Can you give me some idea of the relative strength of these? I was showing an apartment (I'm a broker) and the French client used "j'adore" to refer to the countertops... which confused me. To an English speaker, "adore" seems like a cognate, but in English we generally wouldn't say "I adore these countertops" -- that would likely come across as either 1) over-the-top or 2) sarcastic. Does "j'adore" better translate as "I really like" or "I think these are cool/great"? And is it equal in strength to "j'aime"?
I would say :
J'aime : I like something or I love someone
J'aime bien : I quite like , or I like ( someone) as opposed to romantic love
J'adore : I really love
In the situation you describe Alison, this lady really LOVED those countertops!
You might also hear the French saying 'c'est pas mal' which can sound lukewarm but is often a compliment in French !
Hope this helps!
Hi Alison, here is the corresponding lesson on this topic:
Aimer = to love, like something/someone in French
From your post I wasn't sure whether you had actually seen it.
-- Chris (not a native speaker).
Thanks Chris, I looked at that lesson and I'm not sure it really clears things up for me. If I say "j'aime Chris" -- that means "I love Chris," right? And it implies romantic love, correct? But if I say "j'adore Chris" -- am I am also implying romantic love? or I am (more weakly, to me) saying "Chris is a great guy"? So that's question one -- relative strength of the enthusiasm or passion of the verbs when it comes to people. Question two is the relative strength of the enthusiasm or passion of the verbs when it comes to things -- in English, to use the word "adore" about an inanimate object comes across as very very strong -- you might "adore" your new apartment, but you don't adore (as you do in French in another lesson here Using le, la, l', les before nouns when generalising (definite articles)%252Fsearch%253Fs%253Dadorer) cucumbers. Is "adore" just a softer, less enthusiastic verb in French than it is in English?
"J'aime Marie." is a fixed phrase and implies romantic love of a person. "J'adore Marie." is weaker than the previous sentence."J'aime bien Marie." is even weaker.
For inanimate things the ranking is a bit different as there is no fixed phrase like "J'aime..." which is the main sentence in French chansons and movies ;)
"J'adore le gateau." -- I love this cake. It is the strongest statement of the three."J'aime le gateau." -- I like this cake."J'aime bien le gateau." -- Probably a bit less than the previous statement.
Input of a native speaker would be greatly appreciated here, though.
I hope that helps a bit, -- Chris (not a native speaker).
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