Aimer = to love, like something / someone

Depending on context and whether you use it on its own, the verb aimer can mean to love something / someone, or to like something / someone.

Aimer - to love <someone> / <something>

Used on its own, aimer generally means 'to love' <someone> and 'to love or to like' (depending on intensity) <something>:

J'aime MarieI love Marie

J'aime ParisI love Paris

Elle aime sa nouvelle veste.She loves her new jacket.


NOTE
 that you can also use the verb adorer to emphasise love of something or someone:

J'adore les diamants !I love diamonds!

J'adore ce mec ! Il est trop drôle !I love that guy! He's so funny!

-> Here note that adorer does NOT mean "to be in love with", but expresses a strong liking of someone

 


When aimer is used in a question about something, it actually means "Do you like ...?" (for someone, it still means 'love'):

Tu aimes ma sœur ?Do you love my sister?

Elle aime les tomates ?Does she like tomatoes?

Est-ce que tu aimes ma nouvelle voiture ?Do you like my new car?

 

Aimer bien / beaucoup - to like <someone> / <something> (a lot)

J'aime MarieI love Marie

J'aime beaucoup ParisI really like Paris

J'aime bien tes chaussures, mais je préfère les miennes.I like your shoes, but I prefer mine.

Note that when using aimer bien, it actually lessens its meaning from 'to love' to 'to like' <someone> / <something>.

J'aime beaucoup ParisI really like Paris

Tu aimes beaucoup tes parents.You like your parents a lot.

When you use aimer beaucoup, it means 'to like a lot' / 'to really like'.

ATTENTION: If you wanted to say "I love you very much" in French, you would use a different expression:

Je t'aime très fort.I love you very much.

 

Ne pas aimer - to not love / like <someone> / <something>

ATTENTION: You cannot use aimer bien in a negative sentence (ne ... pas) in French. To express dislike, you will revert to using simply aimer with the negation ne ... pas, to say both "not love / not like", as such:

Elle n'aime pas Michel.She doesn't love Michel.
She doesn't like Michel.

In this case, the context will remove ambiguity.

Laura n'aime pas ce film.Laura doesn't like this film.

Ils n'aiment pas les concombres.They don't like cucumbers.

You can also use ne pas aimer beaucoup to say 'not like much'.
Note that beaucoup will come after pas:  

Je n'aime pas beaucoup ce garçon.I don't like that boy much.

Hugo n'aime pas beaucoup le chocolat.Hugo doesn't like chocolate much.

 

See also Using "plaire" to express liking something / someone 

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Examples and resources

Elle n'aime pas Michel.She doesn't love Michel.
She doesn't like Michel.
Elle aime les tomates ?Does she like tomatoes?
J'adore ce mec ! Il est trop drôle !I love that guy! He's so funny!
Hugo n'aime pas beaucoup le chocolat.Hugo doesn't like chocolate much.
Je t'aime très fort.I love you very much.
Tu aimes ma sœur ?Do you love my sister?
Je n'aime pas beaucoup ce garçon.I don't like that boy much.
Tu aimes beaucoup tes parents.You like your parents a lot.
Elle aime sa nouvelle veste.She loves her new jacket.
Ils n'aiment pas les concombres.They don't like cucumbers.
J'aime bien tes chaussures, mais je préfère les miennes.I like your shoes, but I prefer mine.
Laura n'aime pas ce film.Laura doesn't like this film.
Est-ce que tu aimes ma nouvelle voiture ?Do you like my new car?
J'adore les diamants !I love diamonds!

aimer


J'aime ParisI love Paris
J'aime bien MarieI like Marie
J'aime MarieI love Marie
J'aime beaucoup ParisI really like Paris
Thinking...