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Learn The German Past Tense Of “mögen” And “möchten”

Updated: Jan 22




Did you know the past tense of ich möchte is ich wollte? Learn more about modal verbs in this blog!



In this post, we look at explaining the past tense of the two verb forms like and would like.


Remember that mögen is not a true infinitive, but the subjunctive II (conditional) of the verb mögen.



"Ich mag" means "I like", "ich möchte" ir "I would like" or "I want" but in a polite way.


The main meaning of mögen is therefore "to like", so the past tense of mögen → ich mochte (without umlaut points!) means "I liked".


Möchten has no "own" past tense because it is only a verb form of like.


We use möchten when we politely want to order/ask for something or express a wish. So when we talk about an order/request or a wish in the past tense, politeness obviously no longer plays a role.

For this reason, the past tense of ich möchte is ich wollte.


It's the same as in English when we change the expression "I would like a coffee" to the past tense: "I wanted (or ordered) a coffee."


Check our online German lesson about all modal verbs and their conjugation.


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