In one of the writing exercises, I translated "I love my cousin Benjamin" to, "J'aime bien mon cousin Benjamin", but the system corrected this to "J'aime beaucoup mon cousin Benjamin". Why? It actually seems to me that "J'aime bien" is more appropriate than "J'aime beaucoup" (I like a lot).
With persons it is like this:
J'aime Paul = I love Paul (romantically, as in I'm in love with Paul)J'aime bien Paul = I like Paul (as in "he's nice")J'aime beaucoup Paul = I really like Paul (as in "he's a great guy") but also "I love Paul" (but not in a romantic way).
So, j'aime beaucoup is more "to love", but not romantically and j'aime bien is "to like someone".
Chris's answer is great! Here is a link to another similar question (follow the link from Jim's answer ; it's a brilliant in-depth, albeit long, explanation on the topic).
I hope this is helpful.
You can't fight the Academy, and it's useless to point to inanities in any language but, that adding "bien" to "aimer" reduces the meaning from "love" to "really like" suggests a statistically irrelevant difference of meaning, and confirms that French is as illogical as most other languages.
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