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Old 02.07.2007, 12:13
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[German] Use of the word "gern"

hi there

Here's a really simple(?) question. What does the German word "gern" mean?

Does it simply mean "like" or does it also mean "ok" or even "please"? Is it interchangeable with "mag"?

How polite is it? If I ask for something with "gern" then is "bitte" implicit?
I've heard a kebab shop customer just say: "Kebab gern". Is that a) a coherent sentence as in "I'd like a kebab" and b) is it polite or is it c) a bit abrupt but ok within the context of a fast food joint conversation?

If I ask for something in a shop then the shopkeeper says "gern" - does that mean "ok/sure"? Should it only be used as a response in that way by people providing a service? For example, if someone asks if a seat is empty with eg "Ish da noch frei" then is "gern" a suitable response?

What does "Bitte gern" mean? I've heard that this is more of a Swiss German rather than Hoch Deutsch phrase.

How about "Sehr gern"?

Can it be negated? Or is that "gar nichts"?

Thanks in advance...
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Old 02.07.2007, 12:19
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Re: [German] Use of the word "gern"

I'm glad you brought this up - I'm trying to use "gern" sensibly as well.
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Old 02.07.2007, 12:19
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Re: [German] Use of the word "gern"

"Gern" is "with pleasure".
It can often be used with a verb.
The negative is "nicht gern haben".

Examples:
I would like ...... (food order)
Ich hätte gern

You're very welcome
Gerngeschön

I don't like to eat Fish
Ich esse Fisch nicht so gern.
Ich habe es nicht so gern

yes please, I would like some
Ja gern!

For me, properly using the word gern was a huge step in my living here. I always wanted to directly translate "yes please" and say "Ja, bitte".

Good luck!!
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Old 02.07.2007, 12:21
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Re: [German] Use of the word "gern"

I like to ski!
Ich fahre gern Skii

I like to sleep late
Ich schlaffe gern aus.
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Old 02.07.2007, 12:22
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Re: [German] Use of the word "gern"

Think of it as "gladly".

Would you like a bag for your things? Gladly!

When used in a question think of it as asking if you could gladly like something. I generally use it in place of "bitte", but I don't use it combined with bitte. If I want to emphasise that I'd be REALLY happy to get whatever is being suggested then I might use "sehr gern".

Negating gern? Well if asked a question using gern a simple "Nein danke" or "Lieber nicht" should suffice. You can't really ask questions in the negative with it - at least I've never heard it.

I like the word gern and I enjoy using it. Helps to make things sound just that bit nicer.

Hope that was enough info for you - if you want more just throw in some examples.
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Old 02.07.2007, 12:24
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Re: [German] Use of the word "gern"

I just stick to "gurn". Especially when the wind changes...

dave


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I'm glad you brought this up - I'm trying to use "gern" sensibly as well.
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Old 02.07.2007, 12:26
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Re: [German] Use of the word "gern"

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You're very welcome
Gerngeschön
Small correction there - the expression you mean is Gern geschehen - or gladly done, you're welcome, don't mention it, etc. (geschehen meaning to occur, happen, be done, etc). Schön is an adjective, so therefore can't be conjugated as a verb.
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Old 02.07.2007, 12:26
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Re: [German] Use of the word "gern"

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...
You're very welcome
Gerngeschön

...
Nitpick:

Gern geschehn (from: geschehen = to occur, to happen)



Literally: It was a pleasure that this happened.
Figuratively: It was a pleasure to do this (for you).
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Old 02.07.2007, 15:29
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Re: [German] Use of the word "gern"

Guess, this is my change to help you out as opposed to the misused-English-words-thread where you give me hints on improving my language skills.

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Here's a really simple(?) question. What does the German word "gern" mean?
It has different meanings - and I guess this is confusing some of you guys.


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Does it simply mean "like" or does it also mean "ok" or even "please"? Is it interchangeable with "mag"?
Kind of everything:
like: I like it --> Ich habe es gern (or maybe I would use here "Ich mag es" or even "Ich mag es gern").
ok: You're welcome / my pleasure --> Gern geschehen. Habe ich gerne gemacht.
please: That would be your "Kebab gern" example.
mag: See also my like example. But keep in mind, that "gern" is not a verb. So either you ask "Hast du es gern?" or "Magst du es?"


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How polite is it? If I ask for something with "gern" then is "bitte" implicit?
I've heard a kebab shop customer just say: "Kebab gern". Is that a) a coherent sentence as in "I'd like a kebab" and b) is it polite or is it c) a bit abrupt but ok within the context of a fast food joint conversation?
"Kebab gern" is short for "I beg your pardon, but would you mind preparing me a Kebab? - just kidding...
I would say (a) and (b). (c) does not really apply, you might just make a full sentence out of it which would be "Ich hätte gerne einen Kebab" - then it is absolutely correct (but not really used in spoken language). But "Kebab gern" is more of a Swiss German expression; maybe in Austria I would rather say "Einen Kebab bitte" (but alsy Kebab gern is accepted and not offending at all).


