is used in both English and German for giving commands. Note that a ‘du’ or ‘ihr’ subject is generally omitted, but that a ‘wir’ and ‘Sie’ must be present.

‘MÖGEN’- Imperative (Imperativ) Table
1st– wir!
2nd Informal– [du]!– [ihr]!
2nd Formal– Sie!– Sie!

Subjunctive (Konjunktiv)

The subjunctive mood is used in both English and German (but much more frequently in German!) to communicate hypothetical (i.e. not factual [indicative]) situations. 

The subjunctive can be used to communicate a present or future likelihood (but not certainty) OR a complete impossibility in the past, present, or future. 

The subjunctive is also used for expressing polite requests vs. the commands of the imperative mood.

Present Subjunctive (Konjunktiv I) 

‘MÖGEN’- Present Subjunctive (Konjunktiv I) Table
1stich mögewir mögen
2nddu mögestihr möget
3rder mögesie mögen

Past Subjunctive (Konjunktiv II) 

‘MÖGEN’- Past Subjunctive (Konjunktiv II)  Table
1stich möchtewir möchten
2nddu möchtestihr möchtet
3rder möchtesie möchten

Perfect Subjunctive (Konjunktiv Perfekt) 

‘MÖGEN’ – Perfect Subjunctive (Konjunktiv Perfekt) Table
1stich habe gemochtwir haben gemocht
2nddu habest gemochtihr habet gemocht
3rder habe gemochtsie haben gemocht

Past Perfect Subjunctive (Konjunktiv Plusquamperfekt) 

‘MÖGEN’ – Past Perfect Subjunctive (Konjunktiv Plusquamperfekt) Table
1stich hätte gemochtwir hätten gemocht
2nddu hättest gemochtihr hättet gemocht
3rder hätte gemochtsie hätten gemocht

Future Subjunctive (Konjunktiv Futur I) 

‘MÖGEN’ – Future Subjunctive (Konjunktiv Futur I) Table
1stich werde mögenwir werden mögen
2nddu werdest mögenihr werdet mögen
3rder werde mögensie werden mögen

Future Perfect Subjunctive (Konjunktiv Futur II)

‘MÖGEN’ – Future Perfect Subjunctive (Konjunktiv Futur II) Table
1stich werde gemocht habenwir werden gemocht haben
2nddu werdest gemocht habenihr werdet gemocht haben
3rder werde gemocht habensie werden gemocht haben

Common Confusion

 What is the difference between ‘mögen’ and ‘möchten’ in German?

‘Mögen,’ means ‘to like’ (I like to read, I like roller coaster rides, etc.) whereas ‘möchten’  means ‘to would like’’ (I would like to ask you a question/She would like to leave earlier/ etc.). Both ‘mögen’ and ‘möchten’ are classified as modal verbs. Read an overview of modal verbs here.

What is the difference between ‘möchten’ and ‘wollen’?

‘Wollen’ means ‘to want,’ as in, ‘I want a puppy! ‘Möchten’ means ‘to would like,’ as in ‘I would like to go to bed early tonight.’ Wollen, like ‘mögen’ and ‘möchten’ is classified as a modal verb.

What is the difference between ‘gefällt’ and ‘mögen’?

‘Gefällt’ is present tense (from infinitive ‘gefallen’) and means that ‘XY pleases me’ [Die Suppe gefällt mir]. vs. ‘Ich mag die Suppe’ (I like the soup). Obviously similar / related, but different emphasis on who is the actor, etc.

Note that we have the infinitive ‘gefallen’ (to please) and also the past participle ‘gefallen’ (from infinitive ‘fallen’ [to fall]).

Rapid Q&A

What is the simple past of ‘mögen’?

‘Mögen’ in the simple past tense is ‘mochten’ which then needs to be conjugated for each person.

Is ‘mögen’ a modal verb?

Yes, ‘mögen’ is a modal verb. Modal verbs operate with slightly different rules than our strong and weak verbs. As a modal verb, ‘mögen’’ will pair with a main verb (which, for ‘mögen’ but not necessarily other modal verbs is frequently understood and thus not actually spoken/written) and it is that verb which determines whether a dative and/or accusative complement is rendered necessary for a complete sentence.

What is the konjunktiv 2 of ‘mögen’?

The Subjunctive 2 (Konjunktiv 2) of ‘mögen’ is ‘möchten’ in its base form, which must then be conjugated for all persons.

Is ‘gemocht’ a verb?

Yes! ‘Gemocht’ is the past participle of the modal verb ‘mögen’, which is used –for example– in the present perfect and past perfect tenses. Click here for the full conjugation tables. 

Is ‘mögen’ an irregular verb?

‘Mögen’ wouldn’t be classified as an irregular (i.e. strong) verb, though it does require a vowel change in various conjugations. One big difference is that it requires a vowel change with ‘ich’ in the present tense, unlike our irregular verbs. ‘Mögen’ is thus a stronger verb than just a standard ‘strong’ verb. 

What are the 3 forms of ‘mögen’?

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