How to Talk About Preferences in German

by Expath Language School

Let‘s see how you can express a preference in German.

Germans indicate that they prefer (doing) one thing over another by using the words “bevorzugen”, “vorziehen” or simply a construction with “lieber” (“rather”):


Ich bevorzuge Rotwein. I prefer red wine.

Ich ziehe Rotwein vor. I prefer red wine.

Ich trinke lieber Rotwein. I’d rather drink red wine.

Note that the preferred item will be in accusative and the item it is compared to is in dative (usually with the preposition “gegenüber”):

Ich bevorzuge diesen Mann gegenüber diesem Mann. I prefer this man to this man.

Ich bevorzuge mein Getränk gegenüber deinem Getränk. I prefer my drink to your drink.

Ich bevorzuge sein Bier gegenüber seinem Affen. I prefer his beer to his monkey.

With the “lieber” construction, the preposition is “als”. Both the preferred object as well as the alternative are in accusative:

Ich sehe lieber deinen Film als seinen Film. I prefer watching your movie to his movie.

Er geht lieber in den guten Club als den schlechten Club. He’d rather go to the good club than the bad club.

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