Advent Calendar 4 – Preferential Practice

Written By: Emanuel Updated: January 2, 2024

“Preferential Practice”

***

Hello everyone,

and welcome to day 4 of the Advent Calendar – Monday, everyone’s favorite day.
The start of the week.
And the perfect day to get active so today, it’s time for a little practice for

How to say “prefer” in German

A couple of weeks ago, we took a thorough look at the different ways of how to say to prefer in German. If you haven’t read it or you want to read it again, you can find it here:

How to say “to prefer” in German

In short, the “default” translation for to prefer is bevorzugen, but in daily life, by far the more common way to talk about what you prefer is by using lieber.

And that’s what we’ll practice today. And because it’s such an important part of daily conversations, we’ll not just do it in theory. We’ll practice it by actually speaking, using the epic pronunciation AI from EF languages. Big shout-out to them.

Many of you already know this type of exercise, but for those who are new, here’s a little introduction.
Feel free to skip it, if you already know it.

Here’s how it works:

I’ll give you a few sentences in English and you’ll have to say it in German, and the AI will give you a breakdown of how you did in terms of pronunciation.
That way, you can REALLY practice all these important phrasing and then, when you’re in a real life scenario, maybe they come out more naturally.

Let’s do a test.
Just click record once, speak the word and then click again to get the result.
Just click the button and speak and you should see the result.

lieber
lieber

hint

My version:

You can record as many trials as you like and also compare them to my own recording.
Generally, there are often multiple possible ways to phrase something, but here, we are limited to ONE way. I’ll give you some indication as to what that is.

It’s important that my site has permission to use the microphone, so if nothing happens, that’s the first thing to check.
You can give mic-permission by clicking on the lock icon next to the URL.

 

There are some other issues with iOS devices that I am unable to fix (partially because it’s Apple’s problem), so if it still doesn’t work for you, try a different browser or device.

NOTE:

The point of this exercise is NOT to get perfect 100% pronunciation. The goal is to practice these phrasings, so do come back over the course of a few weeks and repeat the practice, until you can say all the answers quickly and automatically.

Anyway, with all that out of the way, let’s jump right in.

Using “lieber” – a practical guide

There are two core phrasings with lieber that you need to know. The first one is essentially lieber plus some sort of action.

  • Ich esse lieber spät.
  • I prefer eating late.

Let’s give it a try.

I prefer working late.
Ich arbeite lieber spät.

hint

My version:

And again, but now let’s add a less preferred option, which in German is done with als… kind of like “rather late than early”.

I prefer working late to working early.
Ich arbeite lieber spät als früh.

hint
The comparison is done with “als”

My version:

And now let’s try a different action

I prefer drinking coffee to drinking tea./I’d rather drink coffee than tea.
Ich trinke lieber Kaffee als Tee.

hint

My version:

Great!

Now, let’s do the same, but as a side sentence. That means the verb goes to the end.

I said that I prefer drinking coffee.
Ich habe gesagt, dass ich lieber Kaffee trinke.

hint
You need a “dass sentence, which means the verb will go to the end there.

My version:

And here you can also clearly see the order of things because lieber, just like nicht or gern or whatever, stands BEFORE the action that it talks about. It’s just kind of hard to see in the “normal” sentence but in German, the side sentence kind of shows the real order of things.
If you’re now like “Wait, what?!”, then I really recommend my series on the position of nicht. I’ll link it below, it’s really eye opening.

All right. Let’s do one another one. Here, the actions/verbs in German are Stretching machen and Yoga machen

I prefer stretching to doing yoga./I’d rather do stretching than do yoga.
Ich mache lieber Stretching als Yoga.

hint

My version:

All right.
Now, besides talking about our own preferences, of course we also need to ask other people about theirs. So let’s do that.
And I’ll actually just throw you into the cold water without a warm up example :)

Do you prefer working early or late?
Arbeitest du lieber früh oder spät?

hint

My version:

And now, let’s take a look at this one:

  •  Do you prefer coffee or tea?

The difference here is that the choices are two nouns, whereas so far we always had a verb.
In these instances, you have to of course pick a verb for the German version because the translation for prefer is “lieber+verb”.
Which one you pick depends on the context. In this case, trinken would fit, but we can also always go with a generic “mögen” (to like).

It can sound a bit childish, but in this case it’s okay, so let’s try with that one

Do you prefer coffee or tea?
Magst du lieber Kaffee oder Tee?

hint

My version:

And let’s do one more, and don’t let the different English phrasing throw you off – the German is just like we learned ;)

Do you like German better or French?
Magst du lieber Deutsch oder Französisch?

hint

My version:

And let’s also answer that real quick. And this time, let’s start with the translation for “of course”, so pay attention to the verb position.

Of course I like German better than French. / I prefer German to French.
Natürlich mag ich lieber Deutsch als Französisch.

hint
Natürlich mag ich…

My version:

Awesome!!!
And that’s where we’ll wrap it up for now and continue this another day in the calendar.
Because… there’s this second with lieber that’s just as important … jemandem lieber sein.
But yeah, for today, I think we’ve done enough. Let me know in the comments if you have any questions. And of course, if you have problems getting the exercise to work, let me know as well. But please add some information about what device and what browser and what you’re actually seeing. I can’t promise to get it to work for everyone, because… well… Apple. But I’ll try.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this.
Have an amazing day and wir sehen uns morgen :).

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