French Grammar: Likes and Dislikes

French Grammar: Likes and Dislikes

French Grammar: Likes and Dislikes


French Grammar: Likes and Dislikes
la grammaire française: les goûts et les dégoûts

There are several verbs in French that communicate likes and dislikes. Knowing what people like and dislike can help with food choices, activities, shopping, and other things!


The following -ER verbs are used to discuss likes (les goûts):

AIMER :  to like; to love

AIMER BEAUCOUP :  to like a lot

AIMER BIEN :  to really like

AIMER MIEUX :  to prefer

ADORER :  to love; to adore

DÉSIRER :  to want; to wish

PRÉFÉRER :  to prefer

NOTE:  Another verb that can be used to discuss likes is the verb VOULOIR ( = to want).

VOULOIR is an irregular verb.  Here are the present tense forms of VOULOIR:

Je veuxI want

Tu veux You (informal) want

Il/Elle/On veut : He (It) / She (It) / One wants

Nous voulons : We want

Vous voulez : You (formal) / Y’all want

Ils/Elles veulent : They (masc.) / They (fem.) want

Often, VOULOIR is used in the conditional tense, which often makes statements/questions sound somewhat more polite.  Here are the conditional tense forms of VOULOIR:

Je voudrais : I would like

Tu voudrais : You would like

Il/Elle/On voudrait : He (It) / She (It) / One would like

Nous voudrions : We would like

Vous voudriez : You (formal) / Y’all would like

Ils/Elles voudraient : They (masc.) / They (fem.) would like

The following -ER verbs are used to discuss dislikes (les dégoûts):

N’AIMER PAS :  to not like

N’AIMER PAS DU TOUT :  to not like at all

DÉTESTER :  to hate

When talking about activities that you like / don’t like to do, use any of the above expressions followed by the infinitive form of the verb:

Qu’est-ce que tu aimes faire?
What do you like to do?

J’aime écouter de la musique.
I like to listen to music.

Il déteste ranger sa chambre.
He hates to tidy up his bedroom.

Nous préférons prendre le train.

We prefer to take the train.

Elles n’aiment pas du tout aller chez le dentiste.

They don’t like to go to the dentist at all.

When talking about nouns (i.e., people, places, things) that you like / don’t like, use any of the above expressions followed by an article (definite or indefinite) + the noun:

Ma soeur adore le fromage.

My sister loves cheese.

Vous désirez un café?
Do you want a cup of coffee?

J’adore les films français.

I love French films.


Est-ce que tu désires aller au cinéma ce soir?
Do you (informal) want to go to the movies tonight?

Non merci, je préfère rester à la maison.

No thank you, I prefer to stay home.

Georges aime bien les chiens, n’est-ce pas?

George really likes dogs, doesn’t he?

Oui, il adore les chiens – mais il déteste les chats.

Yes, he loves dogs – but he hates cats.

Aimes-tu la cuisine chinoise?

Do you (informal) like Chinese food?

Non, je n’aime pas du tout la cuisine chinoise.
No, I don’t like Chinese food at all.

Qu’est-ce que vous voulez faire ce week-end?

What do y’all want to do this weekend?

Nous voulons dormir tard!

We want to sleep late!


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