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If I ask for something in a shop then the shopkeeper says "gern" - does that mean "ok/sure"? Should it only be used as a response in that way by people providing a service? For example, if someone asks if a seat is empty with eg "Ish da noch frei" then is "gern" a suitable response?
Not sure, if I got your context 100% right, but it rather means "You're welcome" or maybe "I take care of it" or even your "ok/sure" makes sense.
For the "Isch do no frei" I would rather answer with a simple "Ja". To answer with "gern" the question should be "Darf ich mich hier hinsetzen?" (even though this question might not be very common... sorry for this example).


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What does "Bitte gern" mean? I've heard that this is more of a Swiss German rather than Hoch Deutsch phrase.
This is short for "Bitte, gern geschehen", so just a bit longer, maybe a glimpse politer for "Gern geschehen" or even "Gern(e)".

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How about "Sehr gern"?
This works. Not in all contexts. So a "Kebab sehr gern" does not really work, but "Das habe ich sehr gerne" is just like a comparison.


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Can it be negated? Or is that "gar nichts"?
Again depending on the context. So "Das habe ich nicht gern" works, but "Keinen Kebab gern" does not make sense at all.


Ok, I wrote a lot... and I am still not really sure about how to explain all the "gern"-options. But hope to give you some hints... maybe I meet some of you at the Wednesday drink this week - then feel free to discuss about it.

Finally I recommend to have a look at the examples in my preferred online en-de dictionary: http://dict.leo.org/?=gern
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Old 02.07.2007, 19:31
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Re: [German] Use of the word "gern"

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Small correction there - the expression you mean is Gern geschehen - or gladly done, you're welcome, don't mention it, etc. (geschehen meaning to occur, happen, be done, etc). Schön is an adjective, so therefore can't be conjugated as a verb.

or gern geschenkt ? ... my all time favourite is " ich habe dich gern" ... seems somehow a little old fashioned & quaint ....
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Old 02.07.2007, 19:37
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Re: [German] Use of the word "gern"

Of course you can always be like the swiss and say:

Y hatti garra oeppis Dingsbums.

Meaning:

I'd like some whatchamicallits.

;-)
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Old 05.07.2007, 11:44
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Re: [German] Use of the word "gern"

Thanks everybody for all the great answers btw. Much appreciated.
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Old 05.07.2007, 11:54
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Re: [German] Use of the word "gern"

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or gern geschenkt ? ... my all time favourite is " ich habe dich gern" ... seems somehow a little old fashioned & quaint ....

gern geschenkt doesn't work... Think you mean "gern geschehen", which means sth like "my pleasure" or "you're welcome", see above.
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Old 05.07.2007, 12:42
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Re: [German] Use of the word "gern"

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or gern geschenkt ? ... my all time favourite is " ich habe dich gern" ... seems somehow a little old fashioned & quaint ....

Actually in Swissgerman ( particulary Canton Bern) you would seldom hear someone saying I love you = "I liebe di", somehow sounds strange to our ears, OTOH "I ha di gärn" is the equivalent of "I love you"
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Old 05.07.2007, 12:45
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Re: [German] Use of the word "gern"

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gern geschenkt doesn't work... Think you mean "gern geschehen", which means sth like "my pleasure" or "you're welcome", see above.
KraBat,

Like Eastenders post, this seems to be a peculiarity to Kanton Berne, I here it quite a bit ... mainly waiters / waitresses, especially when you a are a pseudo regular & they know you a little ...
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Old 05.07.2007, 12:52
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Re: [German] Use of the word "gern"

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Actually in Swissgerman ( particulary Canton Bern) you would seldom hear someone saying I love you = "I liebe di", somehow sounds strange to our ears, OTOH "I ha di gärn" is the equivalent of "I love you"
A Swissgerman version of Romeo & Juliet would definitely help us out here to investigate a Swiss lover's life...
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Old 05.07.2007, 12:56
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Re: [German] Use of the word "gern"

gern geschehen often sounds something like gen-shehn (rough likeness there ) - for many moons I wondered what my Swiss colleague was destroying...I mean saying...at the end of each telephone conversation.

Gern geschehen. I quite like this (it's a bit more charismatic than "bitte schön"
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Old 05.07.2007, 13:19
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Re: [German] Use of the word "gern"

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A Swissgerman version of Romeo & Juliet would definitely help us out here to investigate a Swiss lover's life...
A right riveting read, eh?

Comparing assets, pension funds, and the value of their parent's houses ready for when dear mama and papa start pushing up Edelweiss... then registering their kids for Kinderkrippe before the marriage proposal...
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